By Julia Duggan
The All College Theatre performed the play “She Kills Monsters” from Feb. 27 through March 2 in the Don Evans Black Box Theater. The play features a main character named Agnes who discovers a tabletop role playing game called Dungeons and Dragons, which is a interactive story where players make up quests and characters of their own in any style or genre of their choosing. The game Agnes plays was created by her deceased sister, Tilly. Agnes’ family died in a car crash, and while she was packing up her sister’s things, she discovered a Dungeons and Dragons game that Tilly had created before she died. Agnes finds someone named Chuck who knows how to play Dungeons and Dragons and goes on an adventure to learn more about her sister as a way to heal. The theater group performed from Feb. 27th to March 1 at 8 p.m., with two shows on March 2 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
“She Kills Monsters is a play about acceptance, something about which our world could still learn a thing or two,” said director Marie Nichole. Nichole is a new director for ACT and works as director and choreographer in residence with Stagedoor Manor in New York. “It is about taking the time to get to know people before jumping to rash conclusions. Today’s young adults are the ones shaping tomorrow’s future. This is a piece that is not only relatable and will make people laugh, but will make a statement and have people thinking about its themes long after they leave the theater.”
The show forced the crowd to leave the theater in a state of mixed emotions— some were in high spirits and still laughing while others were in tears. The plot featured a beautiful mixture of heartfelt moments and memorable comedy.
Praise for the hard work and talent of the actors could be heard echoing in the lobby as the crowd waited to greet the actors with another thunderous round of applause.
“It means so much for us to be able to put this on stage for an audience to enjoy,” said Kelly Colleran, a senior history and Secondary education dual major. She played the character Lilith in the play. “Hopefully people are coming away crying from both laughter and the touching moments we are hoping to provide.”
While this plot features a lot of comedy, it also touches on the grieving process after the death of a loved one.
“Be tender with the people you love,” said Ambar Grullon, a sophomore English and communication studies dual major. She played one of the main leads, Agnes. “An entire life can change within something as small and insignificant as a day. An hour, even. Remind your loved ones that you treasure them.”
According to the assistant director Katherine MacQueen, the cast and crew had a month to memorize lines, learn fight scenes, perfect all the special effects and design costumes.
Evan Noone, a senior technology education major, explained why he decided to audition for the show. Despite all of the the challenges of production, he valued his experience with ACT.
“This show was going to be my last opportunity to act during my college career, and with it being such a fun show, I knew that I had to be involved,” Noone said. “Additionally, I have been playing Dungeons and Dragons for at least five years, so getting to tell a story using the game as a medium was something I felt a responsibility to be a part of and I was honored to be.”
When choosing the cast for the production, there was not a specific set of criteria for every role.
“We really were looking for people who were able to come into their own and they could be silly with it,” MacQueen said. “So, people we knew we could mold and make into making these great monsters out of nothing.”
Aside from memorizing lines and learning fight scenes, the actors faced another challenge with the production, which was fighting in blacklight. The fight scenes were done in blacklight to help the audience keep track of what scenes were fantasy and what scenes took place in the real world. The normal spotlights were used for any scene that happened in the real world.This added another dimension to the fantasy world because it added more surreal elements to the production.
“Fighting in blacklight is tricky,” said Danielle Hecht, a freshman music education major. “You have to take things very slowly to get it and you have to have the lights at a certain level so you can see what is happening.”
Nichole emphasized how much she valued her experience working on this show.
“It has been a pleasure to work with All College Theatre,” she said. “The cast and crew of She Kills Monsters, thank you for the honor of letting me be your Dungeon Master and trusting me in this quest.”