“She Kills Monsters” Opens Homecoming Weekend

On Friday, Oct. 17, Frostburg State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance’s production of “She Kills Monsters” opens in the F. Perry Smith Studio Theatre in the Performing Arts Center. Individual tickets are $12 for general admission and $6 for students.

“Monsters” begins after average Agnes’s little sister Tilly passes away and Agnes comes across Tilly’s old Dungeons and Dragons set. Agnes begins playing Dungeons and Dragons to better know her nerdy, younger sister. As she gets deeper into the game, she finds that Tilly’s character, Tillius the Paladin, has lost her soul. Tillius the Paladin, Agnes the Asshatted, and their nerdy friends embark on a journey to recover Tillius’s soul—and a relationship between two sisters.

Balancing reality with fantasy, the characters struggle with imaginary demons—and real ones.

“She Kills Monsters” Director Darrell Rushton said he chose to perform the show because “it’s just flat out fun.” Rushton explained that the fight scenes and the humor played also played a big role in the selection.

Stage combat plays a prominent role in “Monsters,” as the show centers largely around the game of Dungeons and Dragons. To help out, FSU’s Department of Theatre and Dance brought in Michael Chin, a certified fight master with the Society of American Fight Directors. Chin, who was part of the original production of “She Kills Monsters,” created original fight choreography for the show, according to Rushton.

In addition to the humor and the stage combat, the play hit home for Rushton.

“I played [Dungeons and Dragons] as a kid, so it touched there,” said Rushton, who also noted that the play conveys a strong message. “There’s an important message hidden in the silliness,” Rushton said.

Rushton explained, “There’s a strong message of anti-bullying and acceptance in the show, and that’s important.” He continued, “There’s no time for us vs. them.”

Starring two female leads, “She Kills Monsters” has strong feminist messages.

Maureen Groff, who plays Tillius the Paladin, said, “This is the role I’ve been waiting for,” explaining that not many plays have such strong female leads. “It’s so rare and so beautiful. I’m lucky.”

Maddie Bohrer, who plays Agnes, stated, “There are not many shows like this one,” noting that few plays feature sword-wielding females who kill monsters. “This show is awesome, but I didn’t know how awesome it would be until I was lucky enough to be cast as Agnes.”

“It’s not until you have the sword in your hand where you say ‘Yes, I can do this.’ And it’s so empowering,” said Groff.

“She Kills Monsters” opens on Friday, Oct. 17, at 7:30 p.m. Additional performances will take place on Saturday, Oct. 18, at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Thursday, Oct. 23 through Saturday, Oct. 25, at 7:30 p.m.

For information, call the Theatre and Dance box office at 301-687-7462.

Featured picture credited to FSU Dept. of Theatre and Dance.

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