Larp House Presents: Strictly Between Us


Join us on November 4th, 2023


Strictly Between Us is for roleplayers who want to move and dancers who want to tell stories. It blends the expression of partner dance with the emotional storytelling of larp. Strictly explores the dynamics of a relationship either coming together or falling apart, by playing with the physical and emotional connection between two people.

The game eases players into character with dance exercises exploring emotion through movement. Over three sets of scenes, players will work through their feelings about their dance partner, before getting to show off in the community jam where they will put their sentiments in motion for an audience.

So put on your dance shoes, learn about the blues community, listen to some incredible music, and dance your heart out!


A live action game that is also a beginner blues dance workshop.

Duration: 4 hours. 2 hours workshop and dance instruction, then 2 hours play

Players: 2 to 24 players

Written by Eli Seitz, Kristen Dabney, Julie Brown

Organized by Jon Cole

Dance Instruction by Riley Karbon

Admin support from Katherine Shane and Olivia Montoya

Special Thanks to Lindy Bowen and Collectively Blue

Two femmes dance in closed position at a dance event, surrounded by other dancers. The person leading is a AAPI femme with long dyed blonde hair in a patterned blouse. The person following is a white femme with dark bobbed hair in a patterned top and white skirt.


This larp is mostly played as a duo, though you will likely dance with other people. This key duo relationship can be any strong relationship that might attend a social dance together. It certainly need not be romantic in nature. Part of the workshop will be helping every attendee to find a partner to create a character and dance with. With that partner you will choose one of two story frameworks for the relationship you’d like to explore with your characters.

  • Getting Together is about maybe getting together, and is lighter and more joyous in tone.
  • Moving Apart is about maybe splitting apart, and is heavier with a melancholic tone.

Dance Instruction

The play of this game is done through blues dance and no prior dance experience is needed to have a great time. We are providing an hour of professional instruction for all attendees, in addition to more practice and teaching during the workshop.

We are very excited that Riley Karbon has made time in her schedule for Strictly, as she is in high demand as the head teacher at local blues dance organization Collectively Blue. Riley has years of experience as a dance instructor and is known for her accessible teaching style and prosocial philosophy of dance communities.


November 4, 2023, from 1:30–6:00 PM


Center for the Performing Arts, 3754 Pleasant Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55409

We will be in one of CFPA’s spacious dance studios with floor to ceiling windows and a well maintained wooden dance floor.

Metro Transit routes 6, 11, 18, 23C stop nearby. Street parking available.

A wide angle view of a wooden floored dance studio with floor to ceiling windows along one wall.


Get a ticket by filling out the Strictly Between Us registration form. Once you have a ticket you don’t need to do anything else besides show up to play!

This event has a sliding scale ticket price, from $10–$30 depending on your situation. You can pay the ticket price via paypal when you register.

We strongly prefer that people sign up in advance for this event. As such, the door price for a ticket will be $5 higher, for example $25 instead of $20.

Multiple dancing duos compete at North Star Blues, in front of an audience and judges. One partnership is centered in the frame, the two dancers make eye contact while in closed position. The leading person is Black and masc, wearing a yellow polo and black pants. The person following is a white femme in a polkadot top and red skirt.


Workshop 2hrs, Play 2hrs.

Strictly Between Us explores the evolution of a relationship over three nights of social dancing. Each night begins with a free play time, where players explore the relationship with their partner, followed by water cooler time where the group mingles across pairs, and finally a community jam session where couples can showcase their development through dancing. At the end of the third night the duo will know whether they stay together or move apart. Play concludes with a brief epilogue.

What is Blues Dance?

Blues dance always begins in close embrace, with chest to chest physical contact akin to a hug. Blues dance focuses on improvisation, connection, and musicality, with little emphasis on memorizing complex footwork. The accessibility of blues dancing invites a variety of people to dance, regardless of age, ability, or skill level. Blues dance encourages independent expression both as an individual dancer and in a partnership regardless of role. This individual expression within a partnership is part of what makes it a great fit for larp.

