By Ian Beabout, Online Editor
Beginning February 11th, The Hilltop Players will bring She Kills Monsters to Kelly Theater for what promises to be an unforgettable adventure into the Dungeons and Dragons fantasy realm
“She Kills Monsters tells the story of Agnes Evans, played by Alexandra Glotfelty, as she leaves her childhood home in Ohio following the death of her teenage sister, Tilly, played by Destiny Walsh,” said Micheal Aulick, Associate Professor of Theater.
“When Agnes finds Tilly’s Dungeons & Dragons notebook, she stumbles into a journey of discovery and action-packed adventure in the imaginary world that was Tilly’s refuge. In this imaginary world, Agnes will encounter homicidal fairies, nasty ogres, succubi, and other otherworldly creatures,” Aulick said.
The play is a unique endeavor not only for its fantastical story, but also because it requires the unique opportunity of each actor to inhabit multiple roles in the production.
“We select all of our plays with the focus of what is this show going to teach the theatre students. Does it extend their training/education/experience?” Aulick said. “Monsters requires performers to be able to switch between their original character and the one they are in the fantasy world of Dungeons and Dragons. So each actor is required to develop two distinctly different characters, one based in reality and one based in fantasy.”
“There is twice the amount of character development, extra special skills such as dance, fighting, sword play, fantasy costuming, special effects make up, and so on,” Aulick said. “There are a lot of skills that are required in this show that would not be required in a more traditional production.”
In addition to the acting challenges, Monsters was also chosen for it’s behind the scenes opportunities.
“While the acting challenges alone would be sufficient justification for the season, the biggest impact may be the opportunities for the student-designers/production team,” Aulick said. “She Kills Monsters has a student director, Meaghan Macey, a student scene designer, Rebecca McDowell, a student costume designer, Michael Blatzer, a student sound designer, Brady Dunn, a student choreographer, Geena Diomedi, and a student fight captain, Mattheus Nail.”
So what does Aulick anticipate the audience will take away from the experience?
“Good question,” Aulick said, “at its core, it is a connection between family members who did not take the time to be with each other when they were alive. It is a story about family that should resonate with everyone. However, the role playing community should eat it up – finally a show that is right in their wheelhouse.”
Director Meaghan Macey expanded on the answer. “There are threads in this play that can be connected back to the audience members in many ways,” said Macey. “She Kills Monsters is a play that touches on the loss of a family member, bullying, the difficulty of coming out as a member of the LGBT community, and others. Ultimately, this show is about acceptance, but through a Dungeons and Dragons module.”
“The audience will hopefully walk away with a greater appreciation of exactly why the gaming community plays these games,” Macey said. “If you have ever wondered why someone would play a ‘dorky, weird game’ like D&D, you can certainly get an answer from She Kills Monsters.”
She Kills Monsters Opens in Kelly Theater February 11-12th, with continued performances from February 18-20th, 7:30 p.m., and a final performance on February 21st at 3:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance online here