You find yourself seeking shelter from the stress of studying by visiting one of your favorite cafés. Once there you notice a troupe of performers form the local theater: what do you do? Upon investigating, you come to learn that they have just finished performing the last of their fall shows. One of the performers invites you to sit down next to him, and as you see no other open seats in the café, you agree.
Curious as to the nature of the show you inquire of the man sitting next to you what they performed. With your high charisma the performer is happy to indulge you, and himself, by sharing the details of the show. The loud and jubilant tone of the performer obviously catches the attention of the many other customers throughout the café, and as he begins his story a hush falls over the crowd and a dozen heads lean in as he remarks:
“Last weekend Mines Little Theater finished their second fall show, She Kills Monsters. The show is inspired heavily by the emerging nerd culture of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Set in Athens, Ohio in the year 1995, “nerds” still had not emerged far from the shadows and the internet was in its infancy with a “blazing 56 kilobits per second” on the top end. The best fantasy adventures took place around a table with your friends as one of them served as a Dungeon Master and would lead you through a world of their own creation. Whether that description conjures up memories of the first time that you sat down with a group of friends to embark on a mighty quest or is completely lost to you, you can still enjoy She Kills Monsters. The show doesn’t live or die by knowing the meaning of a natural twenty or what your character alignment is.
“The play follows Agnes Evans, a young teacher, trying to come to terms with losing the rest of her family in a car crash. The loss of her younger sister Tilly is especially hard on Agnes as they never spent much time together, nor did they have any overlapping interests. Without the possibility for her to get to know Tilly as an adult, Agnes turns to her last possible connection to her kid sister, a Dungeons and Dragons adventure that Tilly wrote. With the help of Chuck, a Dungeon Master Agnes recruits from a local game store, she embarks on a quest to learn more about her sister the last way she can. The World of “New Landia” was created by Tilly to offer an escape from the real world and wish fulfillment for her adventures. However, what Agnes learns about her sister from the adventure is more than she bargained for when she decides to give the game a shot.
“Mines Little Theater’s production uses an excellent lighting system to indicate a switch between the real world and the world of “New Landia” that involves lighting on the armor and weapons of the characters so when the lights dim you know another amazing fight scene is about to take place. Though not as consistently funny as their last play, Rumors, She Kills Monsters delivers its humor in a big way, causing the whole theater to erupt into laughter several times during the night. With this in mind, She Kills Monsters is closer to a PG-13 rating than Rumors due to its fantasy violence and mature content.
“Once again, the actors of Mines Little Theater did an amazing job staying in character even when they were only in the background of scenes. Even the monsters that stood in the adventure’s way were charming and lively.”
Having spent the evening recalling the tales of the theater troupe, you were filled with some sadness that you had missed their play, but you are excited to stay tuned to hear more about the spring musical, Mama Mia.