At our August meeting we had a special guest (Cass) who explained a world most of us don’t know about.

Have you heard of ‘theatre of the mind’? It is theatre, well, a story of theatre, but it comes about from people acting out roles and developing according to various rules agreed by the players. What is going to happen is not known until it happens but all the players work within their character’ abilities towards a shared goal - perhaps to eliminate weeds from the Earth!

Cass explained very well what she would do as a player of Dungeons and Dragons, just one of the games that generate a theatre of the mind - interacting with the master of the dungeon to take action but doing so only in the mind - hers’ and that of the other players. There are no props necessary, no real stage but perhaps a complex description of the venue for the activity, no costumes but descriptions of them and tools etc that characters have, ….


You can get a relatively good idea of this by visiting https://whatnerd.com/what-is-theater-of-the-mind-dnd/

What Cass then does for a job, beyond playing D&D for a job, is provide a ‘commentary' of the game that people are playing, offering a story that is developed in real time. The commentary is a recording of the game which is edited to make it into a story that makes sense as a podcast. The process of throwing of dice, and such things are edited out because they are not so ‘story-like’ as the mechanics of the game and the listener can focus on what happens in the story.

To have a listen yourself, you can go to https://www.sanspantsradio.com/podcasts/dd-is-for-nerds/ and if you scroll down you will find you can ‘listen online’ and start listening! You might need to make sure to start with episode one of whatever series you choose (scroll down to find it in the list).

Theatre of the mind is reminiscent of radio plays for most of us. The difference is perhaps in the way they come about - we used to listen to scripts being read by players but the theatre of the mind Cass talks about is live improvisation.

If you are interested in podcasts, perhaps visit https://player.fm/podcasts/Australian-Theatre and see what you might like.

You can also https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/category/drama for British drama podcasts, or https://www.nfsa.gov.au/tags/radio-drama for Australian podcasts.