Blues was created by African-Americans and is rooted in their experiences in the United States. Historically and currently, that experience is influenced by oppression—first by enslavers and perpetuated through systemic racism. Blues music and dance was created and popularized by the Black community, as a way to express independence and feelings from joy to heartbreak.

Blues music has its roots in African American work songs, spirituals, and folk music from the 1860s. Blues dance started in the American South, primarily in bars, house parties, and juke joints. Over time, blues dancing spread internationally both as a music style and a dance style.

Content Notice

Relationships forming and breaking apart.

This is a highly physical game where dancing is as much a form of communication as words. Blues dance always begins in close embrace, with chest to chest physical contact that is akin to a hug. The basics of this improvisatory dance style will be taught during the workshop so no prior skill is needed to play!

Calibration and Consent Tools

This game will use Cut, Break, Tapout which will be reviewed and practiced prior to play. Following play, we will debrief our experiences and shed the roles we assumed for the game. The debrief is encouraged, but not required.

Players will need to verbally ask one another to dance. During the workshops we will teach and practice how to non-verbally ask to change the point of contact being used to maintain connection while dancing, and answer non-verbally was well. Players are always welcome to revert to verbal requests.


This game is set at a 21st Century social dance. Consider the following priorities in order as you consider your costuming:

  1. Thick socks you don’t mind getting dirty, or sturdy leather-soled shoes. This dance style needs slightly slippery feet and dancing in socks is the most accessible way to achieve this.
  2. Good hygiene can both boost your confidence and your partner’s comfort. Please avoid perfume, cologne, and other scented products since you won’t know who is sensitive to smells.
  3. Comfortable to move in for long periods of time. If you are a sweaty person, bringing an extra shirt to change into halfway is a good idea. Pick absorbent materials rather than sweat-wicking.
  4. Spiffy duds because your character wants to look their best at this social event. To be clear, we’d rather have you in your most casual sweatpants than miss you entirely!

Damon and Kelsy Stone dance together in open position in the corner of the dance floor. They are in the midst of a lean and look breathless and intense in their focus. Damon is masc and Black with a bald head and glasses, he wears a navy suit. Kelsey is a white femme with shoulder length brown hair who is visibly pregnant, and wearing a stretchy blue dress and her white dance shoes.

Other Information

COVID-19 Policy

Attendees need to be vaccinated for COVID-19 and boosted to the extent recommended by the CDC for their demographic group. Bring proof of your vaccination status for inspection during check in, which could be your card, a picture of it, or a document on your phone. Our policy means you will need to have had the 2022 bivalent booster at least two weeks before this event or we will turn you away at the door. We strongly encourage you to get the 2023 monovalent booster before you attend, but aren’t requiring it yet because of the relatively short amount of time between vaccine release and this event. Please reach out if you have any questions about our policy.

N95 respirators or better are required, and we will have a few to share. We will be playing in a large and well-ventilated room and bring our own CR box to run. If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, stay home. If you are able to, take a rapid test before arrival.


This game requires dancing to music. Without making any accommodations, we would expect attendees to be able to stand for long periods, walking, vision, hearing, and athletic movement. Please reach out, as we would like to be able make accommodations for anyone who cant do all those things consistently.

Our venue is on the third floor, and is climate controlled. The building is ADA compliant. Our playspace has plenty of seating. There are two non-gendered restrooms near the playspace.

Water will be available, and we recommend bringing a water bottle for your ease of access. No food will be provided.

Social and Evening Dance Event

The evening of Strictly Between Us just so happens to be the November blues dance house party hosted by Collectively Blue. Join Riley, Jon, and your new dance chums for an evening of social blues dance, no characters needed. Lock in your learning and meet new friends. Show up at 7:30pm at the 30-minute refresher dance lesson, then enjoy music from 8:00 pm-midnight by the fabulous local blues DJs! Collectively Blue parties are $5 to attend and are BYOB. Collectively Blue events require covid vaccination, and offer N95s but do not require them.

