SHE KILLS MONSTERS Breaks Traditional Roles Through One Woman’s Dungeons and Dragons Quest • Long Beach Post


Image courtesy of CSULB Theatre Arts. 

She Kills Monsters, a hyper-theatrical comedy, will be playing in the Studio Center in the Theatre Arts Building at Cal State Long Beach (CSULB), opening February 17 and closing February 26.

The play is about a young woman named Agnes, who discovers a notebook that contains a homemade Dungeons and Dragons quest while packing her recently deceased younger sister Tilly’s belongings. Agnes is initially motivated to play the game so she can learn more about Tilly, whom she barely knew because of their age difference.

As she enters the fantastical world, however, she embarks on a journey of revelatory self-discovery. It becomes difficult to differentiate the game from reality, putting Agnes’ real-life relationships at risk, and she is forced to decide what is most important, the memories of her family or the possibilities of her future.

“It is a play that portrays young women as powerful leaders, guides and sages,” Director Amanda McRaven said in a statement. “It’s a play that normalizes a gay central character, which I think is highly important […] It’s a highly theatrical event that invigorates the space between people and allows the audience to experience something alive that they can’t find anywhere else.”

The game itself has been primarily played by males since its creation in the 1970s. It grew more inclusive in its 2014 version, which explicitly encourages players to consider a broader range of sex, gender and sexual behavior.

Like the game, the play is packed with plenty of action, however audiences can expect much more than the expected punching, stabbing and sword clanging, according to Movement Director Julie Granata-Hunicutt.

“Instead, it will be the combination of dance forms like capoeira that are based on fighting styles,” Granata-Hunicutt said in a statement. “Each of the characters will really come through. The imagination that they bring to the characters will be reflected in how they move.”

Granata-Hunicutt is an educator and performer who teaches body awareness and creative movement for both young and professional actors. She holds a bachelor’s in acting from the The Theatre School at DePaul University.

The play presents a Dungeons and Dragons world that is still understandable for those unfamiliar with the role-playing game. It was written by Qui Nguyen, a playwright, screenwriter and co-founder of the Obie award-winning theatre company Vampire Cowboys of New York City.

Performances for She Kills Monsters run Tuesday through Saturday at 8:00PM with three matinees at 2:00PM. Tickets are $17 for general admission and $14 for seniors, students, and CSULB faculty and staff.

For tickets and information, visit the CSULB theatre arts website here.

CSULB is located at 1250 Bellflower Boulevard. 

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