Stephen Bohnannon and his magnificent beard have been running weekly game nights in Santa Fe since most of us were level one dorks with nary a broadsword or enchantment spell to our names. Aptly dubbed The Game Thing, these nerd-tastic gatherings have taken place at locations like the now-defunct Flying Star in the Santa Fe Railyard, on the Santa Fe University of Art & Design campus, in the back room of Big Adventure comics and, now, Second Street Brewery's shiny new Rufina Taproom.
Attendance is usually, according to Bohannon, pretty damn good. "A break from screen time is nice," he tells SFR. "It feels retro, even though new games are anything but, and there's a social benefit from sitting across the table from someone face-to-face." Such real-life interaction has taken place over heated sessions of board game versions of Battlestar Galactica or Firefly, and Bohannon adds new titles all the time. "There's a great Euro-game called Terraforming Mars that usually hits the table," he says. "I just got a new Kickstarter-funded game called Farlight that I'm really into." Settlers of Catan is a mainstay as well. "It's the median, entry-point, what I call 'gateway game,'" Bohannon says. "It's a good reference. An old standby."
Of course, if this all sounds like a lot to handle, newcomers and interested-but-nervous parties need not fear. Certain games are deep experiences and can seem daunting, but it's never as hard as one might think. "The games change every time, and I usually bring some entry-level games just in case I'm teaching to someone who isn't versed in the complex strategy games I love the most," Bohannon notes. "If I've heard anything that makes me know I'm on the right track, it's that people thank me for being so welcoming—from what I gather, that isn't the norm with other gaming meet-up groups in other cities."
So, game fans and people looking for new friends, the time is nigh, the experience is sweet and the advice from Bohannon is a gold standard: "The Game Thing will always be free, but always tip your server."
The Game Thing:
6:15 pm Monday Oct. 9. Free.
Second Street Brewery (Rufina Taproom),
2920 Rufina St.,
Turn it Up Loudon
Yeah, yeah—we all know Loudon Wainwright III from his music career (and we think he has a kid or something), but it turns out he's a pretty interesting dude outside of that. His memoir, Liner Notes, details much of this, from parenthood and acting (his turn as the dad on Judd Apatow's short-lived and underrated series Undeclared makes knowing his name worth it alone) to lost love, time on the road, the many facets of his career and beyond. So while we totally recommend checking out his performance at the Lensic on Thursday, popping by Collected Works Bookstore to see him talk about his book should be on your radar as well. (ADV)
Loudon Wainwright III Conversation and Book Signing:
6 pm Wednesday Oct. 4. Free.
Collected Works Bookstore and Coffeehouse,
202 Galisteo St.,
Welcome to Earth
"What could be more sophisticated or fascinating than a trio of modern dancers destroying their polyester men's suits in collaboration with and in response to the mammoth forged steel works of Tom Joyce?" choreographer/dancer Micaela Gardner asks. We don't have a good answer. Gardner's Earth Terma is, she says, "a modern dance dedication and surrender to Earth itself … a durational installation [that] can be visited at any time in its two-hour cycle." In other words, this thing is ongoing and doesn't require a specific time commitment. It does, however, put another feather in Santa Fe's dance cap with a four-dance suite among some of incredible metal sculpture. (ADV)
6 pm Friday Oct. 6; 7 pm Saturday Oct. 7; 2 pm Sunday Oct. 8. $15-$25.
Center for Contemporary Arts,
1050 Old Pecos Trail,
Theater, we know, isn't for everyone—especially those who've told us they just don't have the patience anymore (thanks, Netflix)—but when theater comes in simple yet stirring one-act form, it can be. Enter Benchwarmers, an annual Santa Fe Playhouse tradition that hits its 16th year this week and always casts scads of locals to perform bite-sized pieces from local playwrights. Each of the eight plays hits just about 10 minutes in length and runs the gamut from funny and sweet to intense and thought-provoking. Could this be a great intro for the uninitiated or an easy-to-digest reminder for current fans? You bet, and with the added bonus that the Playhouse has just been straight killing it lately, you can be a part of something big. Score one for you. (ADV)
Benchwarmers: 7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday Oct. 5-7; 2 pm Sunday Oct. 8. Through Oct. 22. $15-$20. Santa Fe Playhouse, 143 E De Vargas St., 988-4262.