MILLBURN, NJ - Yesterday evening, the curtain rose on Millburn High School's Fall drama, She Kills Monsters.
The play follows Agnes, who is coping with the recent death of her sister, Tilly. Agnes finds out that her sister was a renowned player in the Dungeons and Dragons community. During her discoveries, Agnes finds Tilly’s notebook detailing a scenario for the fantasy/adventure game.
Along the way, she recruits a “dungeon master” and together, they go on a journey to help her cope with Tilly’s death. During their journey together, they encounter wizards, elves, warrior women, and of course, monsters.
What makes this play particularly special is the social issues it covers. From LGBTQ+ rights to female empowerment, the story was more about than just the characters or the plot. The story applied to issues students all over the country face today.
Castmember Lauren Updyke said, “We are too focused, as a society, into finding fault with each other. I hope people walk out ready to be kinder, nicer and more supportive of everyone.”
This year, the production also incorporated stage combat, dance battles, and animation, all techniques never before used in MHS Fall dramas.
Stage combat involved physical training to make the actors look like they were fighting each other without actually causing injury. On stage, it was difficult to even tell that any of the fighting was choreographed.
Castmember Rachel Soloman said, “ The rest of the cast and I had to learn stage combat for the first time in preparing for this show. We all managed to pick it up beautifully. I’m really proud of the hard work we all put into this show and I’m excited for people to see it.”
The animation, done by students Zev Marinoff and Jacob Updyke, added an extra layer of fantasy and magic to the show. It showed true innovation and thought as to how to present the show in a high school setting.
The cast ended to applause and a standing ovation. Castmember Marilyn Gates expressed how she felt after the successful performance. “This play demands a lot from its actors, with its quick changes and fight scenes and multifaceted characters. I’m so proud of our cast for rising to the challenge of tackling it, and I am beyond proud of the result.”
There will be one more performance on Saturday, November 16 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are available at https://mhsnj.booktix.com.