“She Kills Monsters” at KMC Onstage Studio

“She Kills Monsters” at KMC Onstage Studio (CAPT Lisa Rivera)

“This is a D&D adventure, not therapy,” Tilly (Maddie Turner) tells her older sister Agnes (SSgt Devyn Freeze). But, for Agnes, the campaign means so much more.

Set in “ye goode olde days” of 1995, the play “She Kills Monsters” at the KMC Onstage Studio is much like its protagonist game creator: strong, powerful and magical. Tillius the Paladin is, incredibly, dead the whole time, and yet in this comedy (slash drama) she is leading the adventure. As Agnes comes to terms with Tilly’s death, she finds her teenage sister’s Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) homemade campaign module and seeks out a local Dungeon Master (DM) named Chuck (Alyssa Bell) to help her understand the life Tilly kept secret.

Directed by Nina Run Bergsdottir, the performance includes six actors new to the KMC Onstage community. Using the Studio space allows the audience to become immersed in the world of 90’s D&D as fight scenes and monsters seem to come from all sides. The monster costume variety and puppetry are impressive; there is everything from bug bears to dragons, giant eyeballs to a gelatinous cube. The puppetry crew remains subtly ‘out of sight while in plain sight’ throughout the campaign.

Chuck the Dungeon Master at KMC Onstage Studio’s production of “She Kills Monsters”

Chuck the Dungeon Master at KMC Onstage Studio’s production of “She Kills Monsters” (CAPT Lisa Rivera)

Chuck, our DM, is a hysterical quintessentially 90s nerd teenage boy. He is constantly putting on his moody wizard voice in his role as DM, then instantly cutting across himself with funny jabs in the modern world, “Oh there are chips…not the Skittles, they’re mine.” We ride along as he teaches Agnes about D&D and she joins Tillius the Paladin’s party. It’s an impressive band that includes Lilith Morningstar (CPT TJ Thompson), a demon queen and Kaliope Darkwalker (Cora Caravel Armstrong), an elf. They are soon joined by the demon Orcus (Colby Robertson) who channels his inner Beetlejuice to great effect.

Tilly is headstrong and makes no apologies for the world she created. Well, one apology. She always meant to go back and give the world of New Landia some better place names beyond the basic “River of Wetness” and “Mountains of Steepness”. Her confidence in this world is alluring and counters that of her ‘noobie’ sister who *scoff* can’t even wield a sword.

Tillius the Paladin at KMC Onstage Studio’s production of “She Kills Monsters”

Tillius the Paladin at KMC Onstage Studio’s production of “She Kills Monsters” (CAPT Lisa Rivera)

The numerous fight scenes that occur along this journey are well-choreographed. One highlight is the flying kick levied by Farrah the Fairy (Oona Borovicka), which you really must see. As the party comically traipses along their adventure vanquishing monsters, it becomes apparent that Tilly’s life and her secrets have melded with the campaign. Agnes finds out that Tilly never shared her closeted life as a lesbian, nor the bullying she faced at school, and that there is more parallel in the real world than she first imagined. Agnes spirals into a dark space of self-reflection and regret that allows her sister’s D&D world to encroach on her own.

Enchantingly, it is Tilly, strong, powerful and magical, who leads Agnes back to the campaign from her dark side quest of self-destruction. And, of course, the dragon at the end must (dramatically) die.

“Did you have fun?” Tilly asks. “That is the point of all this!”

I certainly did.

The campaign. “She Kills Monsters” at KMC Onstage Studio

The campaign. “She Kills Monsters” at KMC Onstage Studio (CAPT Lisa Rivera)

Upcoming shows:

“She Kills Monsters” has a suggested PG-13 for mature content, profanity, and references to sexual content.

Visit webtrac to buy tickets, or call 09641-70-541-9129.

  • March 8, 2024 at 7 p.m.

  • March 9, 2024 at 7 p.m.

  • March 10, 2024 at 2 p.m.

Note: The writer volunteered to help make a few props for this production.

author picture
Kat is a travel and lifestyle writer based in Kaiserslautern, Germany with a special interest in anything outdoorsy or ancient. She has a bachelor’s degree in geography from Penn State University and has been a travel writer for about 10 years. Currently, she is in the depths of dissertation research for an archaeology degree at the University of the Highlands and Islands. 

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