WAVE Productions’ “She Kills Monsters” explores grief and sister relationships


Angeli Mittal/Daily Senior Staffer

The play “She Kills Monsters” explores grief and love through the game Dungeons & Dragons.

Kara Peeler, Assistant Copy Editor

A production that features loss and love — and Dungeons & Dragons — goes up this weekend. Tickets for “She Kills Monsters” by WAVE Productions are already fully booked for all three shows.

“She Kills Monsters” follows a young woman named Agnes as she grieves the loss of her parents and younger sister Tilly. She plays Tilly’s Dungeons & Dragons module to reconnect with her sister.

“(WAVE’s board wanted to show) the brighter side of things, just being able to think about all the things that we’ve lost or all the experiences that we’ve lost instead of sitting in our own grief, how we can still connect with one another, and still celebrate the moments that we do have,” said Communication sophomore and Producer Ryan Nguyen.

The board also seeks to promote diversity and equity, according to Nguyen. The show features LGBTQ+ characters and was written by a Vietnamese American playwright.

In general, WAVE’s mission is to highlight stories relevant to campus current events. They select pieces that members are passionate about and that touch on prevalent themes, according to Bienen senior Paige Dirkes-Jacks, the university relations chair.

“We very purposefully do not have a mission statement that confines us to a specific type of work so that we can be able to adapt to the kinds of stories that the campus is wanting and needing to hear,” Dirkes-Jacks said.

Dirkes-Jacks and Nguyen described the environment as thoughtful and supportive — the “She Kills Monsters” team and WAVE’s board members have formed a deep sense of community.

They added that WAVE relies on passion and is even referred to as the “passion project board.”

“It’s interesting because WAVE is a board that ultimately is just committed to creating theatre,” said Communication freshman Nick Hollenbeck, who plays Tilly’s friend Chuck. “WAVE (members) are the ones who really know how to nail just putting on a play, and all the production value is always very, very high quality.”

As “She Kills Monsters” takes place in the ‘90s, the performance will include retro music, costumes and makeup. Nguyen said the designers went above and beyond for this production, especially for its set design.

The play also incorporates dramatic fight choreography, which Hollenback and Nguyen said they look forward to seeing in action.

“It is a touching show,” said Communication junior Kylie Boyd, the show’s stage manager. “But I hope that (audience members) leave feeling like it can be an escape for a moment, because that’s really (how the show) treats Dungeons & Dragons, as an escape from this mundane real life. If that show can be that for the audience, we’ll have achieved our goal.”

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Twitter: @karapeeler

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