By Jill Palmer
From Oct. 19-28, the Juniata Theatre Department is performing She Kills Monsters in the Suzanne von Liebig Theatre. Attendees are encouraged to come to the show dressed as their favorite sci-fi or fantasy character.
She Kills Monsters is a comedic fantasy adventure filled with 90s pop culture references and music. “She Kills Monsters is set in the 90s and follows the story of a young woman named Agnes. Agnes learns to play the quintessential basement nerd game, Dungeons and Dragons, and as she learns the rules and fighting tactics she also learns more about her little sister and how her world functions,” said Christine Reilly, who plays the character Tilly in the show. This show is not only about a board game, but also involves embracing your inner geek and being happy with who you are.
She Kills Monsters is a unique show for Juniata in that audience members are being asked to come to the show in costume. “We structured the production like a ‘90s dance party (the story is set in Athens, Ohio, in 1995) and a costume contest. So, the audience is invited to attend the show dressed as their favorite sci-fi or fantasy character. As such, we hope to use theatre as a vehicle for nurturing community and bringing together different people to share in that celebration,” said Neal Utterback, assistant professor of theatre arts and the director of the show.
The cast and crew have spent weeks fervently preparing for She Kills Monsters. This show in particular proved to be very demanding for its cast members.
“I know for me, this show was extremely strenuous emotionally and physically. When working with swords and shields, it takes so much force to safely attack an opponent on stage, and the specificity each battle contains is so in-depth and intense; it’s exhausting. Additionally, my character, Agnes, goes through a very emotional journey during the show, which of course, will have an effect on me, the actor. Everyone is putting their all into this show, and you can definitely see it play out on stage,” said Tzipi Crandell, who plays main character Agnes Evans.
The fact that the cast can still remain so passionate about a performance that challenges both their minds and bodies is a testament to the dedication and spirit of Juniata’s theatre department.
“You should come see She Kills Monsters because it’s SUPER fun and kick-ass. It’s got fighting (both of the sword and fist variety). There will be pizza-rolls and dancing and music! It’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you Ooooh and Ahhhh, and it might even make you cry,” Reilly said.
Cast members are very engaged with this performance and are sure to deliver some of the finest acting Juniata’s theatre department has to offer.
The Juniata theatre department is putting on She Kills Monsters in the Suzanne von Liebig Theatre from the 19th-28th of October. Come dressed as your favorite sci-fi or fantasy character, laugh and embrace your inner geek.