Masters of the Dark Realm

Critics

LemonMeter

88 %

Reviews: 4

Audience

LemonMeter

100 %

Reviews: 14

Fantasy collides with reality when Force of Nature presents the world premiere of Thomas J. Misuraca's “Masters of the Dark Realm.”

When a group of long-time friends end their fantasy role playing game, Masters of the Dark Realm, they seek out new quests in the real world.
Will a tragedy bring them together to slay their dragons, or cause their fellowship to fall apart?

Featuring the talents of Noah Kaplan, Rachel Christianson,
Kerry Kazmierowicztrimm, Brett Gustafson, and Daisy Donohue.
Directed by Force of Nature veteran Corey Chappell.

Thomas J. Misuraca is a globally produced playwright with numerous writing awards to his credit. His musical Geeks! is currently running Off-Broadway.

Masters of the Dark Realm
Fridays & Saturdays
June 21 - July 13
8:30PM
Tickets: $20
fonprods.tix.com

The Actors Workout Studio
4735 Lankershim Blvd
North Hollywood, CA
www.fonprods.tix.com
(818) 934-1366

Use discount code TROG for 20% off regular priced tickets

Reviews

Avatar

You can never go wrong at a Force of Nature show and Masters of the Dark Realm is no exception. The gamers-gone-mad melodramatic comedy by Tom Misuraca is a whirlwind of vocabularic fun and farce mixed with jolts of reality as the five players slip in and out of their gaming identities and real world relationships in a desperate effort to make it all work out. Corey Chappell is a real life game wife and a clever director with a talent for pacing and choreography that serves the actors perfectly. Emotions run amok among the tight group of friends as they play their game and live their lives. The energetic cast works well together.
Noah Kaplan and Kerry Kazmierowicztrimm create a credible balance of opposites while Rachel Christianson’s layered performance is contrasted with the remarkably expressive work of Daisy Donohue. Brett Gustafson is as always just full of surprises. And thanks to all Misuraca’s Masters of the Dark Realm is a crazy clash of comedy and stark reality like none other you will find on a small stage in the Valley.

sweet - Craig Taylor


Matt Ritchey

There are some very fun and well-explored themes in Masters of the Dark Realm, but the show itself has just enough weaknesses in its fabric to make the whole thing feel stretched.

sweet-sour - Matt Ritchey - Gia On the Move - ...read full review


Avatar

Masters of the Realm is really an homage to the D&D game and the popular movies that followed...

Director Corey Chappell does a superb job making fantasy role-playing an art.

sweet - Mary Montoro - All About the Stage - ...read full review


Avatar

As a patron of the Arts, this play is of the highest production value for theater of any kind: community or Broadway! Entertaining visuals! Engaging story writing! Simply stunning visual effects, costumes, direction and of course, spot-on acting! Truly impressive! On par to mainstream theater companies, and with broad relevance and appeal.

There is significant societal relevance in the story & plot, which belies my unfamiliarity with the title's gamer associations. It's a story about growth, interdependence, and the inner strength we all have within us. We are not defined by how we appear, but how life challenges us and forces us to evolve.

One can always see remakes/re-productions of a familiar dramas, but watching original shows which should reach national preeminence is on the cutting edge of the future of theater. This is historic theater in the making!

Thank you for bring me on this journey!

sweet - Ervin Fang


Avatar

Masters of the Dark Realm was an adventure for me. I have never been into role-playing games, so I wondered if I could find relevance to my life in this work. What unfolded was an engaging look at five players who meet every week to carry out the “quests” they’ve been creating together for years. The characters are all in different stages in their acceptance of “adulting”, which is something we all go through, so yes, there is meaning for everyone here. It was endearing to watch as the friends grew, each in their own way, finding the inner wherewithal to step up and offer support to two of their own in the wake of grievous loss.
There was also plenty of humour to be found in the quirks of the nerdy (their own word) quintet. I sincerely enjoyed this play, and am glad I decided to try something different.

sweet - Susan Ekwall


Avatar

FON Productions never fails to disappoint. I have been to many of their performances over the years and this one is no exception to the gold standard they have set. You’ll leave the performance thinking two things.. “I didn’t see that coming” and “wow, that’s what friends are for”. Jerry, Sebastian, Corey, Andy and the whole team have once again delivered great entertainment at bargain basement prices. Methinks they will need bigger venues soon.