Between the end of the game and the start of the party some folks will get food together to continue to hang out at Hola Arepa. Hanging out afterwards is totally optional, and we think it’s fun to get to know your fellow players as people, not just as their characters. Folks who didn’t attend the event are welcome to attend this part.

A full dance floor at a dance event. In the center of the frame four femmes dance solo, riffing on one another's moves.


Contact us with any questions or concerns!

Image Credits

Photos by Ben Hejkal

Two fat Black people dance in close embrace under a shady picnic pavilion at a park. The masc person leading has a mustache and glasses and is wearing a tshirt and jeans. The femme person following is smiling, wears a flowing top and leggings.

Salon du Larp House: Velveteen Hearts

A collection of assorted stuffed animals sit of a bed facing the viewer, as if waiting patiently for play to begin.

Join us on June 17, 2023!
|| Click here to register to play! ||

Updated: The title of this work-in-progress larp has changed from “Batting Hearts” to “Velveteen Hearts”

As soon as I saw you, I knew an adventure was going to happen.

A day spent with you is my favorite day. So today is my new favorite day.

If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever.

―Winnie the Pooh


Children at preschool enter the land of make believe with their stuffed animal companions. This is a physical play experience, where players literally enact childsplay and wind through the rambling-dream logic of stories children tell. How does the child’s inner life come through make-believe play with their stuffie? When hardship comes and fears threaten to overwhelm, who supports who and how? Leave this game feeling a little more grown-up and a little more connected to childlike parts of yourself.

Written and Organized by Jon Cole
Admin Support by Olivia Montoya, Katherine Shane

This event is a playtest. Velveteen Hearts isn’t totally finished, though it will be a complete play experience. There might be some missing pieces or rough patches in play. If this game sounds interesting to you even though it is not in its final form, we will be very glad to have you join us!


Saturday June 17th, 2023, from 1 to 4pm

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Larp House Presents: The Harvest Festival

The hands of person with pale skin wearing blue uses blue clay on a rustic wooden table to create molds for silver charms.

A rural village craftspeople prepare for the annual Harvest Festival. At the festival each craftsperson will present their proudest works to other members of the community as a symbol of gratitude, forgiveness, or apology.

During the day, you sit with an elder perfecting your craft and seeking advice from your peers about your personal life. At night, wander the cozy streets of the hamlet to visit with other villagers to put that advice into practice (for better or for worse). After the third day, we will celebrate the Harvest Festival and give away the things we created.


The Harvest Festival is a pastoral game about interpersonal conflict and support networks. Inspired by Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon, join us to live out a hygge cottagecore fantasy for one afternoon.

Written by Marshall Bradshaw
Organized by Jon Cole


Saturday January 7th, 2023, from 1 to 4pm

The fingers of a person with pale skin delicately manipulate wet clay on a pottery wheel. The hands are wet, covered with shiny clay.

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Larp House Presents: Glamourous Night

People dance in a dimly lit room. Two move lean into one another, sharing weight. One person the the foreground thrusts out an outstretched hand to another person.

In the old, old, half forgotten times, magical beings spin helplessly through realms of music and magic. Tragic are they! These wizards, fae, humans, and magical animals do not see that they already possess the power to change themselves. To take control of their vulnerable situation, each group dominates the minds of the others in turn, each more wickedly than the last. Mind control scars both the leader and the follower, but each has a chance to heal. In the end, only True Love can redeem them and break their bonds. When they have the chance to escape, will they want to?


Glamourous Night is an immersive game about hurting others, and having a chance to redeem yourself for 8 to 30 players. It is an abstract, mostly non-verbal game that is played to music. Players use two movement techniques to resolve their characters’ conflicts, either mutual spell casting or mind control. Players will be on their feet and moving during most of the three hour workshop and the two hour game.

The setting is a fantastical medieval Europe where all the folk tales are true. The characters are powerful magical beings who go on an accidental journey between dimensions. They are tempted to mind control each other before escaping, scarred. Only True Love can break mind control bonds and redeem their actions. Finally, each character decides which of the three dimensions they will make their new home.

