The Mad Tea Party

A “tabletop” game with a maddening twist.


Use physical mechanics rather than narrative content to evoke specific emotions at an Alice in Wonderland–themed masquerade.


Recreate the bizarre behaviors of a beloved scene through unlikely combinations of simple instructions.

The Mad Tea Party is a collaborative card game for 6-12 people played around a long, narrow table. Guests are dealt a hand of cards that can be played to move around the table in order to get close enough to Alice to pass her every Queen in the deck. However, every place at the table has a plate with instructions for how a player must behave when sitting there. One player must always be singing, another can only speak in questions, yet another must constantly have crackers in their mouths.

There are no turns at The Mad Tea Party. Everything happens in real time, and at any time during the game, the Hatter, who sits at the top of the table, can shout “Change places!” to force a game-wide move to the left or right. The result is chaos. A typical game of The Mad Tea Party lasts 15 minutes. However, this varies between 10 and 30 depending on how well the participants manage to keep their heads.


This project was done entirely in-Haus.


Performance Art, Participatory Theater, Role Playing, Surrealism, Live-Action Games