FANDOM by Carrie Behrens
Directed by Sarah Sullivan
A WORLD PREMIERE PLAY ABOUT FAN CULTURE, FINDING YOUR PLACE IN THE WORLD, AND GEEKING OUT ABOUT THE THINGS YOU LOVE
Fandoms have always been part of growing up. But in today’s connected culture, it goes to a whole different level. We know that being a fan is more than just being annenthusiast. Online fandoms build whole communities around fandom, both online andnIRL (in real life). This original play from Rising Youth Theatre aims to take both ‘shipping and stories off of Tumblr and onto the stage, in a totally unique exploration of what it means to really love something.
Rising Youth Theatre attended fan events at Changing Hands Bookstore and ComicnCon Fan Fest and partnered with fan meetup groups, cosplayers, and fan families to hear people’s stories and experiences about their fandoms in order to develop the play. Written by local playwright Carrie Behrens (Night of the Chicken) and directed by Rising Youth Theatre coArtistic Director Sarah Sullivan, the play features professional actors Yolanda London, Eric Boudreau, and Carlos Lara alongside nine youth actors. Fandom looks at the role that fan culture plays in building community. Taking place in a future dystopian world where popular culture is extinct, Fandom follows the story of Citizen 42 who has been charged with traveling back in time with The Doctor in his Turdis (NOT Tardis) to discover what popular culture contributes to a society. Through her epic journey across space and time in the Turdis, Citizen 42 discovers the power that fandoms have to bring people together.
This experience of fandoms as a community building force that transcends social and cultural boundaries is something that is evident in the process of creating this play from the first story circle to the current cast of youth and adult actors and designers rehearsing together. CoArtistic Director Xanthia Walker says “The cast of Fandom represents a wide range of social locations, ethnicities, ages, religious backgrounds, and genders but their fandoms are a powerful common thread that brings them together. It is wild to spend time in rehearsal and watch literally the whole cast and crew geek out together as they explore this play. I mean, who doesn’t want to talk all day about who they ship in Supernatural while cosplaying as a fox?”