FANDOM Rehearsal Process

FANDOM stage manager Rachel Solis and assistant stage managers Brinley and Ben take you through their duties during rehearsal. Watch this vlog and join us for FANDOM performances THIS WEEK!

Fandom by Carrie Behrens will be performed at the Phoenix Center for the Arts June 13 – 21. Tickets can be reserved here Join the conversation on our Facebook (, Twitter & Instagram (@risingyouththea) and by using the hashtag #FandomPlay

GriffyJack Fan Fiction

It’s time for some more Renegade City Fan Fiction!

Emma Pursell cosplay

 This time, Emma Pursell, a performer playing multiple roles including Morgan and Outspoken Citizen digs into some GriffyJack fiction. Because, as the play says, when it comes to shipping, we shouldn’t be afraid to take off our hetero-normativity goggles. “Why can’t we apply the same standards to two male characters, or two female characters, as we would a man and a woman?”








Thee cybots shot down the zombies with ease, the sound leaving a loud ringing in Griffin’s ears. He was used to it at this point, so as he crouched behind a tree outside the small clearing the cybots were located in, he barely flinched.

“Griffin,” he heard a whisper from behind him. He only needed to turn his head slightly to see Jackson in his peripheral vision. “How many?”

Griffin sighed lightly, “Six.”


Jackson crept a little closer, placing his hand on the damp bark of the tree above Griffin. “They only send that many if they’re looking for more slaves. They wouldn’t need that many if they-”

“If they just wanted to kill,” Griffin interjected, looking up at his boyfriend.


There was a pause, both of them observing silently, watching every move they made for the slightest indication that the cybots would head their way.

“Is anyone else going to meet us here?” Griffin asked, his gaze never leaving the cybot that seemed to be in charge.

Jackson shook his head, looking around to ensure that they had identified of all the cybots in the area.

“Then we should head back before we try to take them out,” Griffin turned his dark brown eyes to Jackson without moving his head. “Get some reinforcements before we try to act on this.”

Jackson nodded as he silently stood up, deciding he and Griffin had a great enough distance from the cybots that they wouldn’t notice them so long as they were quiet enough.

“Well, come on,” Jackson began walking away, “If we want to get-”

“Jackson look,” Griffin stood up without leaving his place next to the tree.

When he turned around, he found 15 or 20 of the Ristos knelt down in a straight line, side to side. “We can’t just leave them,” Griffin insisted.

“Griffin, we have to. You have, what, two gizmapods? I have three, but that’s not enough to take out six friggin’ cybots,” Jackson grabbed Griffins wrist, lightly pulling him away.

“So, what, we just let them get taken to the Facility?” Griffin raised his voice slightly, yanking his hand away and stepping back as though he had every intention of charging the cybots.

“Yes,” Jackson snapped in a whisper, “so let’s go.”

Griffin sighed as he looked back once more, then, clenching his jaw, turned to face Jackson again. “Fine.”

“Citizens,” they heard the cybots robotic voice from the clearing, then, knowing that they had been spotted, broke into an all out sprint in the opposite direction. The further they ran from the clearing, the denser the forest became, the harder it was for the both of them to make sure they were still together. The gap between them gradually increased in size, and though they were still in sight of each other, the low hanging branches often crowded their view.

When Jackson looked back, the cybots were still in pursuit of him, and when he looked to his right, Griffin was nowhere to be found. He skidded to a stop, grabbing a tree to help with his deceleration. He turned back once more, finding only one of the cybots after him, while the two that were following began to return to the clearing with Griffin in their hands.

Jackson muttered a curse as he took out one of his gizmapods, checking to see that it was fully charged, then tossed it in the air. It quickly magnetized to the metal of the cybots chest. The cybot smacked it, trying to detach the weapon from itself, and just as Jackson ducked back behind the tree, it exploded. The debris and bits of cybot were projected about ten feet in every direction, some of them being jammed into the tree behind Jackson.

When he stood up once more, he found the clearing empty. He muttered yet another curse, running his fingers through his hair like he always did when he was nervous. He composed himself and began to head back to the city.

“Mr. Mayor,” he called, slinging open his door without any desire for professionalism.

Quackenboss sighed. “Yes, Mr. Wolfe?”

“You’re gonna give me a rescue party, and you’re gonna give it to me today. Within the next hour would be much appreciated,” Jackson smiled as he slouched down in one of the chairs in front of the mayor’s desk.

“And why would I do that?”

“Because the cybots are taking Griffin to the Facility as we speak.”

Quakenboss clenched his fists. He’d never been particularly fond of Jackson, but he may have given him the rescue party if it meant getting back Griffin.

“Who else was taken?” He asked, leaning forward as he laced his fingers together.

“10 or 20 Ristos.”

The mayor exhaled sharply. “You want a rescue party to help the Ristos?”

“And Griffin.”

The mayor gave another sad sigh, “I’m sorry Jackson. I care about Griffin as much as you do-”

“-I doubt that,” Jackson mumbled.

