“She Kills Monsters” – an otherworldly experience

Freshmen and sophomores work together to produce a compelling play

She Kills Monsters -  an otherworldly experience

Nathan Danz, reporter

This past December, She Kills Monsters was the big freshman-sophomore play. The play was written by Qui Nguyen, and dozens of people worked tirelessly to bring the play to life, from an army of stage builders to a cast of dedicated actors. 

The story is set in Athens, Ohio in 1995. The titular character is Agnes Evans, a 25-year-rold woman who is grieving her late sister, Tilly Evans, who lost her life in a car accident.  Agnes copes with the loss by commencing a journey through the fictional world of Dungeons & Dragons, a magical world that Tilly cherished. Through D&D Agnes is able to learn and appreciate her sister even more and eventually finds the closure she so desperately needs.

The actors that delivered this performance shared what it took to deliver this mystical experience on stage.

“The humor and the undying bond of the cast was the heart of the production,” according to Axel Darby, a freshman cast member

Mr. Dunn, the director of the play, said, “What being the director means, is that, between the scene work and the fighting there is a ton of acting and choreography. And of course the technical aspects, light, sets – you get the gist. The play has been a very fun experience.”

Tolga Bozkurt, who plays Ronny/Orcus had this to say, “ In the show, I am the former overlord of the fictional world. This has been a great experience, stage combat is my favorite part”

When asked how he enjoyed the play, Patrick O’Brien stated, “The play is wonderful, it’s great. I think the stage combat is energizing, the story is beautiful, and the set is glorious. I play the role of game maker, Chuck, the one who started the D&D campaign. I help Agnes get closure from the death of her sister.” 

The characters were rich with many dimensions and they worked hard to express that through their actions. One example is Agnes, played by Sophia Burnell. She was subtly able to show how much underlying grief and trauma she had over Tilly’s death. Her body language in the beginning was stoic. She only showed a dramatic moment when she had a revelation about her sister, like when she learned that Tilly is a lesbian, and was bullied for it.

Another example of good quality acting was with Chuck’s character, the dorky game maker of the D&D campaign. He was portrayed excellently by Patrick O’Brien. His voice projected really well across the theater. Also he was able to humorously convey awkwardness in a surprisingly confident manner.

And last, there was Maddie Boulos. Her portrayal of the character Vera, Agnes’s best friend, was very engaging. Boulos brought her speech to life with deep emotion and her audible range on stage made it really easy on the listeners. 

 It’s very clear the actors worked really hard to give all the characters the depth they needed so they could be relatable. 

One of the strongest things about the play was its realistic fighting scenes. The sword action, where the actors really made it seem like they died from the stab wounds, was very convincing. When it comes to stuff like choreography, it’s often taken for granted how much work goes into making it look realistic. And in this case, they definitely succeeded. 

Overall the winter freshmen-sophomore was an otherworldly experience!