Non-Player Character

Aspiring video game designer Katja and her longtime friend Trent are an unstoppable team against animated monsters in the virtual underworlds of SpearLight, an online role-playing game. But after a humiliating falling-out, Trent marshals an army of internet trolls to wage real-life war against her. Comic and poignant, Non-Player Character is a timely, boldly theatrical exploration of the games we play and who’s winning.
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Non-Player Character

Recommended by

  • Chelsea Frandsen:
    21 Feb. 2020
    I have a huge admiration for anyone who can craft good dark comedies and Walt McGough is now added to my list. This play is beautiful, stark, raw, and real and I applaud this play for tackling current issues like toxic masculinity and cyber harassment with humanity and truth.
  • Nick Malakhow:
    20 Dec. 2019
    Wow! What a lovely, nuanced, well-crafted play. McGough has economically chosen a potent set of scenes that, stitched together, both tell this story really well while also doing right by all of his multi-dimensional characters. Katja has a compelling character arc, and her antagonistic relationship with Trent is both painful and truthful. Unsettling realities about toxic masculinity and social oppression of women across digital and analog worlds are paired alongside frequent genuinely hilarious moments that keep this play absorbing and briskly paced. I hope to see a production soon!
  • Kevin Cirone:
    10 Aug. 2018
    A really fantastic, expertly crafted piece to read and envision, NPC sheds light on a gender bias in the technology and digital entertainment industries that not enough people are talking about. Gamergate didn't go away and it might even be worse than ever. Every internet troll needs to see and understand this piece. Will they? Probably not. But one can hope.

Character Information

  • Katja
    22,
    Any
    ,
    Female, Non-binary
    An aspiring game designer.
  • Trent
    22,
    White
    ,
    Male
    Just a guy.
  • Naomi
    30s,
    Any
    ,
    Female, Presents Female
  • Grant
    20s,
    Any
    ,
    Male
    Deeply non-threatening
  • Officer
    Adult,
    Any
    ,
    Female, Presents Female
  • Morwyn
    20s-30s,
    Any
    ,
    Female, Presents Female
    A video game sorceress
  • Feldrick
    20s-30s,
    Any
    ,
    Male, Presents Male
    A video-game barbarian.

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    La MaMa
    ,
    2017
  • Reading
    ,
    Huntington Theatre Company, Boston MA
    ,
    2015

Production History

  • Professional
    ,
    Red Theatre Chicago
    ,
    2019
  • University
    ,
    Yale Drama Cabaret
    ,
    2018
  • Professional
    ,
    San Francisco Playhouse
    ,
    2018

Awards

Finalist
,
National Playwrights Conference
,
Eugene O'Neill Theater Center
,
2016