Improv DnD

The world's most popular roleplaying game is fused with improv comedy to bring you a fast-paced, shenanigan-filled show that's different every single night.

Improv D&D is a theatrical staging of the global sensation that is Dungeons & Dragons. We improvise a self-contained three-act story that exists within a fantasy realm, narrated, and governed by the Dungeon Master who presents new challenges and characters for our ‘players’ to interact with.

Over the 75 minutes, all audiences experience an exciting and, often, hilarious fantastical adventure akin to Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter that, while being comedy, has high stakes and emotions. We not only reference the tropes of D&D but we pastiche and satirise wider pop culture and politics – all while being accompanied by a musician who provides incidental music and accompaniment in improvised songs. The show operates on two levels for our different audiences. The main divide we get is between people who know and love Dungeons & Dragons, and people who have never dived in.

For those who love D&D, we have worked hard to distil the essence of the game into the show so they can recognise elements that they know and love.

For those who have no experience, we provide a rules-lite and fun filled first experience for them to dip their toes into. For six years now, we have entertained veteran players and total newbies alike in Perth – from kids who drag their parents along, to couples on a date night, to an entire group of players having a break from their own game.

Form and Style

Improv DnD is longform comedy that distils the experience of a 4+ hour tabletop game down into 75 minutes of fast-paced action, adventure, and non-stop bangers.

After an introduction of the rules by our Dungeon Master, including suggestion gathering to be incorporated into the show, we are introduced to our three players one-by-one.

Following this 10-minute introductory phase where we warm up the audience – we dive into the adventure.

While improvised, we have spent 6 years refining a tried-and-true structure for the show that allows a lot of play and freedom to our players, while also enabling the Dungeon Master to keep a firm hand on the narrative so our audiences leave satisfied.

The Dungeon Master’s unique position as narrator, allows the show to keep a fast pace as they watch and listen for lulls in scenes and the right moment to move the story to a new location.

Accompanying the entire show is our musician who, not only provides live, scene-setting music, but also accompanies our ‘Bard’ player – a live-singing performer who uses music to solve problems.

Traditionally, we have presented in a black box, front-on style for the show but we have performed thrust and in-the-round as well.

Community Engagement

There are two different options available for community engagement for this show: Improvisation Workshops and D&D/Social Skills Workshops.

Our cast, aside from being strong performers and improvisers, also have experience in education through companies such as Constable Care and Black Swan State Theatre Company. All our workshops can be tailored for adults or young people.

Our improv workshops aim to equip communities and performance groups with the skills to create their own improvisational performances and lay the foundation for a future of improv in these towns and cities. Improv builds confidence and skills in self-expression, public speaking, creative thinking, and teamwork. These workshops can be focussed on short-form or long-form improv comedy depending on the experience of those attending the workshops.

Our Dungeons & Dragons workshops aim to demystify the wildly popular game and teach others how to play in a fun, creative, and socially conscious way. They are more focused on playing the game traditionally (rather than our improv format) but this still develops skills in creative thinking, teamwork, and self-expression. These workshops are far more open to the whole community than typical performance workshops and all revolve around engaging with play and bringing elements of play into your life.

Reviews

“Improv DnD is a showcase of talent from all involved, and a must-watch for those who have a love for improv, Dungeons and Dragons, or all of the above. 9/10” – X-Press Magazine

“So, if D&D is your thing, if you are curious about what D&D is or want to experience Perth’s best nerdiness at its finest, then this show is definitely for you…This show rolls 4.5 on a 5 sided dice.” – Pelican Magazine

★★★★★ “If you want to laugh so hard your face hurts, look no further! ” – Fringefeed

★★★★½”This is what D&D is all about: having fun and getting involved. ” – Isolated Nation

“Improv D&D felt like a warm evening spent with old friends you haven’t seen in years; exactly how a Dungeons and Dragons game should feel.” – Grok

★★★★”Each performer is energetic, quick on their feet, and keen for your participation.” – Fourth Wall Media

“Such a great show. Love seeing this every chance I get. They make me laugh so much I cry. Just makes my heart sing” – Audience review

“Sad I only had tickets for one night. Would have loved to go to every show” – Audience review

“Um so this was great??! I have never played DnD nor probably ever will, but I would most definitely see this again!” – Audience review

“Favourite show of fringe so far. If your even just a little bit nerdy, this is the show for you!” – Audience review

Available Marketing Collaterals

Solo performer portrait photos and GIFs (recently shot for 2022 season)

Variety of cover photos, posters, and group shots.

Production photography from 2018-2021.

