The Village Playhouse presents a comedic romp into the world of fantasy role-playing games with its upcoming production of "She Kills Monsters" is starting its second weekend of a three-weekend run at Inspiration Studios, 1500 S. 73rd St., West Allis.
Qui Nguyen’s fantastical comedy details the quest of Agnes Evans (played by Lauren Heinen), a high school teacher unable to quell her grief over her younger sister Tilly (Andrea Roedel-Schroeder), who died at age 15 in a car crash in which their parents were also killed. Finding the playbook Tilly created for her deep involvement in Dungeons & Dragons, Agnes persuades a student to preside as dungeon master and allow Agnes belatedly to enter Tilly’s fantasy world.
“I’ll admit, before taking on this show, I knew next to nothing about Dungeons & Dragons,” says director Maria Pretzl. “I was much like our protagonist when confronted with some of the play’s monsters. My mental image of a Bug Bear was a grizzly bear with antennae and beetle wings.
"I was quickly corrected. But there is more to this show than monsters. Although it is set in a fantasy world, this show is really about the bond between sisters.”
“Coming into this theater, I thought I would be just an actor,” comments Paul Zaragoza, the show’s producer. “Little did I know, I would become engrossed with learning more about the world of Dungeons & Dragons.
"I am very new to this world. Like our director, I came from Yu-Gi-Oh but started piecing things together and creating characters that someday I might want to portray.”
Many newcomers to the Village Playhouse stage bring varied experiences from near and far to join the journey into this world of medieval combat, complete with ogres and monsters..
Matthew Collie is new to Wisconsin, making his Village Playhouse debut after being credited with performances at the Sunset Theatre and with several theater productions in Fargo, North Dakota.
Dance choreographer SaraLynn Evenson boasts performances in many collaborative off-Broadway shows in New York City and dancing regularly with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre.
A huge on-stage dragon, created by designers Derek Jacobs and Melody Lopac, is guaranteed to impress the audience.
Prop master Moondancer Drake, created a myriad of hand-made battle weapons reminiscent of a long-gone era, including axes, bows, spears, gauntlets, and daggers. They add to the intricacies of the fight choreography staged by Tawnie Thompson who holds several certifications after studying stage combat for the past four years.
"She Kills Monsters" is a high-octane, dramatic comedy laden with homicidal fairies, nasty ogres, and 90's pop culture. It tells the story of a young woman who loses herself in a game in order to reclaim a long-gone loved one and offers a heart-pounding homage to the geek and warrior within us all.
Curtain for "She Kills Monsters" will be at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Feb. 17-18, 24-25, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26. Tickets are $17 (general) and $15 (seniors/students). Group rate of $14 per person is available for groups of 10 or more. Seats may be reserved by calling 414 207-4VPW or by emailing email@example.com. Tickets are also available for purchase online at brownpapertickets.com.
More information can be found on the Village Playhouse website at www.VillagePlayhouse.org or the Inspiration Studios website: www.inspirationstudiosgallery.com.
Contributed by Erico Ortiz, founder of Inspiration Studios