November 2019 Blogathon: Chelsea Frandsen


It is Brelby tradition to dedicate the month of November to giving a platform for our artists to share their stories. This month our annual Blogathon theme returns to its roots with a visit back to the topic of “My Brelby Story.” We’ve grown a great deal over the past few years, and many of our original bloggers have moved on to new careers, new lives, new challenges, and new cities. Enjoy this year’s series with 30 Days of Blogs.

I found Brelby on a dare.

A dare I gave to myself to spend one summer submitting as many scripts as possible to as many theatres as possible.

To make it more interesting, I was going to do it in alphabetical order.

By state.

Arizona was the first state I looked at.

And Brelby was the first theatre company that came up.

When Shelby sent me the email that my play “Angel’s Alley” had been accepted as part of the Studio Series I screamed and jumped up and down like an excited two-year-old(I was twenty-five at the time :P). Then I calmed down and booked a flight to go see it (like you do).

From the first moment I walked into the studio, I was welcomed with (literal) open arms. I have never received so many hugs from complete strangers in my life. I felt absolutely at ease and never wanted to leave.

But since I’m not and AZ native, and was still in school I had to.

And that was a wrench.

Flash forward: Brelby puts out an open call for playwrights for their eleventh season, which I submitted to.

I was at Cinemark with my cousin when I got the email. I had an attack of playwright nerves, so I handed my phone to her and said, “I got this; I can’t read it; you read it for me.”

And she did.

And she squealed.

And I squealed.

And then the movie previews started to play and we both had to shut up.

But I walked around with a Big Stupid Grin on my face for the rest of the night, because I got to go back to Brelby.

(!!!!!!!!!!)

And going back to Brelby feels like I’m returning home.

Brelby’s mission is to “imagine, create, inspire”. Rarely have I worked with a theatre company that has that mission so deeply ingrained into every one of it’s artists.

They have a passion for the arts.

Passion and arts go hand in hand anyway, but every single artist in the company loves what they do and they stay because there constant opportunities to do what you are most passionate about–acting, directing, designing, whatever.

They also refer to everyone involved in the company as an artist–and if that doesn’t give you warm fuzzies all the way down to your toes, don’t know what will!

They are willing to take risks, and encourage others to do the same.

One of my favorite things about Brelby is their “epics”–so called because they are glorious, usually combat heavy spectacles. Whether it’s a visit to the North Pole, or Oz or D&D Geekland, or Post Apocalyptic Phoenix, they will sweep you away to new adventures. Never done stage combat before? That’s ok, they’ll teach you!

They accept and buoy up each and every artist they come into contact with.

Because we aren’t all cardboard clones, not one of us human beings are the same, which is awesome. Also, Life is hard–sometimes so much so that you just want to curl up in a deep dark hole and never come out.

Everyone at Brelby knows and understands these things.

You don’t have to live up to any preconceived expectations because there aren’t any. Be your authentic self–that’s all they care about.

And they love.

They really truly love each other and everyone around them.

People say “I love you” a lot, both literally and metaphorically. Sometimes it’s just three causal words you toss at someone as a way of being nice.

When it’s said at Brelby, they mean it.

They mean every single word.

 I am so proud to be a member of the Brelby family, and I never ever want to leave!

 

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