A few days ago I came home from work and swapped my dice for a bag of dice, then I set off to attend the latest production of a local theater group called Stage and Steel. Before I moved to Pittsburgh Stage and Steel performed a play entitled Ender’s Game which followed a group of tabletop adventurers and their characters as they battled with the villainous creatures called polygoons. Unfortunately I never got to see that play but when I heard that they’d be putting on a sequel I knew that I couldn’t miss the chance to see it.
Stage and Steel is a local theater group that performs plays several times throughout the year. Some of their shows are creative takes on stories like Robin Hood and King Arthur, but many others such as Ender’s Game and Polygoon’s Revenge are completely original.
Steven, played by Michael Kiser, is in the process of writing a fantasy novel based on the characters and adventures of his old tabletop gaming group. Unfortunately he’s been stuck partway through the book for some time now and his deadline is fast approaching. Meanwhile the heroes and the villainous polygoons have been forced to play out the same scene over and over again for days. The polygoons and their adversaries clash over a captured elf named Brandis, played by the very talented Alyson Finelli, who has a strange secret.
One of the most unique aspects about Stage and Steel is that their shows are interactive theater, you get to cheer for the characters you like and boo the ones you don’t. Members of the audience are even asked to join the actors on stage briefly in most shows, if that thought terrifies you don’t worry. If an introvert like me can do it than I can assure you anyone can. All of the actors are wonderful people and it’s easy to see how much love, effort, and creativity they put into every performance. They even come out to talk to the audience after every show, it’s interesting to see the actors stepping out of their characters as they leave the stage.
Live swordplay is a big part of every Stage and Steel production, the well choreographed battles between cast members are very exciting. The costumes and armor, made by Samuel Kiser and Jen Gilbert, are also of the highest caliber. The makeup for Polygoon Leader and the other polygoons is fantastic and the actors really got into their roles making them seem even more like monstrous fiends.
This might sound strange but I’ve always felt like the characters I create for campaigns take on a life of their own. Sure I give them their start but I like to think that they go off and have their own adventures. Polygoon’s Revenge explores the relationship between characters and their creators as well as the connection between authors and the stories they create.
Polygoon’s Revenge is going to be performed again throughout the coming weekend. If you’re a tabletop gamer, a fan of swordplay, a theater lover, or you’re just looking for a great way to spend your evening I strongly recommend attending one of the shows.