Recap: She Kills Monsters Event

The CNSC crew took in a showing of Buzz22 Chicago’s latest production, She Kills Monsters. We heard about the project when director Scott Weinstein and Phil de Guzman, managing director for Buzz22 Chicago, reached out to us via email. I instantly fell in love with story and had to put together an event for it.

The story centers around a high school teacher named Agnes who has found an old notebook that belonged to her recently deceased sister. Agnes soon finds that this notebook is actually a Dungeons and Dragons adventure module written by her late sister. With the help of a local dungeon master, Agnes embarks on her sister’s journey, hoping for a final chance to learn more about her adventure.

The entire play from start to finish is a riot! If you have ever played Dungeons and Dragons (or any roleplaying game for that matter) you’ll feel an instant connection to the story, the cast of characters and the actors’ ability to switch back and forth from the world of high fantasy and reality. The jokes are too perfect and the emotions too raw to spoil it with any sort of in-depth review. It’s truly a show that you have to experience for yourself.

The production values were also impressive. Between great lighting and creative costume design the audience was able to easily transition from Agnes’s kitchen table to the dangerous world of New Landia. The sounds of the forrest filled the theater helping to set the stage for danger. When you hear the roar of the Tiamat bursting through the sound system and the epic battle music begins to pound, you instantly understand why your DM insists on playing the Conan soundtrack during every game session. The atmosphere that all gaming groups strive for is beautifully recreated onstage. The gamer in you will be eager to get home and start working on your next adventure.

If you’re not a role-player, don’t fret. There’s plenty here for you too. The central character, Agnes, is portrayed to perfection by Katherine Banks. As an outsider to the world of Dungeons and Dragons her character helps to root the story in reality. Her dialogue and delivery is sharp, witty and timed just right to prevent the story from spiraling into the esoteric. You’ll love her and by extension the play as a whole.

Again, we don’t want to delve too deep because there are just so many great moments, we don’t want to spoil a single one. Be ready to laugh, think, cry and rejoice with this show. It’s what every trip to the theater should be.

Everyone in attendance enjoyed the show immensely. We even had a non-gamer start to consider what she might be missing out on not playing D&D. Afterwards the group took in some beer and food at Burger Bar Chicago. We had a couple of first time members show up for this one too, so it was nice that it was a smaller setting than some of our other events. All in all it was a great time. So great in fact that we intend to do it again! So if you missed this showing, stay tuned because we’ll have the next trip to Steppenwolf planned really soon!

Jeff Smith is one of the co-founders of the Chicago Nerd Social Club. Follow him at @DarkAndNerdy on Twitter.

2 Responses to Recap: She Kills Monsters Event

  1. The_Lex says:

    Here! Here! The play had some good drama, too. Near the end were some uncomfortably good parts. It had a lot of heart & humanity to it. . .along wth elves, half-demons and demons!

  2. M_Trota says:

    Most definitely. It was a pleasant and unexpected surprise to find the play handled issues of gender and exploration sexual orientation with such sensitivity and empathy as well, rooting the story in very universal experiences of searching for human connection and personal identity. These sort of portrayals with women and LGBTQ characters taking the lead are desperately needed in geek culture and it was such a treat to see the characters handled with humor and humanity, rather than devolving into tired stereotypes and tropes.

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