Thursday, September 29, 2011

Of Dice and Men

Maria Giere Marquis in the regional premiere of Cameron McNary's Of Dice and Men at Impact Theatre

When I was a kid, my sister got a Dungeons and Dragons set. I vaguely remember her playing it with her friends a few times. As usual, I wanted to play too, but I was too young. When I got older, I wanted to play and my mom arranged what would now be called a playdate with one of my classmates so we could play. I believed that he knew how to play. When I got there, I discovered he didn't. So we didn't play. That's as close as I ever came to actually playing a game of D&D, even though I still to this day have that set.

As such, I went to see Impact Theatre's production of Of Dice and Men by Cameron McNary with a mixture of complete ignorance and longing. Afterwards, I can't say as I have any more clarity on how the game actually works, but I did really enjoy the show. It's not an instructional course on how to play the game after all, and you don't need to know anything about the game to enjoy it. Like any good play, it's really about the people.

The characters and their portrayals were very complex and dimensional. The writer/actors/director never went for a quick stereotype, and the situations rang true as the story turned into an interesting commentary on friendship, war, and violence. I've been going to Impact shows for years now, and I would have to say this was the most lost in a role I've ever seen Seth Thygesen or Jai Sahai. The whole cast does a wonderful job, and Maria Giere Marquis speaking in elvish is something not to be missed.

I'm sure if you have played D&D, you would enjoy the show on a much deeper level than I did. I'll take those hit points because I don't know what to do to defend against them. I've never played D&D, but maybe now I'll crack that set open and read the instructions for once.

Of Dice and Men, directed by Melissa Hillman, runs through October 8, in Berkeley.

Click here for more info.

1 comment:

  1. My best friend and I have been subscribers for the past three years, and we thought this was one of the best shows, and that both Sahai and Thygesen were at their best.


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