Photo depicting the three drag queens Issa Man, Jane Don't, and Kyle Mooncakes beaming at a table draped with colorful cloths and adorned with crowns and decadent goblets.

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. Dice 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.

Photo depicting Jane Don't emerging from behind a curtain onto the stage.
Jane Don’t’s checkered outfit was a hit with the audience, or as she called us, the “peasants.” (Photo: Maile Anderson)
Photo depicting Issa Man emerging from backstage carrying a sheet of paper.
Issa Man takes her seat after being introduced. In her hand is a list of her character’s powers. (Photo: Maile Anderson)
Photo depicting the three drag queens laughing and smiling at their table.
From left to right: Issa Man, Jane Don’t, and Kylie Mooncakes getting into the action. (Photo: Maile Anderson)
Photo depicting Issa Man beaming in delight.
One of Issa Man’s reactions to how the journey proceeded: delighted by the powers their character had. (Photo: Maile Anderson)
Photo depicting Jane Don't and Kyle Mooncakes happy at their table.
Jane Don’t (left) raises her arms in celebration while Kylie Mooncakes (right) beams. (Photo: Maile Anderson)
Photo depicting Carson Grubb working on his musical equipment.
Musician Carson Grubb alternated between playing the electric keyboard and the violin, providing the right mood and ambiance to help move the story along. (Photo: Maile Anderson)
Photo depicting Paul Curry speaking into a microphone in front of a colorful background.
Comedian Paul Curry, Dungeon Master, narrator, and player of multiple characters, explains the magical spell the queens will need to restore peace to the realm. (Photo: Maile Anderson)
Photo depicting Jane Don't in a black-and-white checkerboard jumpsuit with mohawk horns and a red-and-white polka-dotted jacket taking her seat at a table with colorful microphones.
After returning from an intermission in the program, Jane Don’t (center) takes her seat, and the queens get ready to continue their magical journey. (Photo: Maile Anderson)

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)

Before you move on to the next story …
The South Seattle Emerald is brought to you by Rainmakers. Rainmakers give recurring gifts at any amount. With over 1,000 Rainmakers, the Emerald is truly community-driven local media. Help us keep BIPOC-led media free and accessible. 
If just half of our readers signed up to give $6 a month, we wouldn't have to fundraise for the rest of the year. Small amounts make a difference. 
We cannot do this work without you. Become a Rainmaker today!