WHSTE slays performance of “She Kills Monsters”

Julia Callini and Emily Chafe

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  • Sophomore Madeline Maurer, who plays Agnes Evans, answers a phone call. "She Kills Monsters" follows Agnes, a 20-something who plays her deceased sister's game of Dungeons and Dragons to try to get to know her better. "I really had to take a look at all of the relationships in my life in order to understand Agnes and [her sister] Tilley's relationship" Maurer said.

  • Maurer meets Chuck, played by junior Matthew Behrle. Chuck is a dungeon master who leads Maurer through her deceased sister's "Dungeons and Dragons" quest.

  • Agnes meets Lilith, her sister's quest partner, and lover. Lilith is played by junior Cas Ross, who is a WHSTE veteran. Lilith and TIlley are lovers, a surprise to Agnes. The show deals with themes of sexual identity as well as the complexity of sexuality. From left to right: freshman Grace Stephenson, Ross and Maurer

  • Stephenson plays Tilley Evans, Agnes' younger sister. In this scene, Tilley takes the lead on leading Lilith and Kaliope on her quest to regain her soul.

  • Behrle grasps the air while he tries to convince Agnes to keep playing the game.

  • Kaliope, played by senior Renée Case, draws a map of the quest with her staff. Case is also a WHSTE veteran and closes out her high school theatric career with "She Kills Monsters."

  • Orcus, played by senior Nathan Hochberger, sits in his "throne" while watching the 90s hit sitcom, "Friends." "['She Kills Monsters'] is a high-octane, dramatic, comedy-laden 90s pop culture [play]," director Aidan O'Hara said. The show included music from hit 90s artists like Ace of Base and the "Friends" theme song.

  • Case and Maurer bond during a scene. "She Kills Monsters" tackles topics like communication, emotions and empathy through fantastical characters and a surreal setting.

  • Agnes confronts Tilley after a dispute. According Maurer, the cast learned much about complicated relationships while rehearsing "She Kills Monsters." "I'm lucky because my two brothers and I all grew up together," Maurer said. "We were really close. [To] see some of the tension between Agnes and Tilley makes me really grateful for my family."

  • Agnes faces her boyfriend, Miles, played by sophomore Kaiyang Zhang. Tilley wrote Miles into her Dungeons and Dragons narrative as a villain. "It was so hard for Agnes to realize that Tilley disliked Miles," Maurer said. "It made her realize how little she knew her sister."

  • Maurer fights "Miles" in the ultimate battle. "It's not really Miles," Maurer repeated on stage.

  • Maurer stands proudly after coming to terms with her sister's death. Over the course of the play, Agnes struggles to accept her sister's passing, but she feels closer to her after playing the Dungeons and Dragons game that Tilley created. "The final scene has a moment that Agnes finally comes to terms with Tilley's passing," Maurer said. "It's a really important moment because [Agnes] is able to say what she hasn't said before."

  • The cast thanks the crew for lights, sound and tech. The play ran 80 minutes and was one act.

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Directed by Aidan O’Hara, WHSTE performed Qui Nyguen’s “She Kills Monsters” on May 9, 10 and 11. “She Kills Monsters” tells the story of Agnes Evans when she discovers her deceased sister’s notebook filled with a Dungeons and Dragons quests. “[Agnes] stumbles into a journey of discovery and action-packed adventure in the imaginary world that was Tilly’s refuge,” O’Hara said. Agnes was played by sophomore Madeline Maurer, and Tilley was played by freshman Grace Stephenson. For more photos from this gallery, click here

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