“-but I can’t risk an entire crew just to bring back one person.”

Jackson stood up, his sarcastic demeanor flying out the window as he grimaced down as the mayor. He planted his hands on his desk as he said, “Griffin has always been loyal to you. You know he would do the same if you were in the Facility, so why won’t you help me?”

He thought he’d convinced the mayor. Quackenboss leaned back as though he was considering it, a far off look as though he was already putting together a team in his head, but he shook his head and looked back to Jackson. “I’m sorry.”

Had Griffin been there, Jackson probably wouldn’t have slapped the mayor’s mug off his desk and onto the floor. Griffin had a way of bringing Jackson back when he got carried away, but Griffin had been carried away to the Facility, so it was only after Jackson acted out that he realized what he was doing.

“Please leave my office now,” The mayor said flatly as he stared at the shards of class scattered across his floor. Jackson slammed the door on his way out.

I’ll do it myself, he thought bitterly to himself as he opened one of the hatches that served as exits from the city. He knew how reckless this was. Entering the Facility was dangerous enough with a team of trained professionals to help him, but going at it alone would be nearly impossible. Of course, that had never stopped him before.

The Facility was about a three day walk, which was good when it came to the citizens defending themselves against the cybots. This was not a good thing for Jackson, however, who was in a hurry to find Griffin. When he finally made it there, his legs had an immense aching in them, and blisters plagued the bottom of his feet. His utility belt was loosely slouched around his hips, so he tightened it as he grabbed a gizmapod.

The Facility had a fairly simply layout. On the south wall, a large set of double doors served as the main entrance, and they were luckily only guarded by two cybots. On the north side, there were two back exits, and between them stood one cybot that acted as security, seeing to it that no one got in or out. Once Jackson killed that cybot, he would have around two minutes before another came out to replace it. Depending on where Griffin was, that should give him just enough time to rescue him.

Jackson attached a silencer to the gizmapod. It would still be relatively loud, but not loud enough to distract the cybots from the prisoners.

“Hey!” Jackson called, trying to lure it as far from the Facility as he could before he killed it. The cybot turned it’s head and began marching towards Jackson. He smirked as he hurled the gizmapod towards the cybot, and soon after there were bits and pieces of the robot flying through the air.

He ran up to one of the doors and threw himself into it, an attempt to get it to fly open. After three more tries, it finally gave in, and he was staring at hundreds upon hundreds of prisoners. The youngest ones- not by their age, but by how long they had been kept there- were the ones closest to the door. He scanned the area for Griffin, and a few rows in he saw him. He began maneuvering through the slaves, ignoring each of them, even the ones who begged him to help them.

The cybots noticed the open back door, which Jackson realized he stupidly forgot to shut, but since he was crouched low enough, they didn’t notice him for about another minute.

“Griffin,” he whispered, and Griffin turned his head slightly, doing a double take once he saw Jackson. “Are you okay?”

“You need to leave,” Griffin said, not ceasing to do whatever labor the cybots had assigned him. “Jackson, get out of here, they’ll-”

“Shut up,” Jackson ignored everything Griffin was saying as he pulled out his gun. “And cover your ears.”

“Jackson, don’t-”

Jackson fired the gun directly into the lock of the chains that bound his feet together, keeping him from going anywhere. At this point, the cybots realized who it was that had broken in and where they were. Griffin recognized that and grabbed the neckline of Jackson’s shirt, bolting toward the exit. He’d barely walked in three days, having been chained up, so his legs were a little wobbly and off balance, but after a few moments he speed up, having recovered his strength.

The cybots were firing at them, but ended up shooting prisoners around them instead. Griffin almost stopped a few times while Jackson pushed him forward, completely indifferent.

Once they left the Facility and ran for about ten more minutes, it became apparent that the cybots were not that worried about one escaped prisoner.

“Okay, okay Griffin, wait,” Jackson said, panting as he slowed to a stop. “Come here. Are you okay?”

Griffin was out of breath as well, but he answered, “Yeah, yeah I’m fine.”

Jackson was checking Griffin all over looking for bullet wounds or anything else he may have accumulated while he was in that Facility. Once he realized that Griffin was physically unharmed, he embraced him in a tight hug.

“Jackson, I promise you I’m fine,” Griffin whispered, hugging him back. “I’m okay.”

Jackson pulled away and kissed Griffin hard on the lips, then pushed him away saying, “Next time, try not to be such an idiot. You know I walked three days to get here?”

Griffin smiled. “You were worried about me.”

Jackson rolled his eyes, playfully shoving Griffin to the right as he continued walking back toward the city.


“Is that why you walked for three days?” Griffin chuckled at Jackson as he started following him.

“Shut up.”

Three days later, they were back at the city, as though neither of them had ever been gone.


