On October 28 and 29, the Concord Academy theater program presented the play “She Kills Monsters” for the 2022 Fall Mainstage.
“She Kills Monsters” is a play set in the 1990s about two sisters: Agnes—the older sibling, a stereotypical teenage girl who obsesses over boys and her phone—and Tilly, the younger sibling, a “nerd” who is interested in Dungeons and Dragons, a game considered taboo at the time. Tilly and her parents unfortunately die in a car crash, leaving Agnes devastated. She starts to pack to move in with her boyfriend, Miles, when she finds an odd notebook in Tilly’s room. The peculiar object then starts Agnes on a mission to learn more about her sister by playing the D&D module she had written in the notebook.
Different aspects of the play also appealed to different cast members in unique ways. Mars Bitout ’23, who plays Lilith/Lily, commented on the experience of collaborating with Shelley Bolman, the director of “She Kills Monsters.” Mars stated, “He is a great mentor and teacher and I’m extremely fortunate to work with him on another production.” Additionally, they feel genuinely connected to the story and their own character. “The show has spoken to me because of its nerdy and emotional side,” Mars explained. They’ve even started to grow an interest in D&D because of its theme in the play.
Others liked how compelling and unique the play seemed. Aisha Aina Tasso ’23, who plays Narrator and Farrah the Faerie, said, “The stage combat has been really fun to choreograph and I like that the theater department is doing plays with strong female leads.” Elaia Martin ’26, the understudy for Agnes and part of the ensemble, commented that she was quite interested in the theater department coming into CA, and the intriguing play description only excited her more. She also mentioned support from older students. “Countless upperclassmen urged us to try out because of how incredible our director, Shelley, has made mainstage in his time here,” she added.
Bolman revealed that he was uncertain about putting on the show at first because of its small cast. However, its in-depth yet humorous portrayal of themes such as community and grief—as well as how these themes are explored in the alternate universe of D&D—was fascinating to him. Bolman also emphasized the significance of having strong female leads and of another special feature in the show. “The stage combat is exciting both for actors/crew and audience members and adds an element unlike any other recent CA productions,” he explained.
Rehearsals for “She Kills Monsters” went quite well too. Mars Bitout ’23 spoke fondly of the cast, most of whom are already familiar with each other. “It was like a big family reunion!” they explained. “We also had the opportunity to meet new talents and to welcome them to our crew,” Mars added. Other castmates agreed with the previously mentioned atmosphere of rehearsals. “Rehearsals have been a highlight of my time at CA so far!” Elaia Martin ’26 commented. “Alongside Shelley, our fight director Ted makes rehearsals a blast with stage combat training and choreography,” she continued. The cast was described by multiple members as supportive, and the community is generally filled with much fun and enthusiasm.
‘She Kills Monsters’ is definitely a show that rocked the stage this fall here at Concord Academy. From plot to premise to sword-fighting—this play has it all.