‘She Kills Monsters’ on stage at David Douglas High Theater

Discover more about a fantasy play that brings together highlights of ’90s pop culture, and Dungeons & Dragons, in an action-packed adventure brought to life with strong actors and terrific special effects …

In the Hazelwood neighborhood, David Douglas High School Theater Department student actors make final adjustments in blocking a scene, as they rehearse their production of She Kills Monsters.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

In the Howard Horner Performing Arts Center Auditorium at David Douglas High School (DDHS) on Friday, March 8, the school’s Theater Department student actors and stage technicians premièred their winter play, She Kills Monsters, before an appreciative audience.

Co-Directors Sada Adams and David Rosenbaum take “actors notes” and give actors guidance during one of the final dress rehearsals of their play, She Kills Monsters.

“I’ve been waiting for a long time to do this show,” commented the show’s Co-Director David Rosenbaum, as the cast rehearsed scenes from the play.

“All the pieces necessary to make this a great show came together – that is, we have the great technical talent that it takes to do this show, and a cast of solid student actors to put the show over!” he exclaimed.

The play’s central character – popular high school senior Agnes Evans (played by Lolek Ortigoza) – can’t stand her geeky Dungeons-&-Dragons-obsessed sister Tilly (played by Anjali Evers).

“It’s a gorgeous story about two sisters – learning to love each other, love themselves, and to grow as people,” Rosenbaum told East Portland News.

About the story
Set in 1995, She Kills Monsters tells the story of high school senior, cheerleader Agnes Evans, as she comes to terms with the untimely death of her younger sister, Tilly.

After her sister Tilly’s death, Agnes reluctantly enters the world of Dungeons & Dragons – her sister’s refuge from the real world – under the guidance of Dungeon Master Chuck (played by Chaz Guinan).

When Agnes comes across Tilly’s Dungeons & Dragons notebook, she finds herself falling into the imaginary world of this popular table game that was her sister’s “refuge” from the outside world.

Once immersed in the world of Dungeons & Dragons, Agnes joins Tilly’s adventuring party – portrayed by student actors Scarlett Stokes, Anjali Evers, Leslie Juarez-Diaz, and DeMarcus Ray Stephens Jr. – who help her navigate this strange and exciting new realm.

In the land of Dungeons & Dragons, Tilly and Agnes are tormented by Evil Gabbi (played by Lily Beckham), and Evil Tina (played by Ruby Wilson) – two succubus cheerleader villains who came to be, based on Tilly’s real-life bullies, when she was alive.

As the story unfolds, Agnes finds herself going back and forth between real life and an imagined world of Dungeons & Dragons, in a quest to save her sister’s soul. Here she battles against murderous fairies, vulgar ogres, and succubus cheerleader villain cheerleaders.

During the adventure, Agnes learns about Tilly’s exploration of her sexuality, and discovers a side of herself she never knew existed.

Agnes battles one of the many monsters that she encounters on her journey in the world of Dungeons & Dragons. The question is, will she succeed in her rescue plans?

“Audiences like to leave the show feeling touched, inspired, and a little more emotionally open,” Rosenbaum remarked.

The costuming of the 21 student actors costuming is spot on; and, the lighting, special visual effects, and stage management of the 15-member all-student technical crew is superbly done.

The crew takes a well-deserved curtain call at the conclusion of She Kills Monsters.

She Kills Monsters continues two weekends in March

Evening performances of She Kills Monsters continue at 7:30 p.m. on March 9, and 15 and 16. Or, take in a “Family Matinee” – just so you know, if this were a motion picture, it would likely be rated PG-13 – at 2:30 p.m. on March 10 or March 17.

TICKETS: $12 Adults | $8 Students and Seniors. Don’t miss out, buy tickets securely online: CLICK HERE.

All performances are in the David Douglas Horner Performing Arts Center, located at Horner Performing Arts Center 1400 SE 130th Avenue, 97233.

© 2024 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

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