Video trailer from 2022 State Theatre Centre season.

Older video trailers from 2017/2018.

Variety of GIFs/memes made over the 6 years.

Previous media releases.

Credits

We have a revolving ensemble of performers and musicians. The two key creatives are Producer Dean Lovatt and Showrunner Scott McArdle.

The show is run by Scott McArdle who is an award-winning writer and director and whose firm hand keeps the structure of the show tight and polished. Not only is McArdle a critically beloved writer and improv performer, but he has been playing Dungeons & Dragons for more than half his life (15 years) and was recently hired to write a D&D musical by a Melbourne-based company.

The show is Produced by Dean Lovatt, a comedy award winning writer, director and performer. Outside of Improv DnD Dean is known for the wildly successful fringe show Bogan Shakespeare which he both writes and performs in. Dean has similarly been playing Dungeons & Dragons for many years.

All our performers have experience in improvised comedy with many of them being members of The Big HOO HAA, Captain Spaceship, Frankie’s, and more. Some of our stalwart comedy performers include St John Cowcher, Daniel Buckle, Stephen Platt, Rhianna Hall, Sam Knox, Tristan McInnes, Harper Nguyen and Kate Willoughby.

The core team of the show all attended drama school at Murdoch Uni together and took their comradery from those days to form this show – since then they have gathered some of the best of Perth’s comedy scene to enrich and enhance the show.

Our musicians comprise of Jackson Griggs, Ryan Hunt, Emily Gelineau, and Maddie Moulin – all who have extensive performance history in music.

Availability

Immediately/always available throughout the year. We are also able to tour multiple casts at once due to the ensemble nature of the show. We currently have three Dungeon Masters, but this will grow to five by September 2022.

Artforms

Comedy, Improvisation

Audience

In our opinion, our target market is 20-30-year-olds with a mix of genders and backgrounds. Our other obvious target market are people who play Dungeons & Dragons. This market growth has not only been shown in the growing popularity of the show over the past 6 years but is accounted for in the statistics released by Wizards of the Coast who own D&D. Recent statistics (2020) show that over 50 million people have played the game to date (since 1974) and that 4.3 billion minutes have been watched on Twitch (the equivalent of 693 million episodes of Game of Thrones). 2021 was the 8th consecutive year of growth for the game. While, historically, the game was primarily played by white men, 40% of players now identify as female as a new wave of role-players who are changing the face of the game as they bring passions for social justice and equality to the literal and metaphorical game table. Now we know that we won't attract all the same audiences to that scale, but we have noticed similar trends in attendees. Anecdotally, we find that more than 50% of our audience are female-identifying - possibly due to trends in Australia around who purchases tickets to live events. We also are finding currently that around 40% of our audience are new attendees to the show as word has spread about the show, and 25% of the audience have never engaged with D&D before. This number has grown than in previous years which we attribute to audience and critical reviews that speak to the accessibility of the show.

Duration

75 mins

Bump In

60 mins

Bump Out

30 mins

Costs

Weekly Fee: $11,300
Per Show: $2,300
Royalties: None

Company Contacts

Dean Lovatt
0432 178 281
dean.g.lovatt@gmail.com



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Technical

Venue Format

We can perform the show proscenium, black box, in the round, or thrust. Our preference is black box or proscenium.

Touring Party

6. 1x Dungeon Master (Scott McArdle) 1x Musician 3x Players 1x NPC (assistant player to the Dungeon Master) NOTE: The team all bump in the show together and McArdle, an experienced technician and designer, liaises with venue technicians about the very simple technical requirements.

Considerations

Maximum performances a week: 6

Does this show require a remount? No

First Possible Performance: 60 mins

Minimum Break Between Shows: 60 mins

Minimum stage dimensions: 5m wide x 3m long. Ideally 600mm high unless seating is raked.

Staging and Set Description: We provide: 1x Specially designed costuming treasure chest. 1x Keyboard,
stand, and stool. Venue provides: 5x stools/chairs for performers
side-of-stage. Backstage area where performers can hear
audience/Dungeon Master from on stage.

Lighting requirements: Front wash (open or warm preferred). LED backlight or sidelight –
alternatively, 3 colour backlight or sidelight will suffice. Front-central
spotlight is preferred but not essential.

Audio requirements: 1x DI that connects to keyboard. FOH speakers for audience. Foldback
speaker for performers. QLab capable laptop for house music (we also
have one that we can bring).

Other technical or performance notes: We require one technician for bump in – ideally a tech who can program the
venue’s lighting board and connect keyboard to sound board.