sweet - Jude S. Walko


Avatar

This is a great play about great friendships! It's a well-staged story, a tale that gets more and more complex as it moves along. The characters here grow and change together in surprising ways. It's all done with a lot of humor, and I could very much relate to it, even though I've never been a participant in role-playing games. I highly recommend seeing this show!

sweet - Evan Baughfman


Avatar

Tom Misuraca gives us a heartfelt and funny look at the game of life, love and friendship in “Masters of the Dark Realm” presentes by Force of Nature Productions. The cast is on point and the direction is crisp. The metaphor of life as a quest and the painful necessity of growth with all its concomitant change, loss and reconciliation is sincere but also playful without minimizing the terrible challenges of the Dark Realms through which we all must pass—but hopefully with a fellowship as resilient as the one presented on stage. The cast is totally committed and clearly loving their characters but special shout out to Kerry Kazmierowicztrimm for embodying and Tom Misuraca for authoring “Frank”—the character who represents that geek/nerd in all of us: achingly constrained by the rules we impose on ourselves, praying for order, terrified by change but desperately needing the fellowship that will fight alongside of us, heal us when we fail and ultimately cherish our friendship.

sweet - Tom Jones


Avatar

You may know Force of Nature Productions from their fun, spooky and kooky sides but I encourage you not to miss out on the relatable deep dive into friendship, loss, love and life that is Masters of The Dark Realm. Gamers and nerds will enjoy some special nods and laughs, but the underlying story is sure to resonate with a much larger audience.

sweet - Sara Kinne - Nightmarish Conjurings - ...read full review


Avatar

SUPERB! What a wonderful piece of theatre. Tom Misuraca's writing never disappoints. Ms. Chappell's direction was stunning, her complete use of the space guiding these 5 mega-talented actors was a complete joy to watch. Every character was brought to life in a way that was so fun to watch; I loved every minute! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

sweet - Stacy Thompson


Avatar

Full of heart and laughter, Masters shows you the love and soul of a group of longtime friends who must cope with growing up. And while it isn’t always easy, it’s a reminder that your friends are the family you get to choose. Friday’s and Saturday’s for the next couple weeks.

sweet - Austin Webb


Avatar

Directed by Corey Chappell and featuring the talents of Noah Kaplan, Rachel Christianso, Kerry Kazmierowicztrimm, Brett Gustafson and Daisy Donohue, Masters of The Dark Realm was a great mix of uplifting and gut-wrenching, silly and somber. Nerds like us will enjoy some memorable inside jokes, but this story is relatable on a much larger scale.

sweet - Sara Kinne - The Haunt List - ...read full review


Avatar

A smart, fun ride of a show. A well written and well played show that takes us on the journey of 5 friends as they discover the true value of the friendship they had taken for granted. This show is funny and ultimately quite rewarding. Go see it, I did. :)

sweet - Duffy Hudson


Avatar

Force of Nature Productions has done it again. Masters of the dark realm is their latest production that delves into the popular game of dungeons and dragons. It is a fantasy/real world production. The cast was just out standing. They are one unit while on stage, you can relate to at least one of these characters or know a friend like them. Tom was able to balance the fantasy and real life. You can see that each person so much into their character that you don’t want it to end! I highly recommend to see it before it’s too late!
This fabulous show has been directed by the wonderful Corey and she found the actors for each character and she worked endlessly to create a family feel with this group of friends!!
Hats off to you all again for another amazing show!!!!

sweet - Leanne Hall


Avatar

What a great night at the theatre! Thomas J. Misuraca’s writing brilliantly harmonizes fantasy reality hilarity joy and tragedy. And the actors “slay” it making you feel as if you’re watching a bunch of friends just hanging out. It’s just a testament to the hard work put in by all. This is what a night at the theatre should be, entertaining! Bravissimo!

