COD Theater’s Latest Show is Killing it


provided by COD theater

Bee Bishop, Staff Writer

COD’s theater department opened their latest production “She Kills Monsters” on Nov. 4. The show is an action-packed, yet emotional, story about grief, 90s nostalgia and the escapism of the tabletop role playing game Dungeons and Dragons.

The story follows a high school teacher named Agnes, a 24 year-old who lives in Athens, Ohio, just after the rest of her family tragically died in a car crash. As Agnes is beginning to move in with her boyfriend, she finds a notebook belonging to her younger sister, Tilly. It contained Tilly’s next big Dungeons and Dragons adventure. In an attempt to learn more about the sister she once had, Agnes embarks on the adventure of a lifetime and delves into the mystical world of DnD. 

The play’s director, Amelia Barrett, gave her thoughts on the plot and the themes it contained in her director’s note.

“Through the game, Agnes copes with her powerlessness to save her sister by taking an imagined power to control and unleash death upon others,” she said. “This is the most interesting aspect of the play for me, as it acts as a salve for anyone who has ever felt like an outsider, invisible, the victim or powerless. It is a delicious moment to take something you have no control over and imagine yourself heroic, courageous and superhuman.”

provided by COD theater
Pictured: actor Seren Croteau (left) and actor Antonija Magazin (right)

The play is filled with crazy fight scenes as Agnes and her party battle their way through monsters both big and small to reach their goal. The whole production is very interesting visually. Actor and Assistant Stage Manager Leo Grabowski‐Grant said it’s a big plus to the show.

“I think that even if you don’t understand anything about the show, you’ll at least enjoy looking at it,” Grabowski-Grant said. “We have shadow puppets for monsters. We have actual monster costumes. We have moving cloth panels with LED lights in them. So there’s a ton of visual work.”

Despite all the fast-paced action scenes, the cast still delivers a lively and heart-felt story about grief and how Agnes works through it. Watching Agnes work through her grief and regret is a very cathartic experience, and the cast balances the high-energy action scenes with equally high-energy emotional scenes extremely well. For example, at one part during the play Agnes’ adventuring party engages in an unconventional dance battle with one of the monsters that they face. Right after the battle finished, Agnes has a rude awakening that there were a lot of things she missed in her sister’s life. The transition between the comical dancing is masterfully done into the incredibly impactful, gut-wrenching sight of watching the main character finally understand that her sister is well and truly gone. 

While the play certainly focuses on Agnes and her journey, there is still the other story about the characters that Agnes meets on her adventure in her sister’s DnD notebook. Grabowski-Grant said that’s part of what makes the play so relatable.

“Everyone can be anyone they want to be inside a DnD adventure and, hopefully, that becomes what the world should be,” they said, “People like to see themselves in the shows, and in this show you get to see people be themselves.”

Overall, the play is a delightful experience. Running about 75 minutes, the play is atmospheric and heartfelt. Plus, the audience gets to enjoy some classic 90s songs in between scenes. 

“Content warning for people watching. There is violence. Obviously she’s killing things, but there’s also strong language, touchy subjects and acts of homophobia,” Grabowski-Grant said, “But come open minded if you are not familiar with most of these things and maybe look up a couple things about DnD first.”

“She Kills Monsters” will run until Nov. 14 in the Playhouse Theater Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Tickets are $16 for adults and $14 for students and seniors. COVID-19 guidelines are in place.