Written by:Gretchen Sims
Content Warning: contains spoilers
From Nov. 16 – 19, Western Oregon University Theatre Department presented their fall season straight play, “She Kills Monsters.”
“She Kills Monsters” — written by Qui Nguyen and directed by Jeb Burris — starred Lexy Bolsinger as Tilly Evans and Katie Newsbury as Agnes Evans. The rest of the cast included Cole Richardson, Jeneba Diane King, Jacob Fritts, Emily Paoli, Cody Reece, Sergio Palomar, Brayden Allen, Tessa Douangaphaivong, Loki Cockrill, Paige Murphy, Lucy Garcia, Alyssa Parr, Ally Warner, Mere Butler, Savannah King and Seth Miller.
The play follows mid-twenties English teacher Agnes Evans as she grieves the loss of her younger sister Tilly. Tilly, a well-versed and prevalent Dungeon Master, was a foreign creature to the considerably average Agnes. After the passing of her sister in a horrific car crash, Agnes enlists another nerd, Chuck, played by Richardson, to help her decipher the home-spun module — a homemade and custom-built game of Dungeon and Dragons — her sister left behind.
Through exploring the game created by Tilly, and led by talented and geeky Dungeon Master Chuck, Agnes is able to uncover unknown details of her sister’s personality and existence. These discoveries allow Agnes to gain a deeper understanding of the person Tilly truly was.
By the end, there was not one dry eye in the audience. The cast was incredibly talented and took their audience through a rollercoaster of emotions — from the most outrageous of laughter to the most heart-wrenching tears. No matter where one lies on the nerd spectrum, “She Kills Monsters” resonates with humanity and changes one’s perspective on both real and fictional worlds.
I am a member of the heartless, “never cries in movies” crew, but even I teared up when Agnes had to say her final goodbyes to Tilly. As the older sibling of two younger sisters, my heart bled for Agnes and felt her pain every step of the way.
All of the performers did a fantastic job. My two favorite performances were from Cole Richardson as Chuck and Sergio Palomar as Orcus. Students in the Western Oregon University Theatre Department have incredible acting abilities that will continue to be shared throughout the 2022-23 school year, so be sure to check out their upcoming shows.
This production was a game changer.
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