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B.F.A. actors Erik Armstrong and Hannah McCauley in She Kills Monsters, opening February 20 in the Forum Theater. (Photo provided by Riley Perone)

Ohio University Theater to present 'She Kills Monsters'

The Ohio University School of Theater will be presenting She Kills Monsters, beginning on Feb. 20 at 8 p.m. and running Feb. 20-22 and Feb. 25-29.

The play tells the story of a family’s loss, with the main character going on a Dungeons & Dragons campaign her younger sister wrote before her death. The show will feature a cast of undergraduate actors and one MFA student.

“The design process started a year ago,” Brian Evans, director of the play, said. “What we were looking at was how to create both a world of realism in which the older sister is trying to come to terms with loss and the fantasy world as Dungeons and Dragons, where Agnes, the lead character, gets to know her sister through the module that Tilly, the younger sister, created.” 

The show presents unique challenges in bringing this hard reality and world of fantasy to life.

“Well, the design elements are very exciting and most challenging in terms of operating puppets, monster costumes and theatrical weapons,” Evans said. “There are projections. There are fog machines, trap doors, ropes for actors to swing from. It's a very physically demanding show for actors. It also has a challenging emotional arc.”

The show has a special alum connection with Qui Nguyen, the OU alumnus who wrote the show.

Nguyen and his company, Vampire Cowboys Theatre Company, came back to OU in 2012 to premiere a show with the school of theatre. During their work together in 2012 when Nguyen came to OU, Nguyen discussed with Evans the possibility of OU’s school of theatre doing She Kills Monsters.

“He was very excited about the possibility of us doing it,” Evans said.

The show will feature one graduate student, Courtney Abbott, playing the older sister. The rest of the cast is comprised of undergraduates, including six senior BFA acting students, five junior BFA acting students and two sophomore BFA acting students.

“We have quite a range,” Evans said.

There are also a number of other students from the school of theatre working on the production.

“On the design team and the technical team and the crew, we have many students from the school theatre working on this production from all different concentrations and all different years in the program,” Evans said.

Many students around campus are excited for the production.

“I actually was planning on going to see it,” Emily Justice, a junior majoring in music education, said. “It sounds more exciting than shows in the past.”

Other students are specifically interested in the “geek” aspects of Nguyen’s work.

“It sounds pretty interesting,” Dana Dryer, a freshman majoring in biology, said. “The whole Dungeons & Dragons (thing) could be pretty cool.”


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