This Girl Writes: Chelsea Frandsen

The Brelby Theatre Company is proud to kick off it’s Ninth Season with
The Night of Shorts. An evening filled with short plays created by Brelby Artists who were given the prompt of “imagine,” “create,” or “inspire” to write their shows. We at the Brelby Buzz are very excited to give you this sneak peak into each of their shows through our This Artist Writes… series! Chelsea Frandsen is no newcomer to the Brelby family, you may remember her noir show, Angel’s Alley from our #magnificentseasonseven and she’s back with a dystopian show dealing with technology and society and all the things teen dreams are made of.


This Girl Writes… Trackers

By Chelsea Frandsen

One of the current crazes in entertainment is dystopia. Being a librarian, I have a love/hate relationship with this particular genre, since A) there are only so many ways that “the world as we know it can come to an end”, and unfortunately, this plotline has the potential to be beaten to death; and B) there are only so many copies of “The Hunger Games,” “The Maze Runner,” “H2O,” “Gone,” and “The Selection” in the the library, which means the hold lists get very long and the covers look very loved (I’ve run out of book repair tape twice fixing them). See? Love/hate relationship.

However, I won’t deny that there are some dystopian stories I enjoy–some I’ve read and re-read until the covers fall off and I have to buy the audio version so I won’t ruin anymore books. Stories that are also scarily accurate. Why? Because sometimes authors of these dystopian stories draw inspiration from life as we now know it. Back in college, I overheard an interesting conversation between three friends of mine: one was a political science major; one a history major; the third was–well, he was someone with interesting ideas. PolySci was writing a paper about government officials and power (I forget exactly what) and she was asking History for advice on the paper–and Interesting Idea and I were eavesdropping. The gist of the conversation went something like this:

Hist: ​It’s kind of terrifying, the lengths officials–or anybody really–will go to assert their power.

PolySci:​ You know, if someone really wanted to takeover the U.S. right now, they’d start with technology and social media. You take that over and everybody’s in trouble.

Interesting Idea: ​OR they could get rid of technology altogether–put it inside people; because you can’t hack human beings as easily as you can hack into technology.

PolySci: ​Can they can do that?

History: ​ What if they could?

Interesting Idea:​ Then the world as we know it would come to an end.

Me: ​That’s creepy.

Me: ​(That’s an interesting idea!)

Me: ​(That’s a VERY interesting idea…)

Me:​ (puts idea in back of head, then plays with it off and on for the next five years.)

Me flash forward to 2016:​ (Finally puts idea on paper and submits what has become known as Trackers to Brelby’s 2017 Night of Shorts.)

Because they brought up an interesting point. All one has to do is turn on the news. True, we may not see alien attacks from the sky or some crazy zombie apocalypse; but what we do see are the political, social and economical events that occur on an almost daily basis. Events that seem to come from the pages of Isaac Asminov, Ayn Rand, Phillip K. Dick, and Lois Lowry (I’m a sucker for the classics).

Dystopian fiction asks the question that is lurking at the backs of our minds–how will the world as we know it come to an end? When? And as a consequence of what actions? Trackers is two things: a tribute to my favorite dystopian authors, and also an attempt to answer the questions of two friends: “Can they do that?”and “What if they could?”

Our thanks to Chelsea for sharing her inspiration and passion for literature and answering some really challenging but incredibly fantastic questions. We look forward to seeing this and all the other new works presented at this amazing night of theatre. Tickets are available now for this limited run and check back to the Brelby Buzz for more behind the scenes features on all the other short plays you will see at The Night of Shorts!

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