Teenagers are faced with failure every day. Some mornings it feels like they have the letter F stamped on their foreheads in bright red ink. In a series of hilarious vignettes, students take on a multitude of challenges, each from a different perspective. From learning to driving a car, seemingly with mind of its own, to having an argument with a bag of chips in a vending machine, these teenagers discover that the only way to succeed is to stare failure in the face. And if they're going to take that risk, they might as well make it epic! Endless opportunities for creative staging, especially when fellow actors portray the gearshift, gas and brake pedals in the car scene. A true ensemble piece as any number of actors can be a part of the chorus or perform one of the many smaller roles.
PLAYWRIGHT BRADLEY HAYWARD
TALKS ABOUT HIS PLAY “EPIC FAIL”
Q: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS PLAY?
A: Barely a day goes by that I don't see a Facebook status update that says "Epic Fail!" Every time I think to myself, why are we so afraid of failure? Not only do I think we all have to experience failure in order to learn from our mistakes and put our best feet forward, but success is so much sweeter if you've really had to work for it. So I decided to come up with some of the major failures we all experienced in high school and present them in a funny way. In the end, I think everyone will be able to relate to the dilemmas that these characters face and smile at how they were able to overcome these obstacles.
Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PART OR LINE IN THE PLAY? WHY?
A: I have a tremendous sweet tooth and often feel like candy and soda pop are calling my name, so I decided that's exactly what I would include in the play. I can personally relate to Logan's argument with the snacks in the vending machine, which is basically an inventive way to show her inner dialogue. My favorite line is when the bag of carrots realizes that even Pepto Bismol has a better place in the vending machine. I also love the scene where Chris is learning how to drive and all of the car parts become characters. The opportunities for creative staging are endless and I am excited to see how different schools approach this fun challenge.
Q: WHERE DID THE CHARACTERS COME FROM? ARE THEY BASED ON PEOPLE YOU KNOW?
A: I believe that we have all feared failure at different times in our lives, so with that in mind, the characters reflect each and every one of us. From failed tests to failed relationships, the characters represent our ability to rise above any challenge that is hurled our way.
Q: WHAT DID YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS PLAY?
A: I wanted to include a variety of scenes that are both realistic and theatrical. Quite often our imaginations get carried away, which I think is never a bad thing! So while the scene in the principal's office is very true to life, so is the fantastical scene where Parker literally has a heart-to-heart conversation with her own heart. I also wanted to make sure the play was a true ensemble piece. No matter how big or small the role, all of the actors must work together to present the play, which is also true of real life. I think if we all come together and help each other out, anything is possible.
Q: DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO ADD?
A: This is a fun play to produce and a fun play to watch. The key words here are FUN and PLAY. Have fun with the dialogue and play around with the staging. So long as you keep that in mind, there is no such thing as failure...only epic success!