“She Kills Monsters” Slays on Stage

Dynamic, geeky, and hilarious; these are the best three words to describe Blake Stage Company’s newest production. In her second-ever show as director at Blake, alumna Ms. Garcia-Ruiz is paving her path once again in Blake Stage Company with the captivating story of She Kills Monsters. She Kills Monsters is a drama-comedy written by Qui Nguyen that tells the tale of Agnes Evans as she explores a notebook left by her sister Tilly, who died in a car accident. The play explores Tilly’s fantasy world as a Dungeons and Dragons player and presents parallels between her real life and the game. I was lucky enough to catch a ticket to the opening night show, and, after two hours of laughing and exchanging remarks of suspense with my friends, I can confidently say that you don’t want to miss this production.

She Kills Monsters stars senior Kimmy Recas as Agnes and junior Charlotte Richesson as Tilly. Agnes is an average woman living an average life, teaching at her former high school when she discovers a notebook left behind by Tilly and wishes her life was just a little more fun. Kimmy captures the energy of an older sister perfectly, whether it be through Agnes’ banter with Tilly’s DND character or her protectiveness over Tilly in conversations with other characters. Her concern for Tilly is believable, and her stubborn, skeptical attitude toward the game makes her character all the more relatable. Additionally, Charlotte’s portrayal of Tilly is likable and humorous, and her depiction of raw, genuine emotion in all her scenes makes you sympathize with her fictional life and root for her success in the DND world. They bring the perfect balance between childlike innocence and real-world struggles to the stage, giving depth to Tilly and making her fictional creation all the more impactful. This dynamic duo won over the hearts of the entire audience, through Agnes’ thorough acceptance of Tilly and Tilly’s hesitant yet evident willingness to connect with Agnes once more. 

Not to mention the incredibly strong supporting cast that uplifted the show through offbeat, ridiculous one-liners and attitude. Two characters that stood out the most were Paul Zulueta as Chuck and Sage Segarra-Garay as Vera. Paul portrayed an awkward yet sweet Dungeon Master so well, and every interaction he had with Miles (Agnes’ boyfriend, portrayed by sound head Gus Martone) had the audience cracking up. Sage plays Agnes’ best friend and the school guidance counselor, and her annoyance towards the students and sarcastic advice made me look forward to every time she appeared on stage. 

But of course, this show would not be possible without a wonderful tech crew behind it. Sound designer Ean Ayuk created his OWN music to use for the show, and the tunes perfectly capture the atmosphere of Ohio in the 1990s (as much as our generation could imagine it, at least). Amy Berger, Senior Co-Head of the lighting department, put on a fantastic lighting design that made the serious moments more meaningful and the fight scenes more intense. What impressed me the most with the crew, however, was the props used to depict the monsters. There is true artistic talent in the props and paint crew, with intricate designs and eye-catching props across the stage.

All in all, I would 10/10 recommend this play, and would gladly watch it again. Lucky for you, there are two more showings this weekend! Clear your schedules for March 15 and 16 at 7 pm, and make sure to catch this exciting, entertaining, and enlightening performance from Blake Stage Company!