She stands at the far end of the room – passed the broken clocks and mirrors lining the walls, passed the flickering projection of fire upon the wall, passed the lights dancing with an eerie glow upon her calm face. Silent, and with her eyes cast down, she reveals her shoulders, covered in black ink. Numbers. Dates. I am guided toward her bare shoulders, pen in hand, and add my own numerical contribution to her body. When she seems satisfied, she buttons up her shirt and readjusts her jacket. She turns away and disappears into a world we can only glimpse from the outside.
Time ripens the creatures and Time rots them.
The universe returns just as the soul returns
After death – to be born again.
DR3AMLOGiKK – created by powerhouse actresses Karlie Blair (Snow Fridge) and Keight Leighn (BedrUmplaI) – has produced a 30-minute, pop-up production of Broken Clocks, written by Elisabeth Stranathan. Guests stand or sit throughout the room, voyeurs to the unfolding action. Luckily for guests, Broken Clocks is just a snippet of a larger world envisioned by Stranathan.
We are introduced to Rosie (Blair) and Felicity (Leighn), vigilantes in a dystopian, steampunk, future America, one that is corrupted and male-dominated, a future that isn’t too difficult to imagine happening in real life. Their handler Alice (voiced by director Shayne Eastin) tasks them with ending the timeline of their friend Mandy (Stranathan), but Felicity starts having doubts. Felicity’s debate with Rosie brings up questions about life and death, obeying orders versus asking why. Who says the world has to be the way it is? Who says we can’t choose our own destiny? Rosie insists on following the rules, but I left wondering where those rules came from? In a world where men are already in charge, why are the women still the ones to sacrifice?
How do you want to live?
How do you want to die?
While audience interactivity was low and the set design sparse, the clever writing and strong acting kept audiences engaged. The magic of all three actresses is in their ability to make their dialogue feel real and spontaneous, conversational. I envied their badass steampunk attire – including goggles, worn leather jackets and multiple watches – and immediately wanted to befriend Rosie and Felicity, questioning and taking up arms against the patriarchy alongside them.
Your ghost witnessed the beginning of the end of the new beginning.
Originally conceived by Stranathan to be a film, Broken Clocks hints at a larger mythos; it’s only the beginning of her sprawling futuristic, steampunk universe. Although parts of the lore-heavy dialogue were slightly hard to follow, Broken Clocks is a moving introduction to a fascinating, female-empowering world. I cannot wait to dive into future chapters of Stranathan’s complex saga.
Broken Clocks has ended its one-night engagement, but DR3AMLOGiKK will be expanding on Stranathan’s universe next year in a larger series. Keep an eye on our Calendar for their future productions.
Special thanks to Cristen Brinkerhoff for her help on this article.