Le Moyne Colleges on campus theatre company Boot and Buskin has done it again with their fall production titled She Kills Monsters. Written by Qui Nguyen and directed by Matt Chiorini, this show emphases the importance of family, understanding, and D&D. In this heartfelt show, Agnes Evans (Meghan Lees) tries to understand her little sister Tilly Evans (Megan Hill) through the use of Tilly’s Dungeons and Dragons campaign, after Tilly and her parents were killed in an unfortunate car crash. Through the various challenges and battles in the campaign, Agnes seeks to kill a fierce five-headed dragon and complete Tilly’s quest. Throughout the journey, Agnes learns about her sister’s daily struggles as a high school student and how she handled life. In her quest to understand her sister, Agnes learns to understand herself and her needs.
The cast of this show put a ton of physical labor into their incredible performance. The Ensemble made up of Zach Almeter, Anthony Dillenbeck, Nathaniel Hacker, AnnaRae Martin, Annabella Scarano, Nikita Sharkey, and Andrew Welton has a specifically hard task. On top of their elaborate performances as the monsters of She Kills Monsters they also did an amazing job keeping up with all the scene changes. The ensemble doubled as part of the run crew for this show, showing the versatile abilities of the talented performers that are here at Le Moyne College. The relationship between Tilly and Agnes was beautifully brought to life by Meghan Lees and Megan Hill. Hill aptly portrayed what it is like to be an outsider in high school, giving it her absolute all in this amazing performance that will have you begging for Agnes to understand where she is coming from. Lees developed Agnes in an insightful and charming way that left me understanding what it is like to be at the next turning point in a young adults life. Lees and Hill’s playful and trusting relationship really hit home with the audience and me personally.
The monsters themselves include Farrah the Fairy (Samantha Lee), Evil Tina (Morgan Smith), and Evil Gabby (Celina Rescott). Lee really embraced the new technical elements thrown her way in this fighting intensive production. She was able to “fly” through scenes with amazing accuracy and energy, keeping the audience intrigued on who would actually win in the battle against her. Using his high stature Powell created comedic moments during his battle. The dynamic duo of Smith and Rescott made an amazing pair of evil vampire cheerleaders. They made the perfect bullies and played off of each other’s energy really well. Another stand out from this show was Vera (Samantha Overton) her witty and charm was comical but also from a place of pure warmth. Overton’s ability to switch from funny to serious shows off her true talent of being such a versatile actress.
The technological elements of this show were incredible and a show this big was a beast to produce but the incredible team at the performing arts center did a spectacular job. Costume Designer Lindsey Voorhees did an amazing job on her costumes for this larger than life show. She had a big order to fill with various costume changes and many costumes to build. The costumes were whimsical and effervescent, they helped tell the story on their own and that speaks wonders. The set designed by Karel Blakeley was not only versatile in the sense that it could be used with minimal physical scene changes but it also allows for world creation. I loved the use of the vom and pit, these elements allowed for characters to enter and exit in a swift seamless manner. I also really liked the use of puppetry of with huge pieces of fabric. It really pulls the audience into the action. The element of the turntable was also a smart decision as it allowed for quick scene changes. The projections for this show were truly spectacular. They set the scene for most of the show and it allowed the cast to be transported to places a built set just can’t accomplish.
She Kills Monsters is a wonderful show about family and understanding. It is comical yet heartwarming, teaching the audience a lesson in trying to understand people we might not usually want to. It plays out scenes of what it is like to be a nerd in the 90s and other challenges of being in high school. It is a show that reminded me it is important to be nicer to the people we love. If you want to see this fun, comical, heartwarming show you have November 1st and 2nd at 8 pm and November 3rd at 2 pm and 8 pm. Come unleash your inner nerd and see this amazing show.