sweet - Christy Davenport


Avatar

The cast has a great chemistry in telling a story that is deep, heartfelt, comedic, yet heart-wrenching. Very tastefully and respectfully portrayed. Kudos to the writer, Tom Misuraca, The Director, Corey Chappell, and the entire cast: Noah Kaplan, Rachel Christianson, Kerry Kazmierowicztrimm, Brett Gustafson, and Daisy Donohue.

sweet - Susan Dziama


Avatar

I saw this show on opening night and thoroughly enjoyed it! It is a very charming, moving play centered around a group of friends who have gamed together for years. A life-changing event has brought them to a crossroad, and they must seek new direction, while trying to keep the friendship together in the face of a tragic situation.
The play wonderfully blends together the stark realities of the challenges we all face in life with the fantasy, imagination and heroism of RPGs .
The cast works beautifully together, it is well directed, and I would recommend this to anyone looking for great live theater!

sweet - Kyle


Avatar

MASTERS OF THE DARK REALM Review By Ali Phillips

I’ve never been part of the gaming world yet I still love the Netflix series “Stranger Things".
Weird yet sweet, it embraces the importance of connecting with others…friendship through some shared passion that makes you smile and reflect on camaraderie you have in your own life. Tom Misuraca’s play “Masters of The Dark Realm” has that same sensibility in spades.

With the throw of the dice, the unexpected happens to many of us. Such is life and the double entendre “Masters of The Dark Realm”. The first meaning is obvious...the name of the game they meet various nights to play. The 2nd, well, you’ll just have to see for yourself. The story took a turn I was not expecting.

The underlying foundation of ANY get-together is fellowship, is it not? Within the layers of a geeky game gathering (those like me that never got into such games perceive it as such), people striving to connect got more than they expected….they grow up through circumstance. Art imitates life.
The layers of emotion we as humans endure is conveyed effectively by the 4 actors in the play. This is a result of not just good acting and writing, but obviously really good direction by Corey Chappell.
The characters have completely different personalities bringing their all to the table. Sharing their fervent love for the game, they meet in a cozy room for gamers put together by set designer Jerry Chappell. My favorite character was Brett (the first to elicit a hearty laugh from me), but I enjoyed all the actors equally. Like the kids in Stranger Things, these adults are obsessed.
But in life, there are times when sudden unexpected situations can make an all-encompassing game night crumble. Where then, is the friendship?
Perhaps you have friends you can call my 'music friend', my 'writing friend', my 'movie pal', 'work buddy', etc. When there’s an effort made to keep friendship alive after the initial reason you became pals falls apart (I can relate as I used to have a writing group), that speaks volumes for the people involved. I think many will relate to this.

If you like being entertained and also moved, this smart and sweet nerdy play is still here, but not for long.
Don't miss this! It only runs for a couple more weekends.

sweet - Ali Phillips


Matt Ritchey

There are some very fun and well-explored themes in Masters of the Dark Realm, but the show itself has just enough weaknesses in its fabric to make the whole thing feel stretched.

sweet-sour - Matt Ritchey - Gia On the Move - ...read full review


Avatar

Masters of the Realm is really an homage to the D&D game and the popular movies that followed...

Director Corey Chappell does a superb job making fantasy role-playing an art.

sweet - Mary Montoro - All About the Stage - ...read full review


Avatar

You may know Force of Nature Productions from their fun, spooky and kooky sides but I encourage you not to miss out on the relatable deep dive into friendship, loss, love and life that is Masters of The Dark Realm. Gamers and nerds will enjoy some special nods and laughs, but the underlying story is sure to resonate with a much larger audience.

sweet - Sara Kinne - Nightmarish Conjurings - ...read full review


Avatar

Directed by Corey Chappell and featuring the talents of Noah Kaplan, Rachel Christianso, Kerry Kazmierowicztrimm, Brett Gustafson and Daisy Donohue, Masters of The Dark Realm was a great mix of uplifting and gut-wrenching, silly and somber. Nerds like us will enjoy some memorable inside jokes, but this story is relatable on a much larger scale.

