On the night of Sunday, Nov. 3, I elected to go watch a play. The performance I decided on was “She Kills Monsters,” the latest collaborative production between the QC department of Drama, Theatre and Dance and the theatre guild. When I approached the box office at Kupferberg, I saw it was empty. Taped on to the glass was a sign that directed patrons to head to the lowest floor of Rathaus hall. So, that’s where I went next. Once I reached my destination, I saw there were many folks standing outside the entrance to the theatre at the end of the hall. I approached and asked the man who appeared to be selling tickets if my friend and I could buy some. He replied by saying “Sorry, the show is sold out tonight and tomorrow night.” Upon hearing this, I was disappointed. The fact that it was sold out for all remaining nights indicated that I was missing out on something people really wanted to see. Luckily, a very kind woman sitting by the door saw our plight and offered me a ticket, as her friend was no longer going to show. I was extremely grateful to this person, and I was excited that I’d get to find out what it was about this play that made others so eager to see it.
For those of you who don’t know the synopsis of “She Kills Monsters,” the show follows the journey of Agnes, who, in the wake of her family’s death, plays her sister Tilly’s game of Dungeons and Dragons to gain some insight into the life of the sibling that she never really knew. Agnes enlists the help of Chuck, the dungeon master, and a band of fighters consisting of her sister’s character, a paladin, Lilith the demon queen and Kaliope the dark elf. All the characters are analogous to Tilly’s life outside the game, like the vampire cheerleaders that the group was forced to face. They represented the cheerleaders that bullied Tilly at school. Throughout her journey, Agnes kills the monsters in her way while learning what monsters Tilly was forced to face a in real life.
There were many great things about this play that illuminated why I almost didn’t get to see it. The fight scenes spaced throughout the performance were incredibly sophisticated and well choreographed. It was like watching a dance, except if someone made a mistake they would get wacked with a prop sword. There were several moments where I cringed in anticipation of someone getting hit as they came so close to each other. I can’t imagine how many hours and close calls it took the actors to master that aspect of the performance.
As someone raised on South Park, I also really appreciated the humor. Whether it was Chuck hitting on Agnes and conveying wrong messages with sexual innuendos or the part where Tilly announces that everyone in the fictional universe she created is gay, the laughs were constant.
The fight scenes and the laughs were also punctuated with serious heartfelt moments where the main messages of the performance became more explicit. The death of Agnes’ family and her consequent desire to understand her sister served as a reminder that we should cherish our loved one while we’re with them because our world is rife with catastrophe and you never know when it will strike. I also thought that the overall message of self-acceptance was cliché, but pleasant. I think it was appropriate to merit dungeons and dragons as a way for a person to express their creativity and be themselves in a safe environment. However, I think the moral message of the play could have been rendered more potent if it addressed how hiding one’s self in a personal fantasy won’t solve problems long term, and that life could improve greatly if one were willing to confront adversity head on.
Overall, I’m really happy that I was able to see this play. Those who didn’t missed out on a great opportunity to see the artistic side of student life at one of its best moments.