Interactive Show “The Twenty-Sided Tavern” closes in Chicago


The cast of the Twenty-Sided Tavern gathers onstage as an audience member participates in the show. Photo courtesy of Jamie Copp

Brynn Copp, Features Editor

The Twenty-Sided Tavern, an original interactive show co-created by David Andrew Greener Laws (also known as DAGL), Sarah Davis Reynolds and David Carpenter, ran from Oct. 27, 2022 to Jan. 15, 2023 at the Broadway Playhouse in Chicago.

The show is heavily influenced by the popular game Dungeons and Dragons. The essence of the game remains as each character’s fate was decided by the roll of a die as they battled monsters.

Across the crowd, screens lit up the auditorium, making for a strange experience. The Twenty-Sided Tavern is one of the only shows you can see where you’re immediately encouraged to take out your phone and document the experience.

Before the start of the two hour show, audience members were asked to scan a QR code and were assigned an actor based on a sticker they received. From there, each audience member helped the cast escape perilous situations depending on the roll of a 20-sided die. Moreover, the first choice the audience was able to make was choosing what role the three cast members would take on. Three options were given per character, and depending on the sticker you received at the beginning of the show, you got to pick what persona your character would take on throughout the show. Would it be a theater-kid or an outgoing mother of five?

DAGL and Reynolds acted as Gamemaster and Tavern Keeper respectively, the former taking on villainous roles with various wigs throughout the show.

Additionally, at several points in the show, audience members were asked to come up to the stage and helped with the progression of the plot. An unlucky member took a shot of pickle juice and others played beer pong.

Thompson Middle School’s D&D club took a field trip to the show on Jan. 13, one of the last performances before their closing in Chicago.

This brings up the question of “Where is East’s D&D club?” In the past, East ran a D&D club that was attended by around 30 kids. Jacob Stewart, an English teacher and Instructional support coach at East, ran the club from 2015-2019, though the club was taken over after 2019.

Stewart said, “When I was adviser we had 30+ students showing up to play…I have little doubt that that would still be the case today.” With East’s strong devotion to extracurriculars, it poses the question of a Dungeons and Dragons club making a return in the future. “I loved running the club, but coordinating a complex game with that many students and making sure everyone is included is a difficult task—it really takes someone with a large amount of experience and intimate knowledge of the game to coordinate,” Stewart said.