Why you should go see “She Kills Monsters”


Ella Jennings

“Roll a D20!”

Shaun Underwood, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Westmont’s newest addition from the Theater Arts department promises to bring more action, grander set pieces and riveting scenes never before seen in Porter Theater.  “She Kills Monsters” follows the unlikely pairing of Dungeons and Dragons alongside the trauma of losing family. I sat down with some of the cast to get the scoop on why every Westmont student, faculty and the like needs to see their show opening on Oct. 21.

According to the cast, one of the most fascinating and fun aspects of “She Kills Monsters” stems from the unique opportunity to partake in action on a stage. The cast described the novelty and intricacy of working with action. Clubs, staffs and swords are just a few of the fancy features to be displayed in the production. While waving around their weapons, the cast mentioned how they need to be extremely accurate and in sync with their opponents to make sure no one gets hurt while also making sure they don’t get distracted by the dancing puppets or big set pieces in the background.

To make the action all the more special, alumna Danielle Draper returned to direct the combat throughout the production. Beyond puppets and weapons, the production will employ lights and projections to capture the magical presence found in the Dungeons and Dragons game. Along with lights and projections, the scenery, as the cast put it, will help to flesh out the story and draw the audience into its thematic elements.

Given the fact that one of the production’s main facets is the Dungeons and Dragons theme, the cast commented on how the audience need not be deterred since the play will follow a character who knows nothing about the game. The character will gradually learn how to play along with the audience, making the experience all that much more immersive. 

Interestingly, “She Kills Monsters” has two different types of scripts: the uncensored original and the Young Adventurers’ Version. As reported by the cast members, the Westmont production will be the young adventurers’ version of the production. This means that there will be a large reduction in the amount of profanity and suggestive themes. However, the censored version appears to add more to the play from the cast’s eyes. 

By using the censored version of “She Kills Monsters,” the cast explained how it centers the play more in high school with toned-down language and really cements the environment instead of using profanity to strike a nerve with people. The censored version also allows for the production to push fewer boundaries, creating an environment where everyone in the Westmont ecosystem can come and enjoy the full extent of the production.  

Even if this version of the play is censored, it still will keep its elements of sexuality throughout the play. The cast made sure to explain how these story elements only add to the meaning behind the character’s journeys throughout their story, defining a character and adding more meaning to the story as a whole. 

“She Kills Monsters” opens soon. If you want to delve into the dungeon and dance with dragons, this is a play you won’t want to miss.

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