She Kills Monsters
A tale of friendship, loss, and acceptance.
Homicidal fairies, nasty ogres, and 90s pop culture collide in this action-packed adventure into the world of fantasy role-playing games. To learn her sister’s mysterious secrets, Agnes dives into her imaginary world.
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She Kills Monsters
by Qui Nguyen
Timms Centre for the Arts
February 4 - February 12, 2022
Preview February 3, 2022
Matinee February 10, 2022
(No performance February 26)
Evening performances start at 7:30pm, Matinee performance starts at 12:30pm.
Studio Theatre will not be offering subscriptions for the 2021 – 2022 season. Alternatively, we are offering FLEX passes. FLEX passes allow you to redeem three tickets at a discounted rate. These three tickets can be used to three different productions or all ticketed to a single production. They can be redeemed in person at the Timms Centre box office or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Single tickets and FLEX passes will be available for purchase at least two weeks prior to the first performance of each production. We are encouraging purchases and/or donations to be made online HERE.
Single ticket evening : Adult $25.00, Senior $22.00, & Student $12.00
Single ticket matinee : Adult $20.00, Senior $18.00 & Student $12.00
FLEX passes: Adult/Senior $60.00 & Student $30.00
Discounted ticket prices:
Preview: All Tickets $5.00
Half price Mondays: Adult $12.50, and Senior $11.00 & Student $6.00
Seating is limited. Walk up sales are cash only. There will be no refunds.
This season the Timms Centre daytime box office hours will vary. On performance days, the box office will open one hour prior to curtain. At this time, in person box office sales will be cash only.
Our mandate is to keep everyone safe while in the Timms Centre for the Arts. We are following all current COVID-19 protocols as dictated by AHS and the University of Alberta. Please visit THIS LINK for all up to date protocols.
We are happy to answer questions or inquiries about tickets and our 2021-2022 season by email (email@example.com) or
Thank you so much for joining us in this live performance during such a challenging time. We appreciate your support of this beautiful art form that asks audiences and artists to share storytelling space together.
Qui Nguyen’s script is a marvel to me. And one that has given me, and I think all the artists involved, a beautiful and welcome return to the sense of play that we all had as children and teens, and that we strive to return to as adults, especially in the face of something as serious as a pandemic. I hope you enjoy the rich world he has asked us to buy into and inhabit. A world full of dreams, aspirations, courage, curiosity and bravery but also violence, bullying, shame, fear and grief. A beautifully drawn balance of all the things we each try to manage. Shadow and light. Childhood and adulthood. Puppets and swords. Fantasy and real life.
And a glimpse at the road we all spend time on as we grow up.
The perilous path.
For me She Kills Monsters is the story of a person finding themselves, and their way along this passage, as they face their sorrow and loss and grief that life brings us, and find the courage to move forward.
As someone who has worked over 30+ years with one foot in Theatre For Young Audiences, one foot in adult theatre, one arm in fight shows and a second in film/TV, I feel a deep kinship with Qui. Like him, I have also worked as a screenwriter and filmmaker and I also share an inordinate love of the 90’s. As a graduate of the BFA Acting Program here at U of A in 1992, I have drawn on my own memories of being a young human, an emerging artist, the age of the students I’m working with now, in search of my path around the same time period this play lives in… 1995. This show’s soundtrack was in many ways my soundtrack. I hope you find a piece of yourself in it too.
In the play Tilly asks of her sister Agnes:
Did you have fun? That’s the point in all this…
I hope by the end of the evening… like all of us have found… your answer will be YES!
"A dramaturg is a member of the artistic team of a theatre production who is a specialist in the transformation of a dramatic script into a meaningful living performance."
(5) Michael Mark Chemers, Ghost Light: An Introductory Handbook for Dramaturgy, Southern Illinois University Press, 2010.
“How are you sustaining friendships in the pandemic? Have you developed any meaningful new friendships in 2021?” (Brandon Wint 2020/21)
If you have watched our interviews with the director and the designer, then by now you know that the Timms Studio version of She Kills Monsters is going “analogue” (T. Erin Gruber, 2021). That seems counter-intuitive for a play that invites the use of multimedia, by a playwright who loves cinematic tropes, during a time when we have all had to call on digital media to help us keep the show(s) going.
But, strip away the puppets, the pop-culture references and the fancy fight choreography and you will find a play about forming and maintaining relationships. After all, the lead character, Agnes, plays her deceased sister Tilly’s Dungeons and Dragons campaign to get to know her better. So, while the pandemic has brought the difficulty of staying connected to friends and family into sharp relief, She Kills Monsters has been exploring this question for the past 10 years. The play also asks us to consider which friendships are worth keeping.
Lisa Bonos points out that the pandemic has also afforded many the opportunity to strengthen their closest friendships rather than trying to stay in touch with everyone in their circle. This has been especially important for parents who have had to think about whom to call if they get sick and need help with their kids. It’s not just parents - in the past two years we have all had to do some serious “social accounting” (Bonos) to figure out who we can take on our journey as we face wave after wave and variant after variant.
This is in fact what happens when we play Dungeons and Dragons - we find people we can trust and be ourselves with as we take an epic adventure (Vox, 2018). Qui Nguyen says that he wrote this play as a spiritual thank you to his childhood friend, Chuck - for whom the character Chuck Biggs is named (Nguyen, 2021). But by using Dungeons and Dragons to tell this story of friendship, grief, and diversity, he has also found a metaphor to speak to the world we are experiencing ten years after he first wrote She Kills Monsters.
