Theatre Board produces ‘She Kills Monsters’

Outside choreographer hired to help LGBTQ+ themes highlighted


From left: Djordje Negovanovic ’24, Natalie Halm ’24, and Cooper Brown ’25 practice show dialogue after school on Nov. 17 (Ross/LION)

George Ross, Reporter


Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), sword fighting, clash between reality and fiction, and a subplot involving LGBTQ+ characters: these are just some of the things that will happen in the play, “She Kills Monsters,” being performed by LT’s Theatre Board. The first performance of “She Kills Monsters” is on Dec. 16 in the Reber Center at 7 p.m. There will be two more performances on Dec. 17-18. 

The play follows Agnes Evans, played by Natalie Halm ‘24. Anges is the older sister of Tilly Evans who, in the play, dies in high school. Agnes, the 24-year-old mundane high school teacher, tries to reconnect with her deceased sister through her D&D set that Agnes finds. 

A major part in the play is the use of fight scenes, many of which have the actors using real weapons. This level of choreography was something that LT plays have not needed in the past. So for guidance, LT hired an outside choreographer to come in and help the actors learn and produce the scenes.

“We hired an outside fight choreographer, Pol Cooney, and they have choreographed the fights in the show,” director Kirsten Manthei said. “This is actually their fifth time working on this particular play, so they are very well trained in stage combat. That is not my area of expertise, so I picked the show knowing I would need outside help.”

Cooney was hired to help all of the actors that participate throughout the scenes. The scenes are complex in nature for a high school production, which was the reason they were hired. But actors like Halm have found the challenge rewarding.

“Usually what [happens] is we run through [the scene] really slowly, and kind of slowly just add more layers, like lines and sounds,” Halm said. “I find it kind of hard, because I don’t consider myself super coordinated, so it’s a lot of moving pieces. But when you put them all together, it’s so amazing and rewarding, and it’s all worth it.”

Aside from the complex fight scenes, Manthei chose this play for other reasons, such as the social issues that the play addresses. 

“I loved the play when I read it because the themes that it focuses on from identity to feeling like one doesn’t fit in is very universal with teenagers today,” Manthei said. “I think it’s still a really powerful and moving story, because students are still struggling with issues of identity and bullying.”

In the play, there are a several of LGBTQ+ characters, with a main focus being people struggling with their identity. The play specifically shines a light on how people can struggle and the trauma they can face. 

Cast member Cooper Brown ‘25 also thinks that highlighting these social issues is beneficial for the LGBTQ+ community.

“I think it’s widely important to show representation for the [LGTBQ+] community,” Brown said. “The LGBTQ+ community still strives for basic human equality, and having a piece of media like this can help kind of shed light onto this, to really show that it is important.”