Derby is everywhere--Now in Live Theater

Roller derby really is everywhere.  In Chicago, a play about the roller derby is running through December 8 in Chicago at the Red Tape theater.  Here is an interview with the Director from Chicago Magazine online!


‘Down & Derby’ Director Talks Roller Derby, Community, and Teamwork

Posted October 30, 2012, at 2:23 p.m.
By Kristina Vragovic

Get ready for some blades of glory. The New Colony theatre company is rolling out a new show this week—Down & Derby, from the playwright Aaron Weissman and the director Thrisa Hodits. The play delves into competitive roller derby, a women’s sport celebrated for its aggressiveness and the salacious derby girl names. For those who didn’t see Drew Barrymore’s 2009 movie Whip It, Down & Derby promises a lively introduction to the subculture. Hodits even cast a couple Chicago derby girls—Lucy “Blood Bath and Beyond” and Jaclyn “Kilowatt Keough” are among the cast (launch the gallery to see some of the characters). Hodits sits down to talk with Chicago about the play, the cast, and the dirty derby world.

Down & Derby runs at the Red Tape Theatre through December 8.

What’s the premise of the show?
The play is set in Larkin City, a fictional small town in Ohio, and a group of 11 girls start this roller derby team after their town is struck by a pretty devastating tornado. Roller derby [functions as] a supportive family, so it’s really what saves these women and eventually brings this town back to life.

It’s a new play, in a very non-traditional format. What was inspiration?
In the beginning, [Weissman and I] were drawn to the violence and badass women. The sport lends itself to theatricality, everyone has their own name, there’s music, lights, and an announcer. But when we started interviewing derby girls, we found derby was actually about this community of women. So we shifted [the play] into a story about creating a new family. Roller derby is this circular sport, and when we came up with this tornado idea, it really came together into the circular pattern of rebirth.

The whole cast gets on skates, the training must have been pretty tough.
It was intense. We actually started training in March. There’s a company called Derby Lite that was started in Oak Park, and they have 10-week sessions where they train girls for roller derby. The woman who runs it—"Queen Bee" is her name—was all about it. Some of our girls took to it immediately. Others had a harder time.

The physical space, then, actually has to be able to accommodate a roller derby bout. What’s the setup?
We’re at Red Tape Theatre, which happens to be the second floor of a church, and the space itself is a gym. We start the show at a home bout, and so that’s the world you walk into. You’re greeted by the referees and the announcer, and you get a beer and find a place in the stands, and the girls are warming up and stretching. You walk onto this derby track that’s taped out in a gym. It feels right, you know? And the gym isn’t in the greatest shape. It looks like a building that has survived, which is really cool.

What do you hope the audience gets out of it?
This isn’t just a play. We need the audience for this. One of our goals is to bring in roller derby fans to see that this is theater, and another is I want theater people to sign up to be a roller derby girl.

When you go to a roller derby bout, you see all kinds of people there. Families, hipster couples on dates, derby fans, people all in leather. It’s amazing how diverse the fan base is, and we wanted to bring that to the play.

New Roller Derby Board Game







Thanks to Five on Five Magazine for all things roller derby.  If you don't have a subscription you        should get one.  They featured a new board game that looks pretty cool called Jammer Up.  It's a game for two players and based on roller derby strategy for modern roller derby.  It takes 30 to 60 minutes to play and is for players ages 8 and up.  It's available on or visit

New Skates for Creator, Undertaker's Daughter

Because it's been five and a half years, we think it's news that co-creator of Dorothy's Derby Chronicles, Undertaker's Daughter, #DOA with Rocky Mountain Rollergirls, has finally purchased new skates.  What this should tell you is that U.D. or Taker, as she is sometimes known, is hoping to skate for another five years on these brand new kickin' skates.  If you are wondering about new skates, check out Derby Dish tomorrow, where Dorothy will dish about when it's time to get new skates and how to choose them.  Dorothy will tell you...don't wait five years.

Derby Baby is coming to Denver June 16

Derby Baby is a story of love, addiction and rink rash. If you've attended a women's roller bout in the sport's post-modern incarnation, you've seen the love, the pure addiction that drives tens of thousands of women around the globe to don fishnets, pseudonyms, and the privilege of kicking each other's butts. Emmy-winning filmmakers Robin Bond and Dave Wruck take you along on their quest to learn why women's flat track roller derby is the most controversial and fastest growing sport in the world. It will be showing in Denver on Saturday, June 16, 2012, at the Denver Film Center on Colfax at 2:30 p.m.

