A Monstrous Performance

Meg Wilson

The newest Albany Academy play directed by Mr.Streifert, She Kills Monsters: Young Adventurers Edition, adapted from a play of the same name by Qui Nguyen, is a heartwarming story of love, loss, discovery, and fantasy. The play chronicles Agnes Evans in the aftermath of the death of her younger sister, Tilly, as she makes discoveries about her while reading her Dungeons and Dragons game scenarios. 

Although it is set in the 1990s, it deals with many issues teens experience in the present day. Even if not all of the actors or even audience members have experienced anything similar, those feelings of self-discovery and difficult family relationships that Agnes and Tilly face are pretty universal. 

Even though the play was rather emotional, it also had plenty of interesting and difficult fight scenes choreographed by Mr. Collett. While this may have been new to some of the actors, they were able to perfect all the fight scenes in the production. Another aspect that made the play enjoyable to watch were the amazing costumes and sets that while difficult to make, made the storyline clear. The transitions between the comic store and the Dungeons and Dragons game were seamless and easy to follow thanks to the set and lighting. The costumes worn in this play were definitely unlike any we have seen before in an Albany Academies’ production. The fierce outfits worn by Lilth (Epiphany De Rosier) and Kaliope (Emily Allen) gave the audience an even deeper understanding of their characters’ confident and intense personas. 

The variety of different characters this play offered was one of the best I have seen. With such a diverse selection of strong characters, it was easy to see oneself in any number of them. From Agnes Evans (Anika Meeusan) who struggled with being her most authentic self in the beginning of the play, to becoming one who was fearless at the end, to characters such as Tilly (Ursula Wolfe) who never feared what others might perceive them as. While the female characters were strong, the didn’t lack in femininity which is not uncommon with characters such as these. This can be seen it Agnes, Lilith, and Kaliope. While the play did touch on many emotional subjects, the perfect casting of characters such as Orcus (Austen McDonald) and Farrah the Faerie (Peter Murphy) gave the audience much needed comedic relief. An audience member is quoted saying “the play was super funny and it touched on a lot of topics that I don’t think our school would be able to touch on in the past.” The play having numerous strong female characters is a clear indication that the theater department is finding a more equal balance among roles.