-- Lebo Disele
Bono, Lisa. 2021, September 7. “The pandemic is showing us which friendships are worth keeping.” The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2021/01/22/friends-pandemic-casual-pod-social-circle/
Bowden, Bill. 2019, June 20. “Into the American jungle: 44 years later, refugees return to Arkansas, revisit 1st U.S. steps.” Arkansas Democratic Gazette. https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2019/jun/20/44-years-later-refugees-revisit-1st-u-s/
Campbell, Monica. 2015, April 28. “New to America, this young Vietnamese refugee wanted to ‘erase’ his past.” The World. https://theworld.org/stories/2015-04-28/new-america-young-vietnamese-refugee-wanted-erase-his-past
Ku, Lis. 2021, April 12. “Have introverts really fared better?” The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/have-introverts-really-fared-better-in-lockdown-158800
Kuar. 2015, May 1. “40 years ago, Arkansas military base became refugee camp.” Kuar FM 98.1. https://www.ualrpublicradio.org/local-regional-news/2015-05-01/40-years-ago-arkansas-military-base-became-refugee-camp
Nguyen, Qui. 2021, November 4. “Qui Nguyen on the origins of She Kills Monsters and the show’s tenth anniversary.” Concord Theatricals. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OBfW6SUI5k
Robson, David. 2021, July 6th. “Why introverts didn’t actually ‘win’ lockdown.” BBC. https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20210705-why-introverts-didnt-actually-win-lockdown
Vincentelli, Elisabeth. 2020, July 2. “Queer kids, nerds and sword fights: It’s the hot school play.” The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/02/theater/she-kills-monsters-qui-nguyen.html
Vox. 2018, Jun 14. “Dungeons and Dragons, explained.” Vox. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PEt5RdNHNw
*The participation of this Artist is arranged by permission of Canadian Actors' Equity Association under the provisions of the Dance-Opera-Theatre Policy
Director — Mieko Ouchi
Set & Props Designer — T. Erin Gruber
Costume Designer — Rory Turner
Lighting Designer — T. Erin Gruber
Co-Puppet Designers — Rebecca Cypher, T. Erin Gruber, Rory Turner
Sound Designer — Kenzie Bowes
Assistant Lighting Designer — Rebecca Cypher
Assistant Set Designer — Andraya Rodrigues
Fight Choreographer— Thomas Usher
Movement Coach — Marie Nychka
Vocal Coach — Josh Meredith
Stage Manager — Elizabeth Page
Assistant Stage Managers — Charlotte Braid, Jessica Haight
Production Dramaturges — Lebogang Disele-Pitso, Brandon Shalansky
Directing Observer — Amanda Goldberg
Shaughnessy O'Brien — Agnes
Kijo Gatama — Tilly/Tiamat
Emily Thorne — Lilith
Abby McDougall — Kaliope
Moses Kouyate — Orcus/Ronnie
Colin Bluekens — Chuck/Mindflayer
Jordy Harvey — Miles/Wight/Gelatinous Cube
Ben Kuchera — Evil Gabbi
Emma Wilmott — Evil Tina/Owlbear
Dean Winder — Vera/Beholder
Dayna Hoffmann — Farrah/Narrator/Fight Captain
Sam Free — Steve
Technical Director — Larry Clark
Assistant Technical Directors — Dylan Mackay, Shella Novakovic-Apostol
Head of Wardrobe — Joanna Johnston
Cutter — Julie Davie
Milliner/Stitcher — Karen Kucher
Head of Carpentry — Darrell Cooksey
Scenic Carpenter — Barbara Hagensen
Properties Master — Jane Kline
Properties Assistant — Tiffany Martineau
Properties Practicum — Dylan Mackay
Head of Sound — Shella Novakovic-Apostol
Head of Lighting — Nichole Man
Head of Scenic Paint — Andraya Rodrigues
Lighting Supervisors — Kevin Humphrey, Jeff Osterlin
Scenic Paint Supervisor — Cindi Zuby
Dayna Hoffmann — Agnes
Marissa Gell — Tilly/Tiamat
Jazlynn Steinbach — Lilith
Shaniah Lehmann — Kaliope
David Woroner — Orcus/Ronnie
Ben Kuchera — Chuck/Mindflayer
David Woroner — Miles/Wight/Gelatinous Cube
Jazlynn Steinbach — Evil Gabbi
Dean Winder — Evil Tina/Owlbear
Emma Wilmott — Vera/Beholder
Sam Free — Narrator
Emma Wilmott — Farrah
Tyler Herzberg — Steve
Lighting Operator — Pat Sirant
Sound Operator — Isabelle Martinez
Lighting Crew — Nichole Man, Derek Miiller, Amanda Yim, Phoenix MacLeod, Kevin Humphrey
Sound Crew — Kenzie Bowes, Shella Novakovic-Apostol
Additional Puppet Construction — Rebecca Cypher, Amanda Yim, Aryanna Slifka,TaylorHowell
Paint Crew — Andraya Diogo, Derek Miiller, Ankita Yadav, Lieke Den Bakker, Taylor Howell, Faith Conner, Nyx McLeod, Yusen Wang, Aryanna Slifka, Stuart Lindsay, Skylar Veldhuis, Nichole Man, Curtis Gauthier, Kristen Fernandes, Shella Novakovic-Apostol, Alexandra Lepage
Department Chair/Artistic Director — Melanie Dreyer-Lude
Theatre Administrator — David Prestley
Box Office Coordinator — Candice Stollery
Executive/Administrative Assistant — Helen Baggaley
Marketing and Communications — Erik Einsiedel
Stage Management — John Raymond
Design Advisor — Robert Shannon
Sound Advisor — Matthew Skopyk
Lighting Advisor — Jeff Osterlin
Puppet Advisor — Cindi Zuby
All the Understudies
She Kills Monsters is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French Inc.