Governors State University’s Fall Production, “Failure: A Love Story,” Challenges the Conventions of Staged Performance Today

Gaston Beltran, Phoenix Staff Writer

COVID-19, how you’ve changed everything.  

From contact sports to music concerts to live theater, live performances in nearly every format have been hit hard … which leaves us Jaguars wondering how in the world are we gonna pull off a Fall production based around the parameters of navigating COVID-19 with extreme and mindful caution?  

The production team, director Jeremy Ohringer, and GSU performers put their powerfully creative minds together to do exactly that. I reached out to Ohringer  to uncover the details of how they planned to produce “Failure: A Love Story.” 

 

The Phoenix: What can students expect to see in “Failure: A Love Story” amid the social distancing procedures put in place?  

 Ohringer: The entire production was rehearsed remotely via Zoom. Costumes were sent to the actors, and then we filmed the play (also via Zoom). 

 This created a lot of exciting challenges. The actors not only had the expected challenges of being in a play (memorizing lines, building character, etc.), they also had to deal with the technical aspects of this new platform. Entrances and exits became a huge challenge because you couldn’t always count on the technology to work exactly as you would like it to. Also, because everyone is in their own space, the actors had to work with the designers to create continuity between all of the spaces. This put some extra heavy lifting onto both the actors and designers, but everyone was up to the challenge! 

 

Phoenix:  How does this play tie in with the state of the world currently?  

Ohringer: The play is about finding a way through hardship and finding joy in the face of trauma. We are currently facing a lot of challenges and, yet, we need to go on living. The piece focuses on love and family and is a lot of fun. I think most of us are looking for more fun in our lives at this moment. 

 You can access the play at https://www.govst.edu/About/Center_for_Performing_Arts/All_Events_by_Date/Failure-_A_Love_Story/ 

There you’ll be able to purchase tickets and access the play between Nov. 20 – 22.