Written by Jon Cole
Organized by Steve Stolpman and Jon Cole


Saturday January 28th, 2023, from noon to 5pm

Read on for more details!
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Larp House Recommends: Make A Scene! Anthologies Kickstarter

Illustration of a group of brightly colored abstract human figures in various dynamic poses

Back in February of last year, our friends at Minnesota scenario festival Make a Scene! were very hopeful for another amazing festival. The festival selected the theme of gender diversity, and recruited incredible scenarios that were supposed to premiere at the festival in August 2020. While the festival could not happen, all the creative energy of creating seven new scenarios did! As a result, Make a Scene now has a great way to bring those scenarios, and also the premiere scenarios run at the festival in 2019, directly to you in two amazing books!

The books feature original illustrations, and anyone who is interested in larp and role-play will want these in their library. Most of these scenarios don’t require elaborate props or costumes, are suited for small group play and will be ready to run with your friends when social distancing restrictions have ended.

Please come and check out the Make a Scene anthologies Kickstarter, launching February 16th!

Larp House Recommends: Submit a scenario to Make a Scene!

Make a Scene! Call for Program - North America's premiere scenario festial is now accepting scenario submissions! This year's theme: Gender Diversity

Make a Scene! is a live-action scenario festival right here in the Twin Cities. Inspired by the format of larp festivals in the Nordic countries, Make a Scene! was a huge success last year, in large part because of the incredible support it received from the Larp House community. Make a Scene! would love to continue this relationship into the new year, and feature even more Larp House larpwrights at this year’s festival.

Learn more about submitting a scenario to Make a Scene!

Deadline: February 28

If writing a larp isn’t your thing right now, you can still mark your calendar for August 7–9, when we will premiere these scenarios at Make a Scene!, and Like the Facebook page for more information.

Larp House at Con of the North

whiteboard scrawled with complex diagram mapping relationships between suspected agitators

Members of Larp House ran larps at Con of the North, Minnesota’s longest-running gaming convention, running 14-16 February 2020.

We also got a chance to meet other local larp designers!

Games ran:

Thanks to all the con volunteers, the friendly hotel staff, and all the rad players that showed up to play!

Larp House Presents: Sign

illustration of two hands making ASL gesture for Friend

Nicaragua in the 1970s had no form of sign language. In 1977, something happened. Fifty deaf children from across the country were brought together to an experimental school in Managua. Without a shared language to express themselves, the children did the only thing they could — they created one. In Sign, we follow a small piece of their journey.

Sign is based on the true story of a language born in modern times from the hands of children.  In Sign, you’ll play as kids on their first day of school. Together you’ll make new language through play.


Sign, a live-action game about communication and being understood, for four to 35 players.

Designed by Kathryn Hymes & Hakan Seyalioglu

Organized by Katherine Shane

SIGN A Game About Being UnderstoodThis game of Sign will have simultaneous runs of one to five tables of four to seven players each, working together to create a new language. Play is entirely silent, without any spoken words or any use of currently existing sign languages. Instead players will use their creativity and their hands and bodies to communicate without words, build bonds of friendship, and create a new shared language.

This game will include a shared meal of traditional Nicaraguan food. (Meal will be vegetarian to ensure broad accessibility. Please indicate in the event sign up if you have any sensitivities or requirements.)


1 February 2020, 2 pm to 6 pm


ECMN Community Room at 1101 West Broadway, Minneapolis (Google Maps)

Metro Transit routes 5, 14, 30, and 32 stop nearby. Parking is available.


If you’d like to play, please fill out the Sign registration form so we have an accurate head count for tables and food. Seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, so don’t delay!

The cost for the game plus meal is a self-determined fee of $5 to $25 (sliding scale) that will be collected at the door.

Hard copies of Sign will be available for sale.

Special! For a flat fee of $60, you may reserve a table for a group of 4 to 7 players. This includes food as well as a single hard copy of Sign by Thorny Games!

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