The Great Influencer
Chantel Chrysanthemum is a lifestyle influencer who is branching into the production of wellness products, an opportunity she is graciously sharing with five of her fans through an exclusive retreat. The fans arrive at a Cleveland strip mall, their agreed upon rendezvous point, only to find that Chantel is not present and the experience isn’t quite what she promised. As Chantel begins to make legally dubious requests through direct messages, her fans who must decide what they're willing to risk for their chance at money, internet fame, and the approval of their favorite social media superstar.
Structured in real-time, the play follows a mismatched crew of internet junkies including: a high-school lesbian with infectious optimism, a millennial tech-bro with Peter Pan Syndrome, a single mother with zero awareness of cultural appropriation, a non-binary video game streamer with no followers, and a Baby Boomer with questionable, amorphous politics. The Great Influencer is a comedy about internet celebrity and its impact on personal choices, especially post-pandemic.
This play was originally commissioned by the Theatre Department at Otterbein University. T.J. Gerckens, Chair.
Cast requirements: Three Female, Two Male, One Non-binary.
In some ways, I consider this play a comedic sequel (prequel?) to Voice of the Net. I wrote it to continue my exploration of the internet's impact on our daily life.
Partially inspired by the work of some of my "favorite" social media scammers. Think: Billy MacFarlane (Fyre Festival) and Caroline Calloway.
I like to describe this play as a cross between Waiting for Godot and The Iceman Cometh, but through a contemporary comedic lens.