Front Row Reviewers

May 18, 2024 | Reviews

Interview with Connor Bond About The Lords of Misrule Co’s New Production: “Dungeons of Misrule”

Front Row Reviewers

Front Row Reviewers

Interview Review by Jennifer Mustoe, Front Row Reviewers

Let me say this before we begin the interview. Connor Bond is one of the nicest men I’ve ever interviewed and I am happy to support not only this production, Dungeons of Misrule, but but his one-of-a-kind company, Lords of Misrule. I am honored that he is allowing Front Row Reviewers to promote him as he prepares for his next production.

Front Row Reviewers (FRR): What is the craziest or most creative way you can think of to summarize the plot of this production?
Connor Bond (CB): In this live Role Playing Game (RPG), the audience rolls the dice, creates the main characters, adds their own wandering monsters into the dungeon, and curses the players with challenges like only speaking in one-syllable words. Each night is a new dungeon and a new adventure! From a haunted ocean where the Black Salt Storm rages to a vampire’s 100th death day party, the players always go in blind and discover the devious monsters, puzzles, and traps along with the audience!

FRR: If you had to describe the process of putting on this show with one word, what would it be and why?
CB: Playtesting – trying something out, going back, trying something different. Instead of just playing on a table, we’re throwing on costumes, moving around the stage and acting things out, and we’ve had to hack together a ruleset to make that actually work!

FRR: What is the most interesting, funny, wonderful thing you’ve learned while working on this production?
CB: The most interesting, funny, wonderful thing I’ve learned is all of the funny voices and characters my cast comes up with in the moment!

FRR: What do you do right before each performance to get ready? Right after each performance?
CB: Personally, I always watch a few episodes of Whose Line Is It Anyway before a show. Before we go on, we play a few improv games, look out at the audience, throw up a little, and remind ourselves that as long as we’re having fun, they’ll have fun, too. After the show we usually hang out, hit up the biker bar Duffy’s and get some sandwiches.

FRR: What is your favorite costume?
CB: My favorite costume so far has been Calvin wearing an Over The Garden Wall Cloak and a white wig, trying to say Zweihänder (a German word for a two-handed sword) in his character’s New Zealand accent.

FRR: How are you involved in the show?
CB: Director, Game Master/Narrator, referee, and Master of Ceremonies.

FRR: What is your favorite aspect of this production?
CB: The interactivity! We really are playing a role-playing game, the players can really die. We have the freedom to break a lot storytelling “rules” and have fun hanging on for the ride.

FRR: Tell us about your cast.
Game Master: Connor Bond
Player Characters: Summer Hancey, Calvin Dittmore, and Patrick Smith.
Non-Player Characters: Bre Alonzo, Nami Eskandarian, RG Walker, and Kyle Smith
Barbarister the Incredible Horse (Tech): Wil Greer
Hamfund the Squire: Bekah Ogan
Poltroon the Court Jester: Chase Dickerson
CB: Summer has been one of my RPG players for almost a decade now, and this is her first time performing in a show! Calvin, also one of my regular RPG players, taught me how to do Improv with his workshops at SLCC, and its really interesting to have my teacher now be my cast member. Patrick, RJ, Nami and Bre have all been in Lords of Misrule shows with me for years now, and their expertise at these chaotic shows really shines through here. Kyle hasn’t even seen a Lord of Misrule show, so we’re really throwing him into the deep end here! Finally we have Bekah as Hamfund the Squire and Chase as Poltroon the Jester, and they only have a 1 in 12 for each character chance of even showing up, but when they do, it’s hilarious.

FRR: What is your background and training as a director?
CB: I come from a film background, directing short films usually. This is my first time directing a theatre show, although since I’m more of the Game Master, its a very non-traditional directing style. Instead of going over lines and scenes, we go over motivations and reacting to the player’s choices.

FRR: What is the biggest challenge of directing in general?
CB: There are so many great ideas that my team has, and it’s hard to say “no.” Luckily, my crew understands that we’re all growing this strange new format for a show together, and have been great about catching my esoteric vision.

FRR: What is the biggest challenge of directing this show?
CB: The fact that the players are going in blind means rehearsing with the NPCs is an incredibly unique challenge. We have to think about the players as a massive possibility space and rely on instincts honed from years of Game Mastering RPGs ourselves.

FRR: What are the surprises and delights you’re finding in directing this show?
CB: Just how fun playing an RPG like this is–getting up, moving around, relying on NPC actors to portray your NPCs for you. I think we’ve accidentally reinvented LARPing (Live Action Role Playing), and now there’s no going back…
The fact that the players are going in blind means rehearsing with the NPCs is an incredibly unique challenge. We have to think about the players as a massive possibility space and rely on instincts honed from years of Game Mastering RPGs ourselves.

FRR: How long did it take to create and develop The Lords of Misrule?
CB: 4 years.

FRR: Is there anything else you would like to tell us about this project?
CB: The show is free to attend, but you can donate during the show.

The Lords of Misrule present Dungeons of Misrule
666 State Street, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84111
June 2, 2024 2:00 PM “Black Salt Sea”
June 3, 2024 8:00 PM “The Goblin Grinder”
June 5, 2024 8:00 PM “Dead Man’s Party”
(FRR’s suggestion–since each night is a different story, come to all three!)

It’ll be a fundraiser for Genderbands who provide gender affirming care assistance. So needed here in Utah!

FYI: You are welcome to commission a show from us, or hire us to teach a workshop. Rates based on your budget. We license use of our scripts for free to anyone using them to support a good cause. Email us for permission.

Note: Dungeons of Misrule is for 18+
Further Note: When I asked Connor if patrons aren’t familiar with “Dungeons and Dragons”, will they still understand and enjoy, he answered with an emphatic yes!

Front Row Reviewers

Front Row Reviewers


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