Official Student Media of Valencia College

Valencia Voice

Official Student Media of Valencia College

Valencia Voice

Official Student Media of Valencia College

Valencia Voice

“She Kills Monsters” Continues Into Sold Out Second Weekend At East Campus

Production staff talk development, accessibility and inclusiveness
The cast of “She Kills Monsters” posing on the Black Box Theater stage. The show is sold out for the upcoming and final weekend performances. 
(Jesus Paz)

For its second weekend, “She Kills Monsters”, a dramatic comedy play by Qui Nguyen, is showing at the Black Box Theater at the Valencia College East Campus. The sold out production finishes Saturday, February 24. 

“She Kills Monsters” focuses on protagonist Agnes Evans and her deceased sister Tilly, a character who was unable to express herself. Taking place in Ohio, 1995, Agnes learns these hidden aspects about her sister through a gamebook of Dungeons and Dragons made by her. 

Director Bill Warriner talked candidly about his numerous roles in the production. “I am the director, fight director, and puppet director,” said Warriner. “This is my first full-length play after being a professional fight director for 34 years…  Taking the role as a full show director has been a different experience, but it’s been fantastic and the show itself has been important to me.” 

“She Kills Monsters”. Director Bill Warriner stands next to the show poster.  (Jesus Paz)

The play is described as “Dungeons & Dragons, dragons as a background,” by Warriner, because there is a lot more to the play than just being D&D. “This is a story about someone dealing with the path of grief which I have done. I am a widower. That journey I think is something we don’t take a look at in our culture, how to deal with them…a lot of people are gonna come in expecting to see the adventure that is Dungeons & Dragons, but ‘She Kills Monsters’ is not about actual physical monsters.”

“It’s the monsters within us. Ghosts are real. They live in our heads and you have to come to terms with being able to let them go.”

Surprisingly, first rehearsal to opening day only took 36 days. “That is an incredibly short amount of time, given the amount of rehearsal time we have because we’re at a college,” added Warriner. “I could not ask for a better team of people getting everyone within this production.”

Dafne Cardeña, 21, AA, plays a fairy named Farrah. “I’ve never had a character that was so psychotic and freeing,” Cardeña commented. On working with the rest of the team, she said, “It was beautiful…the whole cast talks about it, how we literally love each other. We are genuinely hanging out a lot afterwards. And I know people say this every time about shows, but this is actually a really perfect cast.”

The play also has its own music by composer Ms.Meka Nism, an opera metal vocalist local to Orlando.

“We’re used to playing in a band setting; seeing these characters doing fight scenes, tender human moments, or in a dance routine was very fun and exhilarating,” said Nism. 

“To rehearse enough to make it feel natural; it shows the work ethic, the dedication to each character and to the production.” 

Warriner, who’s hearing impaired, focused on making the play inclusive. “With the audio design, we to make sure that I could like, literally feel it or felt like you’re in it…It’s the show designed to be accessible to absolutely anyone but not intrusively,” summarized Warriner. “As a fight director, it’s always been my opinion that a person should know what’s going on; a Deaf person should hear what’s being said….the event on Friday it’s going to be translated, it’s gonna be a version of the play with American Sign Language.”

Warriner also considered the angles of the actors so the audience could at least see the play, the physicality, and the lips, so they’re able to distinguish every individual voice. 

Warriner continued, “For someone who is sight-impaired and may not be able to see everything — Notice all the sounds of different monsters that are attacking. Each and every one of them have a different noise. It’s about inviting that imagination. This is what I’ve been obsessing with for quite some time.”

The idea translates well to the actual game of D&D where using imagination is key and another way the play connects to the game. 

Production crew and performers for “She Kills Monsters” including Director Bill Warriner  and composer Ms Meka Nism, bottom middle, pose in front of the Black Box Theater. (Jesus Paz)

All shows of “She Kills Monsters” are now sold out for the Valencia College East Campus Black Box Theater. Be sure to check out School of Arts and Entertainment upcoming events on their website.

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