Dragons, fairies, elves, gelatinous man-eating cubes — welcome to the fantasy-fueled, role-playing realms of Dungeons & Dragons. She Kills Monsters by Qui Nguyen is the spring show at Wilsonville High School. The play tells the story of high school senior Agnes Evans as she strives to deal with the death of her younger sister, Tilly. Tilly was a self-described geek who, unlike her popularity-seeking sister, was into D&D.
In the show, Agnes seeks the help of a dungeon master, a geeky freshman named Chuck, to help her navigate an adventure campaign that her sister had authored and left behind before she died. While playing her sister’s game, which is depicted imaginatively onstage complete with creatures, battles, and witty repartee, Agnes is able to reconnect with her sister and a few of her strange friends while joining the group’s main quest — to recover Tilly’s lost soul from Tiamat, a five-headed magic-wielding dragon.
Some of Tilly’s companions who Agnes gets to know on the quest include a dark elf, Kaliope, who isn’t quite attuned to human emotions, Lillith, a demon queen who wields a deadly battle axe, and Orcus, the former lord of the underworld, who would much rather watch reruns of Friends than embark on any adventures. The team encounters many obstacles in the play, including being bullied by some cheerleaders, who had bullied Tilly in real life and who appear in the game as a pair of evil imps, and of course, the dragon.
While on the journey, Agnes gets to know her sister and herself in ways she never knew before and comes to discover why killing dragons and going on quests is more rewarding than striving for popularity. In this high-octane dramedy laden with sword fights, dance battles, and 90s pop culture, acclaimed playwright Qui Nguyen offers a heart-pounding homage to the geek and warrior within us all. In order to render the multiple onstage battles, Katz brought in fight choreographer Natalie Piper, who worked with the students for a month on proper technique to fight safely.
Agnes is played by senior Abi Edwards and Tilly is played by junior Samantha Katz. Elf Kaliope is played by sophomore Kaiya Shivers. Demon queen Lillith is played by Natalie Young. Junior Noah Hansen plays Orcas. Senior Nate Rasmussen plays Agnes’ boyfriend Miles and dungeon master Chuck is played by junior Kameron Koslowski. Agnes’ best friend Vera is played by junior Katie Walter. The two evil succubi cheerleaders are played by juniors Kate Hedgepeth and Mikaela Ochocki.
She Kills Monsters is directed by Jason Katz, who says he chose this show because “Not only is it filled with fights and creatures, which is fun for the actors and the audience, it also has a layered story with characters who learn something about themselves over the course of the journey. It is a coming of age story set in a creative environment, which I enjoy directing.”
She Kills Monsters runs May 16-18 and 23-25 at 7pm in the Wilsonville High School Auditorium. Tickets are available online at www.wildcatdrama.com and at the door. Prices are $10 for adults and $8 for students. The show is recommended for ages thirteen and up.