“She Kills Monsters” Preview

AE_Vincent Johnson_She Kills Monsters 3_Jody Kaizen

Courtesy of Jody Kaizen

Vincent Johnson
     Staff Writer

The UNCG Theatre Department will open their production of “She Kills Monsters” on Thursday, Feb. 11.  Directed by Professor James Wren, the story revolves around a young woman who finds adventure with the discovery of a strange new world.

“‘She Kills Monsters’ was written by Qui Nguyen and premiered Off-Off-Broadway at the Flea Theater in 2011,” Professor Wren explained. The director then went on to describe how they ended up choosing to bring “She Kills Monsters” to life for their next production.

“I had heard of the show when it opened (one of our BFA alums was in the original production), and thought it would be a good show for us to produce one day.  It’s funny, but has a heart.  Speaking of hearts, anytime you can stage a play where you actually rip out someone’s heart onstage, it’s always a fun challenge,” Professor Wren laughed.

The genre of “She Kills Monsters” falls along the lines of fantasy, action and adventure. Similar to feature films like “The Lord of the Rings,” “Star Wars,” “The Bridge to Terabithia,” “The Chronicles of Narnia,”  “Harry Potter” and other famous titles, it is a fiction piece that really breaks the laws of reality and logic in the almighty names of adventure, creativity, imagination, entertainment and most importantly, fun! There are also comedic aspects to the play.

Professor Wren elaborated on the storyline a bit more. “The main plot revolves around Agnes, a woman who is moving out of her home after the death of Tilly, her younger sister,” he explained. “When she finds Tilly’s Dungeons and Dragons notebook, she embarks on a journey in this world that was Tilly’s refuge.”

The director then talked about all of the various phases of production that must be executed to bring the play to life. The first, and one of the most important of these production phases, was selecting the actors who would play each character.

“We have open auditions for all of our productions every semester. I was looking for a group of people that would jump into this crazy world,” Professor Wren explained. “We also have an outstanding Design and Technical Production area in the Department of Theatre, so those students, faculty and staff are all working hard to create the outlandish effects that are called for in this play. For instance, if we wanted to create the effect of, I don’t know, blowing up a fairy with a missile, they would be the ones to design and produce every detail that goes into bringing such an amazing effect to life.”

With the production of every play, they are always challenges, difficulties and adversities that must be overcome in order to create something great. Professor Wren explained that the biggest challenge that he and the cast and crew of “She Kills Monsters” faced was “Probably developing the stamina to keep up the pace of the show.  It’s a non-stop ride.”

With that being said, it should be expected that this play will be an action-packed, heat-seeking, thrill missile aimed at anyone brave enough for the adventure. And although there are always challenges and difficulties that must be traversed when producing a play, the rewards are just as potent.

“The most rewarding part of production for me has been watching the energy and creativity of everyone involved mesh together,” Professor Wren continued. “But the biggest thing that I am looking forward to with the release of this play is finally being able to share this with an audience. I’m just really ready to watch it with an audience who is seeing this for the first time.”

Although “She Kills Monsters” is a fiction piece that is drenched in the juices of fantasy, action and adventure, it still does a good job of illustrating some key values that we can incorporate into our real lives.

The director explained that the one vital message he wants the audience to leave with after viewing the play is that, “very simply, it’s okay to be who you are.”

“She Kills Monsters” illustrates a plot that is a non-stop adventure from beginning to end. It is a creative, thought-provoking and action-packed narrative with a gripping storyline and captivating characters.

It opens next Thursday on Feb. 11, so be sure to catch a show! Professor Wren also encourages everyone to check out the UNCG Theatre Department’s entire season over at performingarts.uncg.edu/events/theatre-season.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment, Uncategorized, Upcoming A&E Events, Upcoming A&E Events, upcoming a&e events

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