The Phillips Academy Department of Theatre and Dance is proud to present our Winter Theatre Production, She Kills Monsters. This play by Qui Nguyen tells a story of grief, family, and identity. The sisterhood of Agnes and Tilly was never simple, nor close, and when Agnes stumbles upon Tilly’s Dungeon and Dragons notebook, she begins to realize just how little she knew about her own sister. Agnes sets off on an adventurous journey through the role-playing world, determined to find out who Tilly really was. Nguyen mixes the fantastical elements involved with D&D with moments of youthful indiscretions and self-discovery, accompanied by a chorus of misfit teenagers, Chuck, Kaliope, and Lilith, who battle magical creatures in this quirky coming of age story.
What would be a game of Dungeon and Dragons, without battling monsters? This physically demanding production calls for actors to be prepared at all times for battle sequences and intense fight choreography. The ensemble members, who portray monsters, rely on percussive movements and full body engagement to embody the different monsters encountered in the D&D journey. The ones who have the literal weapons are equipped with sword fighting movements and handling of the weapons. These actors are sensitive to time and speed and use these elements to create moments of battle.
It is no surprise that this show is action packed with adventure and fantasy, but what one might not expect is the tender, honest, and impactful moments of the show. This story is not just about monsters, dungeon masters, and sword fighting, but a story about two sisters finding their way back to each other. Agnes and Tilly did not have the picture perfect sister relationship. It is not until Tilly has died that Agnes realizes just how much of Tilly’s life she was missing. What becomes the most moving part of this play is the fact that although Agnes will never have Tilly back in her life, she will remember her through this game. D&D becomes less about the battles and more about the strength of love and family.
The cast and crew of She Kills Monsters includes TJ Briggs ’22, Emma Brown ’19, Luis Placido Geronimo ’20, Martina Gil-Diaz ’21, Karen (Samantha) Guzman ’22, Jada Li ’19, Sunny Li ’22, Victoria McGloughlin ’19, Emily Michaels ’19, Quintin Moss ’21, Isatys Perez ’21, Isadora Poros ’21, Rhea Prem ’19, Kiran Ramratnam ’22, Case Rosenfelt ’22, Elliot Rossman ’22, Niara Urquhart ’21, Ria Vieira ’19, Sam Wright ’19. She Kills Monsters is stage managed by Sam Katz ’19, assistant stage managed by Celeste Robinson ’22, assistant directed by Isatys Perez ’21, and features original costume designs by Ian Hurley ’19, lighting designs by Myles Ringel ’21, and sound designs by Kabir Nagral ’19.
Performances of She Kills Monsters are Friday, February 22 at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, February 23 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, February 24 at 1 p.m. in Tang Theatre. Tickets are $5 each and may be reserved through the PA box office at 978-749-4433.