Many areas have their own theater, and when trainers arrive they’ll walk in and talk to the stage manager, getting to know this theater’s themes and quirks. Every theater specializes in a certain genre, and additionally may have some variant on the rules.
The trainers will get their copy of the script, which they will want to read over. The script opens with the various roles. A role may be a single character who is on the stage in every scene, that is one part, or it may be a group of characters at least one of which appears in every scene. In the latter case that would be several parts. So, for example, the hero of the story will only be a single part, but the role of the opposition might include several henchmen and the villain, with one trainer handling the opposition.
The trainers will then divide a copy of the roles among themselves. Hopefully they all naturally gravitate towards different roles, but if they can’t come to an agreement, the GM can audition the parts, considering both the trainer and the Pokémon that will be playing the role. From there the trainers are given the costume or costumes that are assigned to that role to put on their Pokémon. They may use those costumes or any others they have acquired along the way, and also give their Pokemon other items to hold. While Pokemon can only hold one item in battle, they may hold several items and still wear a costume in theater, since there's less of a need for open hands and free movement.
There is also an NPC called the Director. The Director is in charge of overseeing the play, giving guidance to the actors, choosing a script, managing sponsors and fan requests and otherwise being the go-between to make sure the trainers can focus on their performances. The director will hand the trainers director’s notes. These are things the players are encouraged to do in the performance.
The director will by default give one of the following to each of the players:
- Dramatic Moment: The Director will point out an opportunity for the trainer to have a big moment that has a chance to wow the audience and impress the judges. This usually allows the Pokemon to train stats or learn new moves.
- Sponsorship Deal: The theater has free admission, meaning the sponsorship deal is a way for the theater to fund its costs. There is always something in it for the trainer as well.
- Fan Request: Sometimes there’s a chance to tailor the performance to please someone in the crowd, to really make someone’s day. The rewards may be less tangible than a sponsorship deal, but they're often just as meaningful.
The director also tells the players about the theater’s specialty award. More on that later.
The play is divided into several acts. In each act, players will speak as if it were their trainer talking and act out physically what their Pokémon is doing. Remember the rule of improvisation: go with it.
Pokémon may use their moves in the process of doing the play where appropriate. The player should work the name of the move into the dialogue while acting out the attack, for example “Foul villain, taste my fire blast!”
Players should also try to work the Director’s notes into the performance if they want the reward, or if they just think the note is worth doing for its own sake. But the notes aren’t mandatory. Players should be ready to end a scene when the action is winding down and be ready to move onto the next one. Between scenes the curtains close to switch out Pokémon and change the scenery, as well as to give intermissions where necessary.
During the performance, the audience may break into applause as a result of something particularly entertaining or awesome or otherwise well-done. This is at the GM’s discretion, and should be noted with actual applause and cheering from the GM. Whoever is being applauded gets a friendship point for their Pokémon. At the end of each play the trainers and all their Pokémon that participated come on stage. The audience may applaud, giving every Pokémon that participated 1 FP. They may give a standing ovation for a particularly great performance, and every Pokémon gains 2 FP. Or they may boo, and every Pokémon loses an FP.
After the performance is done, every Pokémon involved gets to train a stat due to the exertion. Also, the judges will hand out awards. They are:
Best Use of a Move Edit
Whoever had a Pokémon move that improved the performance the most wins this one.
Audience Favorite Edit
This one usually goes to whomever did the most entertaining performance.
Theater Specialty Edit
This one varies between theater. At one it might be “Best Pirate Accent” while at another it might be “Cutest Pokémon.”
For every award a trainer wins, one of their Pokemon that participated in the performance may learn a move from their learnable moves list or train a stat.