‘She Kills Monsters’ shows relatability through crowd pleasing performances

Brianna Carmack, Enter

After weeks of auditioning, preparing and practicing for the fall play from students involved in the fall play, “She Kills Monsters” has officially come to an end after last week’s three-day run off the show on Oct. 17, 19 and 20.

“She Kills Monsters” follows the story of a 24 year old named Agnes Evans (played by senior Ivy Auletti) who loses her family in a car crash on the night of her college graduation. In order to understand her younger sister better, she finds her Dungeons and Dragons module that she had written prior to passing away. Based on this module, Agnes learns grows empathy for her younger sister through this experience, such as discovering her to be a closeted lesbian. 

“The major themes of the play have to do with grieving and how to continue life after a family,” Senior Rose Carter said. “A family member dies and it’s about how to keep memories and keep them alive but still also move one.”

The play was directed by drama teacher and Thespians sponsor Ginny Pape. The play is a recreation of the book, debuted in 2011 with the same title.

Some other roles that made frequent appearances in “She Kills Monsters” included the roles of Tilly Evans (played by Carter), Miles (played by senior Nathan PIckands) and Stephen (Max Barbe). 

Unlike some of the other plays that these students participated in the past, this play proved to be more complex due to the numerous amount of fight choreography. In order to enhance the students performance with fight choreography, Pape recruited a licensed stage fighter to give the students more authenticity in their performance. 

“[The stage fighting coach] came down to help us with the show by supplying us with real weapons that have been dulled down to be stage fighting weapons,” Pickands said. “They’re real metal and steel and crafted like a normal weapon would be except they’re all blunt to the point that you can’t cut anything with them.”

Although the fight choreography included a lot of practicing, some of the students found that all of the preparation proved beneficial when it came to actually performing it.

“I think all the fight choreography went well,” Auletti said. “I just wanted to have fun and learn more about stage combat.”

“She Kills Monsters” managed to please the crowd by not only giving out an exceptional performance, but by providing relatability through grieving and figuring out your true identity.

“[The audience] were really happy,” Carter said. “We got a handshake from the principal and that was shocking. I think everyone liked it because you could relate to it.”

The theatre department hopes to perform more plays in the future that live up to the expectations that this one did. It is highly encouraged by the drama department to support their hard work by stopping by to watch one of the plays this school year. 

“More people should come support the Manhattan High theatre program,” Auletti said. “Putting on a show is hard and underappreciated.  We appreciate everyone who does support us and encourage new people.”