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Dungeons & Dragons’ first stage show mixes improv, adventuring and Jackbox-style audience participation

Producer Curious Hedgehog promises trivia, charades and fantasy beer pong amongst high fantasy hijinks.

A shot from The Twenty-sided Tavern's previous live D&D show performance.
Image credit: Curious Hedgehog/Showpath Entertainment

What do tabletop roleplayers and theatre goers have in common? More than you might realise, as the first official Dungeons & Dragons stage play is heading to New York City’s Stage 42 in May of this year.

The Twenty-Sided Tavern sounds like an eclectic mixture of actual play-style storytelling, stand-up comedy routine and audience participation - both from their seats and on stage. David Carpenter, Sarah Davis Reynolds and David Andrew Laws of Curious Hedgehog have partnered with stage production group Showpath Entertainment and D&D publisher Wizards of the Coast to translate the tabletop giant into a live experience hoping to capture the spontaneity and humour of the kitchen table.

The show previously held one-time shows in Chicago, New York, Pittsburgh and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, but Stage 42’s version will be a longterm engagement allowing the four aforementioned members of Curious Hedgehog to flex their dice rolling muscles and bring the audience in as the “fourth player”, according to a press release.

Watch Dicebreaker's own actual play about a team of fantasy reporters - Storybreakers!Watch on YouTube

The crowd will be able to use browser-based Gamiotics to vote on key decisions such as what paths the players take, which characters will make appearances on-stage and whether they talk their way out of the goblin encampment or draw steel. This Jackbox Games-esque approach of empowering the audience apparently means no two shows are exactly alike, and the conclusion of the evening might differ radically every night.

Those who attend showings of The Twenty-Sided Tavern might also find themselves roped into on-stage minigames, trivia contests, tests of strength, charades and checks notes fantasy beer pong, which is apparently an “ever-popular” feature of the night. The developers and stage crew count alumni from Dimension 20, Rogers: The Musical and Beavis and Butthead, and Curious Hedgehog’s whole mission is alchemising tabletop RPGs into interactive live performance - certainly they can find a way to meld this grab bag of activities and university improv games into a successful night out.

The cast and founders of Curious Hedgehog, RPG stage show producers.
From left to right: David Andrew Laws, David Carpenter, Sarah Davis Reynolds | Image credit: Curious Hedgehog

“As passionate gamers and D&D players, the partners at Curious Hedgehog set off on a quest to redefine what a live interactive experience can be. What started as a D&D-style RPG onstage with folding tables and a box of props has grown beyond our wildest imagination,” Carpenter said in a press release. “From day one we forged a deep connection with gamers and non-gamers alike by bringing them a whole new type of experience by fans for fans.”

Previews for The Twenty-Sided Tavern will begin on April 19 ahead of an official launch on May 5th. Tickets will go on sale soon (the press release did not include a finalised date) on the show’s website.

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Chase Carter avatar

Chase Carter


Chase is a freelance journalist and media critic. He enjoys the company of his two cats and always wants to hear more about that thing you love. Follow him on Twitter for photos of said cats and retweeted opinions from smarter folks.