Fandom by Carrie Behrens will be performed at the Phoenix Center for the Arts June 13 – 21. Tickets can be reserved here Join the conversation on our Facebook (, Twitter & Instagram (@risingyouththea) and by using the hashtag #FandomPlay

Auden + Harry Potter = Social Activism

Auden Granger is the props and lobby designer for Fandom, and quite possibly the most experienced fan in our ensemble. Here Auden talks about working with the Harry Potter Alliance.
Auden Granger

Auden Granger

Have you ever wished Harry Potter was real? Well, it kind of is!

There may not be any dementors, Death Eaters, or dark wizards in our world, but the forces that Harry and his friends fought against- oppression, violence, inequality- are very present. It’s hard to imagine that if the members of Dumbledore’s Army and the Order of the Phoenix were transported to our Muggle world, they wouldn’t continue to fight for positive social change. It’s unlikely that Hermione would abandon her quest for worker’s rights with S.P.E.W. and the house elves- instead she might follow her motto of “when in doubt, go to the library!” and shift her focus to literacy and access to education. And would Harry really be okay with unethically sourced chocolate being sold in his name at amusement parks and shops?

The Harry Potter Alliance (HPA) fights the battles that we believe Harry Potter would fight if he lived in our world. An international non-profit organization, the HPA uses parallels from popular media like Harry Potter, online video, and the Hunger Games to garner enthusiasm for social activism. The HPA turns fans into the heroes they love by using the power of story- the power that has us reading hundreds of pages, standing in line for hours, and arguing over ships-  to make activism accessible. We believe in the power of fandom. We believe that fiction is not just an escape from our world, but also a way to go deeper into it, a means to connect to others and to the world we live in. With over 275 chapters in 25 countries and 43 US states, the HPA proves that it’s the fans who control the narrative- not just of the stories we love, but in the world around us, too.

The Harry Potter fan community started out for so many as a refuge, a place to escape, but quickly grew into much more than that, a community that is not dominated by the media material that it consumes but uses its shared passion as a way towards compassionate action. While so many people see fandom as something meaningless and silly, we know differently, and with imagination and with the empathy that stories give us, the HPA has been able to make incredible progress in human rights around the world, all the while reshaping the dry, stuffy landscape of nonprofit organizations into something vibrant, accessible, and alive.

Auden and Captain America

Auden and Captain America

My passion for storytelling for social change and improving accessibility led me to join the Harry Potter Alliance staff as the manager of a project called Fandom Forward. Fandom Forward was designed to create resources to enable individuals and HPA Chapters members to connect the stories that they love to relevant social issues. These resource toolkits balance academic social change language, action items, and references and parallels to stories we love too in order to make ‘fan activism’ and activism in general easier to approach, whether you’re an avid activist, passionate fan, or just mildly interested in how popular media and social change could be combined. In fact, you should check out the Fandom Forward Marvel Cinematic Universe Hero’s Toolkit– it’s 100% Captain America approved.

Fan activism and the work the Harry Potter Alliance does can be hard for people to wrap their heads around. Popular culture and fiction seem so distanced from what nonprofit organizations do. After all, what could a character like Superman have to do with immigration reform? But anyone who has ever been moved by a story or cried cried over a character death knows firsthand how impactful a piece of media can be. So think to yourself- what would Harry Potter, Buffy, Gandalf, Spock, the Doctor, Katniss, or Captain America do when faced with injustice? And, in the words of Buffy, “Make your choice. Are you ready to be strong?”

– Auden Granger

Auden Granger

Fandom by Carrie Behrens will be performed at the Phoenix Center for the Arts June 13 – 21. Tickets can be reserved here Join the conversation on our Facebook (, Twitter & Instagram (@risingyouththea) and by using the hashtag #FandomPlay

Devastation and the “Blue Baptism”

In the world of Renegade City, there is no more devastating moment than the “Blu Baptism.” In this shocking chapter, a large number of important characters (including Griffin Talon) are killed. Many fans were upset. At least one fan had a meltdown, which was recorded and posted on YouTube (after which he became “fandom famous” and known as the Blu Baptism Pool Freakout Kid)

Ben Collison (Assistant Stage Manager), Gabby Schultz (Understudy), and Ryan Bernadino (Cast Member) created this fan video commemorating the Blu Baptism and the fan responses

Fandom by Carrie Behrens will be performed at the Phoenix Center for the Arts June 13 – 21. Tickets can be reserved here Join the conversation on our Facebook (, Twitter & Instagram (@risingyouththea) and by using the hashtag #FandomPlay

Juan’s love for One Direction

Juan as Harry Styles from One Direction

Juan as Harry Styles from One Direction

Juan Rodriguez

is a cast member of Fandom who was also seen in Rising Youth Theatre’s Disengaged and Light Rail Plays 2.0. He plays a variety of characters, including a number of fans and a Cybot. His number one fandom is One Direction – he describes his love for the band here.




Fandom by Carrie Behrens will be performed at the Phoenix Center for the Arts June 13 – 21. Tickets can be reserved here Join the conversation on our Facebook (, Twitter & Instagram (@risingyouththea) and by using the hashtag #FandomPlay