Improv Playhouse to host interactive D&D

Campaign to run for 6 sessions via Zoom

LIBERTYVILLE – Improv Playhouse in Libertyville is launching a new virtual adult program for Dungeons and Dragons players.

Improv Playhouse’s LARP-D&D program for teens has been such a success that the idea to create a new online program for adults was hatched in several staff meetings in the spring.

The primary designer of the program is Improv Playhouse teaching artist and actor Kenzie Smith. Collaborating are creative directors and teaching artists Kat Phillips and Susannah Stengel. The three share a love for Dungeons and Dragons.

“Online D&D has been around the block,” Smith said. “A digital version of Dungeons and Dragons was actually created and sold in 1996, with streaming starting as early as 2006. More recently, the participation of virtual D&D has been made quite popular by famous groups such as Critical Role, Dimension 20, etc. The pandemic has also spotlighted live, virtual gaming. It’s definitely a market that will last and can draw anyone, anywhere.”

Improv Playhouse is hosting a live virtual campaign of Dungeons and Dragons centered on journeying to the lost city of Atlantis. Anyone can join as long as they have a streaming device and internet.

On the Improv Playhouse website, https://improvplayhouse.com/, a blurb will be posted explaining what D&D is and what the virtual experience will be like. Those who would like to dig deeper can go to https://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/basicrules for guideposts, in addition to a detailed downloadable PDF of even more rules and twists.

Asked how different this will be from the board game, Smith said, “One of the most genius and lovely things about D&D is that each game is curated to the group, depending on the experience of the dungeon master (leader of the campaign). There is no campaign, session or group of people that is the same – unlike a repetitive board game. With board games, you generally know what to expect. With D&D, it’s all about the unknown. The fantasy world is at your fingertips, not to mention the art of character/world building, encountering monsters, the rules of combat, forming relationships, discovering puzzles, avoiding traps and going on a literal journey with a special group of people. D&D fills all of your gaming, social, creative and entertainment needs unlike one simple board game.”

There is no limit to the number of participants. The six professional players will be playing for the duration of each session and for the entirety of the campaign. Attendees will be asked to participate by answering questions and providing suggestions for major choices, changes and challenges throughout each session. Dungeon master Kenzie will facilitate the questions and answers throughout each session as she decides what is most useful and necessary to the campaign.

Cost is $10 for one session or $49 for all six sessions.

The six Friday night sessions will be Sept. 10, 17 and 24 and Oct. 1, 8 and 15. Sessions will run from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. with a break from 8 to 8:15 p.m.

Participants must be 18 or older. The audience gains access to Zoom by buying a ticket on Eventbrite, which then emails participants the Zoom link.

“This style and type of creativity is right in our wheelhouse,” IP Founder David Stuart said. “Actors acting. Adults playing. The tone and energy of the best fantasy can be found at the gaming table with little bother. The fantasy world is a world of collaboration and improvisation. The beauty of the game is the simpleness with which one can call to convey a scene and the prerogative given to the players to creatively interact. There’s no programming language controlling the created world and the characters, just the imagination of the group to interconnect with a synergistic story. This just ain’t your grandma’s D&D.”

Go to www.improvplayhouse.com for the registration link or call 847-968-4529 for information.