PHOTO ESSAY: ‘Dungeons & Drag Queens’ Uses Fantasy and Hilarity on Magical Journey

by Maile Anderson

I’ll admit I’m a novice when it comes to Dungeons & Dragons, and my first time watching the game came with a twist — with Seattle drag queens playing the fantasy role-playing game in front of a live audience. The show “Dungeons & Drag Queens” stars drag performers Jane Don’t, Issa Man, and Kylie Mooncakes, all tasked with the quest of finding the gayest wizard and casting a powerful spell to bring peace to the magical realm. Hosted by Comedy on Broadway, a local organization that promotes various entertainment shows, comedy, and stand-up, the event took place at Hale’s Ales Palladium on March 3.

During the game, stand-up comedian Paul Curry played the Dungeon Master, narrator, and various magical creatures the queens encountered. Improv musician Carson Grubb used his violin, electric guitar, and keyboard to add suspense and heighten emotions for the audience — or “peasants,” as the performers playfully called us. He says they were rolled on a projector, and the journey took many hilarious twists amid enthusiastic “peasant” participation. The audience was filled with D&D die-hards, and as someone who isn’t familiar with the game at all, it was a fun introduction. After this experience, I’d definitely want to study the rules before playing D&D myself. In the end, the queens were able to defeat the monster with help from the “peasants,” and cast the spell they learned from the gayest wizard in the realm.

Dungeons & Drag Queens started as a monthly show about six months ago. Catch Jane Don’t, Issa Man, and Kylie Mooncakes at the next event on Saturday, March 26, at Jai Thai on Capitol Hill. Follow the event at its official Instagram account.

maile anderson has had the immense privilege to travel to amazing places with a camera beside her. She believes documenting the changing world, whether in the form of protests or other cultures, is important work that heightens awareness in this time of social justice. Follow her on IG: @tinypicturetaker.

📸 Featured Image: The Queens beam at the “peasants,” at first hesitant in figuring out their role, but they eventually came around when they realized they could help defeat the game’s monsters. (Photo: Maile Anderson)

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