‘She Kills Monsters’: Dragons, swordfighting and more

STAGE Student Theatre to perform play this weekend in Daggy Hall’s Wadleigh Theater



“She Kills Monsters” cast and crew after a stage combat rehearsal.

JULIA MESSEGEE, Evergreen reporter

Editor’s note: Alisa Volz, who was interviewed for this piece, is a writer for the Daily Evergreen.

Seven-foot dragon heads, sword fights, axes and more.

STAGE Student Theatre is bringing these to WSU this weekend through their performances of the drama-comedy play “She Kills Monsters.”

Four performances of the play will occur Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Daggy Hall’s Wadleigh Theater. The Friday and Saturday performances are at 7 p.m. with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. There will be two performances on Sunday: one is a matinee at 2 p.m. with doors opening at 1:30 p.m. and the other is at 7 p.m. with doors opening at 6:30 p.m.

The free-to-attend play features a high school teacher, Agnes, whose younger sister and parents died in a car accident. During Agnes’ journey to move out of her living situation, she discovers an old Dungeons and Dragons module created by her late sister Tillius, known as Tilly.

The play follows Agnes’ adventure as she learns to play Dungeons and Dragons and gets to know Tilly through her module.

“She Kills Monsters” is a mix of fantasy and reality and a great mix of humor and thoughtfulness, Jonah Bates, director and senior criminal justice/criminology double major, said. He said the play incorporates strategies to endure grief, with the powerful message that you can learn about someone even in death.

“We decided on [a show] that we felt the club could represent in a good light and would be fun and interesting,” Bates said.

STAGE made no adaptations to the play, Bates said, and the performances are purely based on the original.

Bates said it was crucial to keep all of the roles unedited because the play features very specific language and character backstories. He said modifying the play would damage the authentic storytelling experience the audience receives from it.

Alisa Volz, actress and senior multimedia journalism major, is playing Tilly. She said Tilly was her dream role because, just like Volz, Tilly is openly lesbian.

“It really means a lot to be able to portray a character that I really relate to on that level because I’ve never portrayed an explicitly LGBTQ character before,” Volz said.

Volz also said it will be her first time in a lead role. With a major role comes lots of line memorization and practice, she said.

Volz said she is ecstatic about the play but admits there are always some nerves involved, especially as the performance dates approach.

She said the week before performances is called tech week, but she has also heard it called “hell week.”

Rehearsal time is six hours per week in increments of three rehearsals which are two hours long on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, Volz said. She explained during tech week, however, rehearsals occur every night of the week.

“Sometimes it gets a little long, but this production has been super fun,” Volz said.

Bates said STAGE has many excellent performers. He said that while some are experienced and some are new, they have all been working extremely hard.

STAGE built their own props, Bates said, as they want to exhibit a high-quality performance even on a low budget. Assistant director Bryan Finley-James also created and designed most of the soundtrack from scratch, Bates said.

STAGE has been Pullman’s main source of theater since WSU got rid of its theater program, Bates said. He said to STAGE, the meaning of “She Kills Monsters” is growing the STAGE community and introducing more theater to WSU and Pullman as a whole.

“Who doesn’t like swordfighting, right?” Bates said.


  • Director: Jonah Bates
  • Assistant director and composer: Bryan Finley-James
  • Stage manager: Ava Schade
  • Dance choreographer: Noelle Niemeier
  • Fight choreographer: The Pen & Sword, LLC


  • Agnes: Kiki Renner
  • Tillius: Alisa Volz
  • Chuck: Aidan Simpson
  • Miles: Caden Honeysett
  • Lilith: Darian Block
  • Orcus: Charley Perry
  • Kaliope: Rowan Dunn
  • Vera: Izzy Meza
  • Steve: Kendall Browder
  • Evil Tina: Kedzie Moe
  • Evil Gabbi: Sharon Anna Shibu
  • Farrah: Eva Smith
  • Monster 1: Renee Roulo
  • Monster 2: Alec Norman
  • Monster 3: Joshua Wagner
  • Monster 4: Sabrina Vachris