The rowdy commoners love spicy wordplay, but at court, that’s a no-go! A small theater troupe reinvents their play as their art takes them from one demanding audience to the next.

Players/GM 6 players + 1-2 facilitators

Time 4 hours

Language English and Danish

Age limit 16+

How much do you have to read 7-8 pages 

  • Joyful

  • Melodramatic

  • Theater


How could you bear a partnership so vile? – Theseus, in Racine’s Phèdre 

The play’s the thing! In The Lesser Players’ Tale, a grubby troupe of Renaissance actors take their best play, a racy tragedy, on the road. Along the way, they’ll furiously adapt that play to the absurd whims of each new audience. 

Participants will perform The Lusty Queen (a sloppy, 10-minute adaptation of Racine’s Phèdre) many times as they scramble to master the material while holding their little family together across danger and opportunity.

Note: Good acting is emphatically NOT required–there’s no time for it in a ten minute play with improvised dialogue that includes:

  • A treacherous plot to frame a good Prince for unspeakable deeds
  • A star-crossed romance and a stepmother’s skeevy love for her skeeved-out stepson
  • A King who is dead…or is he?
  • Two brisk deaths at sea, witnessed by a clown
  • Adoption! Suicide! Scheming servants!
  • And, of course, a lusty Queen

The designers

Jason and Lizzie are a US-based writing team of award-winning game designers. They share an abiding love for early modern theater and the dirty charlatans who made it. Jason is best-known for designing Fiasco, while Lizzie is best known for her monograph and blog series Leaving Mundania. They take a hands-on approach to the player experience and revel in period details and ridiculous, heartfelt drama.