sweet - Sara Kinne - The Haunt List - ...read full review


Avatar

You can never go wrong at a Force of Nature show and Masters of the Dark Realm is no exception. The gamers-gone-mad melodramatic comedy by Tom Misuraca is a whirlwind of vocabularic fun and farce mixed with jolts of reality as the five players slip in and out of their gaming identities and real world relationships in a desperate effort to make it all work out. Corey Chappell is a real life game wife and a clever director with a talent for pacing and choreography that serves the actors perfectly. Emotions run amok among the tight group of friends as they play their game and live their lives. The energetic cast works well together.
Noah Kaplan and Kerry Kazmierowicztrimm create a credible balance of opposites while Rachel Christianson’s layered performance is contrasted with the remarkably expressive work of Daisy Donohue. Brett Gustafson is as always just full of surprises. And thanks to all Misuraca’s Masters of the Dark Realm is a crazy clash of comedy and stark reality like none other you will find on a small stage in the Valley.

sweet - Craig Taylor


Avatar

As a patron of the Arts, this play is of the highest production value for theater of any kind: community or Broadway! Entertaining visuals! Engaging story writing! Simply stunning visual effects, costumes, direction and of course, spot-on acting! Truly impressive! On par to mainstream theater companies, and with broad relevance and appeal.

There is significant societal relevance in the story & plot, which belies my unfamiliarity with the title's gamer associations. It's a story about growth, interdependence, and the inner strength we all have within us. We are not defined by how we appear, but how life challenges us and forces us to evolve.

One can always see remakes/re-productions of a familiar dramas, but watching original shows which should reach national preeminence is on the cutting edge of the future of theater. This is historic theater in the making!

Thank you for bring me on this journey!

sweet - Ervin Fang


Avatar

Masters of the Dark Realm was an adventure for me. I have never been into role-playing games, so I wondered if I could find relevance to my life in this work. What unfolded was an engaging look at five players who meet every week to carry out the “quests” they’ve been creating together for years. The characters are all in different stages in their acceptance of “adulting”, which is something we all go through, so yes, there is meaning for everyone here. It was endearing to watch as the friends grew, each in their own way, finding the inner wherewithal to step up and offer support to two of their own in the wake of grievous loss.
There was also plenty of humour to be found in the quirks of the nerdy (their own word) quintet. I sincerely enjoyed this play, and am glad I decided to try something different.

sweet - Susan Ekwall


Avatar

FON Productions never fails to disappoint. I have been to many of their performances over the years and this one is no exception to the gold standard they have set. You’ll leave the performance thinking two things.. “I didn’t see that coming” and “wow, that’s what friends are for”. Jerry, Sebastian, Corey, Andy and the whole team have once again delivered great entertainment at bargain basement prices. Methinks they will need bigger venues soon.

sweet - Jude S. Walko


Avatar

This is a great play about great friendships! It's a well-staged story, a tale that gets more and more complex as it moves along. The characters here grow and change together in surprising ways. It's all done with a lot of humor, and I could very much relate to it, even though I've never been a participant in role-playing games. I highly recommend seeing this show!

sweet - Evan Baughfman


Avatar

Tom Misuraca gives us a heartfelt and funny look at the game of life, love and friendship in “Masters of the Dark Realm” presentes by Force of Nature Productions. The cast is on point and the direction is crisp. The metaphor of life as a quest and the painful necessity of growth with all its concomitant change, loss and reconciliation is sincere but also playful without minimizing the terrible challenges of the Dark Realms through which we all must pass—but hopefully with a fellowship as resilient as the one presented on stage. The cast is totally committed and clearly loving their characters but special shout out to Kerry Kazmierowicztrimm for embodying and Tom Misuraca for authoring “Frank”—the character who represents that geek/nerd in all of us: achingly constrained by the rules we impose on ourselves, praying for order, terrified by change but desperately needing the fellowship that will fight alongside of us, heal us when we fail and ultimately cherish our friendship.

sweet - Tom Jones


Avatar

SUPERB! What a wonderful piece of theatre. Tom Misuraca's writing never disappoints. Ms. Chappell's direction was stunning, her complete use of the space guiding these 5 mega-talented actors was a complete joy to watch. Every character was brought to life in a way that was so fun to watch; I loved every minute! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

sweet - Stacy Thompson


Avatar

Full of heart and laughter, Masters shows you the love and soul of a group of longtime friends who must cope with growing up. And while it isn’t always easy, it’s a reminder that your friends are the family you get to choose. Friday’s and Saturday’s for the next couple weeks.