New T-Shirt Designs at Wicked Skatewear!

Did you know that you could own one of the very cool illustrations from our new book, Rise of the Undead Redhead?  It's the first in the Dorothy's Derby Chronicles series that will rock your sox off. Wicked Skatewear sells our DDC T-shirts, and we're adding more designs this month.  You could have the whole set!  

Melee Killums next featured Junior Star of the Month

Melee Killums, 14, is a hard-hitting roller girl with the Cleveland Firestarters Junior Roller Derby League.  She started playing in April 2010 and has become a fierce competitor, jamming, blocking and pivoting for her league.  She will be featured as our next junior star of the month.  Come back later this week and check her out!

End of 2011 Roller Derby Update

  • Dorothy’s Derby Chronicles is getting an editing makeover that's going to be AWESOME!
  • Team USA won the World Roller Derby World Cup.
  • As of December, there are around 1,125 leagues nationally and internationally that include women, men, junior, coed, flat track, banked track.
  • Gotham Girls Roller Derby took first place in the national championships.
  • A documentary called "Derby Baby" has been delayed to Spring.

Roller Derby is Taking Over the World!

There’s a run on fishnets so you better get yours fast. According to the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association ( "Roller derby’s unique amateur sports model has fostered an explosion in the sport’s global popularity. Currently there are more than 700 leagues across 25 countries around the world, up from 400 in 11 countries just one year ago." And the junior leagues are growing just as fast, from Saskatoon to Singapore.


Did you hear the Wii roller derby game is out? Jam City Rollergirls is came out January 24, 2011, and it’s jammin.  Rocky Mountain Rollergirls’ own Dump Truck is the voiceover.  And only costs 1,000 Nintendo points; that’s like $10. You can just plus your Wii into the internet and download the game and 30 real skaters for you to command.  Yeah, baby.

Meghan chats up the Mom Advocate on Real Mom TV

Top Mom online TV program, Real Mom TV, with thousands logging in every week to get advice from Mom Advocate, Annie Foonberg, hosted Meghan recently, where they talked about Dorothy’s Derby Chronicles and the sport of roller derby. Meghan spent a half hour live with Annie talking about the book and how Meghan balances life, work, family and roller derby while promoting DDC.  Good stuff.

DDC rolls out marketing ideas to writers and authors.

Saturday, September 18th, Lakewood, CO

The DDC team spoke at the Rocky Mountain Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators conference about creative and free team building, marketing and branding at all stages of a book project.

Middle Schoolers Learn Behind-The-Scenes Secrets to Writing Dorothy's Derby Chronicles

See related tv news segment.

Two hundred and twenty five students from St. Mary's Academy Middle School learned how to block, roll, jam and write fiction from Dorothy's Derby Chronicles creative team as part of the school's language arts week. Meghan and Alece read the first chapter to the entire middle school and taught writing workshops to four 6th grade classes. We are ecstatic to have so many new fans!

DDC Reads Final Chapters to Students

On the last day of a year-long reading program, the Dorothy's Derby Chronicles creative team reads the last two chapters to the 5th grade class at Dora Moore in Denver. The class is the first to be read the entire manuscript, with awesome ideas on twists, turns and tone.

Project promotion is kicking into high gear!

Dorothy's Derby Chronicles agent, TSB & Co, is meeting with publishers and producers now. They are excited about bringing roller derby to the tween market.  If you haven’t already, check out Dorothy's blog, share it with friends and download the first chapter. Chapter 2 is coming soon! Slugs and hisses.

Dorothy’s Derby Chronicles fan Cloey (left) chummed it up with Dangerous Leigh A’zon of the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls at Denver’s free preview of Whip It! While fans Avery and Amanda handed out Dorothy stickers at the premier at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood.

Tween Summit, Washington DC

Clockwise from top: Author Meghan Dougherty with illustrator Alece Birnbach at the Tween Summit in DC, Meghan gives Slugs and Hisses stickers to excited DDC fans, DDC fan Sarah Callahan promotes DDC to fellow Tween Summit attendees, DDC fan Shae enjoying the sponsor room at the Tween Summit.