A&M-Commerce Theatre takes on “She Kills Monsters”

Lauryn Harris, Reporter

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A battle axe prop used in She Kills Monsters| Photo courtesy of Lauryn Harris

 

Set in the 1990s “She Kills Monsters” opens the door to a fantasy world of “Dungeons & Dragons,” supermodel elves and dominatrix warrior women.

The upcoming campus production of She Kills Monsters” by Qui Nguyen tells the story of Agnes Evans as she is packing up to leave her childhood home in Ohio following the death of her parents and younger sister, Tilly. While cleaning Agnes stumbles across Tilly’s “Dungeons and Dragons” notebook with a game scenario Tilly created were she learns she may have not known her sister as well as she thought.

“She finds this homemade “D and D” module and deicides to play and as she’s playing, she learns more about her sister like who were her bullies and that she was gay and all these other things she never knew,” Elena Holt, who plays dark elf Kaliope, said.

The play battles back and forth between the real and fantasy world, after Agnes decides to play Tilly’s’ homemade module in which she enlists the help of a character named Chuck to be her dungeon master.

Through the action packed quest Agnes is reunited with her sister as a character and meets Tilly’s group of adventurers who are on a quest to save the lost soul of Tilly. In the realm of the game, Agnes also learns her sister was a closeted lesbian and gets to meet her in game girlfriend Lilith.

“As we go along this quest, we then start to meet the real-world counterparts of the characters, and learn that Lilith, Tilly’s in game girlfriend was based on a real person named Lilly and we see, sort of the struggles with that,” Director Rebecca Worley said.

Starting rehearsals on Jan. 14 and practicing 24-36 hours a week, the A&M-Commerce theatre department spent time learning choreography, technique, as well as going over lines for the production. With the play featuring many action pact scenes that some of the actors felt were the most challenging part of the production, a fight choreographer was enlisted to helps actors prepare for the production.

“We hired a special fight choreographer to come in and do this fight choreography in a safe way but in a super epic way,” Worley said.

As well as delivering action-packed scenes and comedic drama, “She Kills Monsters” also tackles the issues of sexuality, queerness, and accepting others for who they are.

“It’s a piece that shows how much we have progressed since 1995 and now but also how much we need to progress,” Trinity Ellison, playing Farrah the Fairy, said.

The TAMUC theatre department also partnered up with the Gender Studies book club, TAMUC Pride Alliance, The Counseling Center, Safe Space Allies, and expert D&D/Fantasy/Role-Playing Gamers to put on a post-show talk back forum after their opening night. The discussion will include topics about queer culture, gender representation, mental health, and geek culture.

“Another thing I wanted to do with this play was use this as an avenue to continue the conversation, yes we have come along way, but we are not there yet,” Worley said.

The theatre department also encourages the audience to come in cosplay and enter into their social media contest where a winner will be picked each night, then an overall winner will be picked at the end of the run for a grand prize.

One thing Worley used as a vision statement to help actors as well as herself see the production through and something she hopes the audience can take home is a quote from the play that Tilly says to her sister Agnes.

“I hope it gave you a glimpse into me the way I wanted you to see me, strong, powerful, and magical.”

 

“Come ready to laugh and come ready to cry,” Worley said.

 

“She Kills Monster” will be presented in the Performing Arts Center Main Stage from Feb. 19 -23 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 24 at 3 p.m. To purchase tickets, visit Marketplace.tamuc.edu/boxoffice or call 903-886-5900.

 

 

 

 

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