Of Dice and Men tagged posts

Of Dice and Men Levels Up from Play to Movie

Of Dice and Men (ODaM), the play about what it’s really like to play D&D, by Cameron McNary, is becoming a film. We’ve been talking about this play since Castles and Cooks began, and have tracked it from a humble stage reading at the first PAX East, to the first staged production at PAX Prime 2010, all the way through its various performances around the country, including at the Brick theatre in New York City in July of 2012.

Based on a screenplay by the man himself, McNary and a team of talented thespians will be bringing the hilarious, heart warming, and occasionally gut wrenching adventures of one middle aged D&D group to the big screen. The story is a “blisteringly funny and deeply affecting comedy feature film about six tabletop roleplaying gamers and what happens when one of them enlists to go to Iraq.”

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Of Dice and Men Premiering in NYC on July 7th!

Playwright, actor, builder of America, postage enthusiast, and friend of the site Cameron McNary’s grand gaming opus Of Dice and Men is finally getting a premiere in New York City. The play about a group of 30 something D&D players has had performances on the West coast and even a college production, but this will be the first time it appears in New York City.

On July 7th the show will debut as part of the Brick Theater’s GAMEPLAY 2012, a festival inspired by gaming. The show is being performed by the Dysfunctional Theater Company and will run from July 7th till the 27th. A full calendar and tickets are available at the Brick Theater website and go for $15.

We cannot urge you enough to go see this play. Whether you are a gamer, just know some gamers, or enjoy funny and cathartic experiences, this is the show for you. Since the first PAX East, three years ago, when Jesse and I saw the first stage reading, we’ve been hooked.

If you aren’t sure (why the hell not!?) then check out the e-book version of the play. You can read an excerpt for free or just buy it (a much better option). It is available in every e-book format imaginable here.

Also here’s a trailer for the performance.

Seriously, stop reading and buy a ticket. We’ll see you at the show.

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Storming the Castle! Of Dice and Men Coming to Oglethorpe University

Of Dice and Men (ODaM), the Dungeons & Dragons play created by Cameron McNary, had the premiere of its first full production (outside of PAX) this weekend at the IMPACT Theatre in Berkeley, California. Meanwhile, down in Georgia, a college production of the play is about to kick off at Oglethorpe University.  Recently we spoke with Danielle Hitchcock – a senior at Oglethorpe who will be directing the play – about her expectations for the production, how she found out about the play and most importantly what super-power she wants.

As a member of Oglethorpe’s Alpha Psi Omega (APO) theatre fraternity, Hitchcock became aware of the play after a fellow member heard about the performance at Pax Prime last year. Several of the fraternity members are gamers, and while Hitchcock has only recently been exposed to tabletop gaming, she was excited by the message and prospects of the show. “I would say that the thing that really hooked me is just how real it is.  The characters are all real people.  They are so alive and the emotions are so tangible throughout because everything in this script is truthful. It’s really the truth of the relationships and emotions that got me.”

Hitchcock remarked that there wasn’t a singular “aha” moment where she knew she had to direct the play, but it was more the emotional connection she developed to the characters and story, despite not being a hardcore gamer. “Most of my friend group is composed of pretty hardcore gamers, so these are people that I know and care about…The characters in this play are the people I see everyday and the tight knit friendships that Cameron displays in ODaM are ones that I have.”

As Hitchcock also mentioned, it helps that the play “is absolutely hysterical, but that’s just gravy.”

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Get Thee to Berkeley California: Of Dice and Men Premieres at the Impact Theatre on August 25th!

Written by Castles and Cooks favorite playwright – Cameron McNary – Of Dice and Men is the story of a group of older gamers and investigates the passion behind why we play Dungeons and Dragons and who we choose to play with. Equal parts funny and touching it’ll make you want to give your friends a big hug and then go roam through the Tomb of Horrors with them.

We’ve been following Cameron and his play ever since the first PAX East where a stage reading absolutely brought the house down. Six months later at Pax Prime, the first ever production stole the show when over 550 people packed a theater at the Seattle gaming show. Frankly, we’re fanatical about it and anxiously await for a production to come to the east coast so we can bask in its glory (fingers crossed for PAX East 2012). If you’re a hardcore player, weekend dungeon delver or just someone that enjoys well written theatre, you’ll love this.

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Pax East Wrap-up

PAX East 2011 has come and gone and based on the numbers, it was the biggest and best PAX yet. Over the next few days we’ll have full articles discussing some of our favorite moments, people, and products that we checked out during the show; but for now here’s a rundown of the highlights:

Met up with Cameron McNary, playwright, and author of Of Dice and Men the play about Dungeons and Dragons that stole the show at last year’s PAX Prime. The e-book for Of Dice and Men is now available and is definitely worth your time and money. The e-book site actually lets you read a sample for free, so there’s no reason not to click that link and check it out. Cameron was nice enough to update us on the status of future productions. The play will be debuting in a production by the Impact Theatre in Berkeley California later this summer. The theatre has yet to officially unveil its summer schedule. He also hopes to have a production in Washington D.C. sometime in the future. Also he didn’t exactly rule out one day bringing a full production of the play to PAX East provided that proper financing (among other things) could be found. Here’s to hoping that occurs sooner rather than later, Of Dice and Men is brilliant. If you still aren’t convinced, check out our recap of the stage reading from PAX East 2010.

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Of Dice and Men: The Play that Conquered PAX East

Of Dice and MenBack in March I had the chance to attend Pax East. Between play test sessions with the soon to be released Dark Sun campaign setting, I made time for gaming panels. Among them was one that involved a stage reading of a play called  “Of Dice and Men.”

I have to admit, a play about Dungeons and Dragons sounded a little too good to be true (I mean, look what they did with the D&D movie), but if they were brave enough to bring it to the hive of geekdom that was Pax East, it was at least worth giving a chance. I was blown away, and it ended up being my favorite part of the entire weekend.

A stage reading involves the actors moving around stage with binders, reading their characters from the script. There aren’t any costumes or set pieces to speak of, but other than that, the players act out the performance as it otherwise would be done in a full production. Meanwhile, another person reads the stage directions and settings aloud in a narrator-like fashion.

Normally I wouldn’t spoil the plot of a movie or theater production, for fear of diminishing the experience for anyone that sees it. However, in this case I’m going to make an exception, because there just isn’t anything else out there right now like “Of Dice and Men”. To understand how great it is involves knowing the story. What follows is a semi-spoiler filled explanation of the plot.

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