MHS Actors Retell the Story of “She Kills Monsters”

During the weekend of November 18, 2021, Manchester High School’s actors and actresses put on their very own rendition of the drama-comedy play She Kills Monsters written by Qui Nguyen.

The play is about a girl named Anges Evan whose sister and parents tragically die in a car accident, and shortly after discovers a Dungeons and Dragons campaign in her room. Throughout the story, Anges tries to avenge her sister’s death by finishing her game scenario through family struggles, grief, and comedic relief.  

The idea of performing the play was originally brought to the Sock N’ Buskin Drama Club by Mrs. Kelly Munro, one of the producers and directors of MHS’ She Kills Monsters. She heard about the show several years ago through a student and recently took some time over the summer to read through it.

Students auditioned for the fall show by doing a cold read (reading a part of the script that they didn’t get to see beforehand). They also had to sing in front of everyone in order to acclimate to performing in front of an audience in time for the real thing. Gonsalves reassures the students that “it is never in a way that is judgemental or supposed to be scary.”

“I thought that it was just an incredibly fun show that still had some poignancy to it, and I thought that it would fit very well with the students that we have,” Munro said.

Ms. Erica Gonsalves, another producer and director of She Kills Monsters, shares her favorite part about being a producer. “This show had stage combat and choreography in it, which is something we had never done before for a full show.” She adds how her students and she have a symbiotic relationship, being able to build things on the spot and bounce ideas off of each other.

When assessing the success of the play and reflecting on areas of improvement, Gonsalves says “I feel like we’re always growing and evolving; there are always little small details that we pay attention to and think about how we can make them better somehow.” She adds, “I think continuing to find people willing to help us and continuing to talk about new ideas and being innovative about how we create our shows is how we keep them growing and becoming the best version that they can possibly be.”

“I would love to recruit more students. It is nice to see the same people show up for the club and for auditions over and over again. But I also really enjoy it when students show up for auditions,” Munro said. She adds that most students tend to say that they’ve “never done a show before and wanted to give it a try”.

Munro stated that it was rewarding to “see the dedication that the students put into what would seem to be really silly things: sword fighting, pretending to be monsters, and getting lost in this fantasy world.” “It sounds silly on the surface but my favorite part was seeing it all come to life because everyone in that production took it very seriously,” she added.

While executing the fantastical characters and costumes could seem silly at times, “those funny moments were balanced with this really poignant storyline that I think resonated with a lot of people,” Gonsalves said.