She Kills Monsters
"She Kills Monsters" is set in the town of Athens, Ohio, in the year of our Lord 1995. We meet our protagonist, Agnes, a high school English teacher early in her career with an "average" boyfriend and "average" life plan disrupted by the unexpected death of her younger sister and her parents in a car crash. Soon afterwards, she discovers a notebook with a D&D realm - New Landia - created by her younger sister, Tilly. Having no frame of reference for D&D, Agnes visits local gamer and Tilly's dungeon master, Chuck Biggs, and begins to explore the world Tilly made, populated by brave heroes (mostly women, a rarity within the gaming community at the time), all of whom are gay (also unusual and dangerous for the time and place), and ferocious monsters (based on a range of high school bullies). The play shifts between Agnes' real world of work and life and Agnes playing D&D, learning the things that Tilly kept hidden and the things that Agnes didn't notice because she was committed to being "average."
Our production extends the world within a world within a world structure of fantasy stories. Our company of players gather to enact the "She Kills Monsters" campaign that illustrates Agnes' journey from conventional to extraordinary. The players undergo transformations using tools of imaginative, decidedly analog stagecraft: shadow theater; cardboard structures; puppets of all materials, shapes and sizes; basic and elaborate cosplay to depict unique interpretations of D&D characters.