Students present D&D dramatic comedy

'She Kills Monsters' to run Oct. 25-28 at Cal Lutheran

Rylee Smith, Kylie Patterson and Moriah Sittner get tough in "She Kills Monsters."

Photo: Brian Stethem

(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Oct. 12, 2018) California Lutheran University’s Theatre and Dance Department is presenting free performances of a dramatic comedy set within a game of Dungeons & Dragons.

“She Kills Monsters” by Qui Nguyen will be performed at 8 p.m. Oct. 25 through 27 and 2 p.m. Oct. 28 in the Black Box Theatre on the Thousand Oaks campus.

The tender and comic story follows Agnes as she finds a D&D module in her late younger sister’s room and decides to embark on an adventure where monsters come in many forms, good companions always have your back, and even grief can be conquered.

“This play has a lot of big silly gags and bits, but there’s a humanism at the heart of it that allows for a lot of different stories to be told,” said director Ruth Smitherman.

The Washington resident chose the play because it is centered on women.

“We watch a woman grieve in a way that is as heartbreaking as it is hilarious. It also features young women trying to understand their sexuality, which is hard to find even in newer plays,” said Smitherman, a theater arts major. “Women also get to do the majority of the stage combat and the show is packed full of it. Having the female geeks be the people with the most power onstage is absolutely thrilling.”

Student directors, designers, technicians and actors produce the Black Box plays with minimum supervision from faculty. Kylie “Red” Patterson of Thousand Oaks and Megan Rackley of Camarillo star as Tilly and Agnes Evans. Other cast members are Blake Elder of Woodland Hills, Alejandro Guzman of Napa, Peter Johnson of Camarillo, Josh Lewis of Virginia, Katarina Lopez of Chatsworth, Will Pena of Santa Maria, Hailey Schaffner of Santee, Moriah “Mo” Sittner of Chatsworth, Rylee Smith of Wisconsin, Brooke St. Johns of Westlake Village and Debra Vazquez of Moorpark.

Talya Camras of Canoga Park is the stage manager, and Nikki Alday of Clovis and Tamarra Sylber of Thousand Oaks are the assistant stage managers. Jordan Erickson of Thousand Oaks is the costume designer, Alice Bowie of Orange is the prop master and Nadine Abukhzam of Newbury Park is the choreographer. Fernando Vasquez, a Moorpark resident who graduated in May, is the set and lighting designer. Grant Escandon, a Newbury Park resident who graduated in May, is the sound designer.

“This is a particularly challenging piece because it is set in two worlds: the real world of a young woman dealing with the death of her sister and the fantasy world of a Dungeons & Dragons game,” department chair Michael J. Arndt said.

The theater is at 141 Memorial Parkway. For more information, call 805-493-3452 or visit CalLutheran.edu.

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