sweet - Austin Webb


Avatar

A smart, fun ride of a show. A well written and well played show that takes us on the journey of 5 friends as they discover the true value of the friendship they had taken for granted. This show is funny and ultimately quite rewarding. Go see it, I did. :)

sweet - Duffy Hudson


Avatar

Force of Nature Productions has done it again. Masters of the dark realm is their latest production that delves into the popular game of dungeons and dragons. It is a fantasy/real world production. The cast was just out standing. They are one unit while on stage, you can relate to at least one of these characters or know a friend like them. Tom was able to balance the fantasy and real life. You can see that each person so much into their character that you don’t want it to end! I highly recommend to see it before it’s too late!
This fabulous show has been directed by the wonderful Corey and she found the actors for each character and she worked endlessly to create a family feel with this group of friends!!
Hats off to you all again for another amazing show!!!!

sweet - Leanne Hall


Avatar

What a great night at the theatre! Thomas J. Misuraca’s writing brilliantly harmonizes fantasy reality hilarity joy and tragedy. And the actors “slay” it making you feel as if you’re watching a bunch of friends just hanging out. It’s just a testament to the hard work put in by all. This is what a night at the theatre should be, entertaining! Bravissimo!

sweet - Christy Davenport


Avatar

The cast has a great chemistry in telling a story that is deep, heartfelt, comedic, yet heart-wrenching. Very tastefully and respectfully portrayed. Kudos to the writer, Tom Misuraca, The Director, Corey Chappell, and the entire cast: Noah Kaplan, Rachel Christianson, Kerry Kazmierowicztrimm, Brett Gustafson, and Daisy Donohue.

sweet - Susan Dziama


Avatar

I saw this show on opening night and thoroughly enjoyed it! It is a very charming, moving play centered around a group of friends who have gamed together for years. A life-changing event has brought them to a crossroad, and they must seek new direction, while trying to keep the friendship together in the face of a tragic situation.
The play wonderfully blends together the stark realities of the challenges we all face in life with the fantasy, imagination and heroism of RPGs .
The cast works beautifully together, it is well directed, and I would recommend this to anyone looking for great live theater!

sweet - Kyle


Avatar

MASTERS OF THE DARK REALM Review By Ali Phillips

I’ve never been part of the gaming world yet I still love the Netflix series “Stranger Things".
Weird yet sweet, it embraces the importance of connecting with others…friendship through some shared passion that makes you smile and reflect on camaraderie you have in your own life. Tom Misuraca’s play “Masters of The Dark Realm” has that same sensibility in spades.

With the throw of the dice, the unexpected happens to many of us. Such is life and the double entendre “Masters of The Dark Realm”. The first meaning is obvious...the name of the game they meet various nights to play. The 2nd, well, you’ll just have to see for yourself. The story took a turn I was not expecting.

The underlying foundation of ANY get-together is fellowship, is it not? Within the layers of a geeky game gathering (those like me that never got into such games perceive it as such), people striving to connect got more than they expected….they grow up through circumstance. Art imitates life.
The layers of emotion we as humans endure is conveyed effectively by the 4 actors in the play. This is a result of not just good acting and writing, but obviously really good direction by Corey Chappell.
The characters have completely different personalities bringing their all to the table. Sharing their fervent love for the game, they meet in a cozy room for gamers put together by set designer Jerry Chappell. My favorite character was Brett (the first to elicit a hearty laugh from me), but I enjoyed all the actors equally. Like the kids in Stranger Things, these adults are obsessed.
But in life, there are times when sudden unexpected situations can make an all-encompassing game night crumble. Where then, is the friendship?
Perhaps you have friends you can call my 'music friend', my 'writing friend', my 'movie pal', 'work buddy', etc. When there’s an effort made to keep friendship alive after the initial reason you became pals falls apart (I can relate as I used to have a writing group), that speaks volumes for the people involved. I think many will relate to this.

If you like being entertained and also moved, this smart and sweet nerdy play is still here, but not for long.
Don't miss this! It only runs for a couple more weekends.

sweet - Ali Phillips