Foothill College Theatre Arts Presents "She Kills Monsters"
Those who have happily spent hours in the universe of role-playing games (Dungeons & Dragons), as well as newbies, former geeks, parents of geeks, and anyone who has ever attended high school will find resonance in SHE KILLS MONSTERS, the comic romp by award-winning playwright Qui Nguyen (Vietgone) presented by Foothill Theatre Arts. In this rollicking drama Agnes, born without a single nerd cell in her body, finds herself venturing into the imaginary world of homicidal fairies, nasty ogres, evil cheerleaders, and warrior maidens that was her geeky sibling’s role-playing refuge. SHE KILLS MONSTERS, directed by Bruce McLeod, will be presented three weeks only, November 2 -18 at the Lohman Theatre, located at the bottom of the hill on campus.
SHE KILLS MONSTERS follows the story of a high school teacher whose teen-aged younger sister has been killed in a car crash, along with their parents. While packing up her sibling’s belongings, Agnes comes across a D&D manual and follows its trail, eventually ending up inside the world of ogres and dragons in which her sister reigns as uber-warrior. A delightful look at alternate realities, the play also delves into the trials of real life.
Nguyen, a Vietnamese-American playwright and fight choreographer, gained national attention with his hit comedy Vietgone, which captured rave reviews and awards across the country. His other plays include Soul Samurai, The Inexplicable Redemption of Agent G, Alice in Slasherland, Fight Girl Battle World, Krunk Fu Battle Battle, Trial By Water, Living Dead in Denmark, Stained Glass Ugly, A Beginner's Guide to Deicide, Men of Steel, Bike Wreck, and Vampire Cowboy Trilogy. He also began writing for Marvel Studios in 2016.
Foothill has assembled a stellar cast of actors for this production, including professionals drawn from the greater Bay Area, as well as students from the college. The cast includes: Gwyneth Forrester (Agnes), Fatima Mejia (Tilly), Niko Raiyawa (Chuck), Seton Chiang (Narrator), Amara Snow-Miller (Lilith), Jaime Melendez (Kaliope), Thomas Times (Orcus), Gwyneth Price Panos (Vera), Austin Valliani (Steve), Omer Ben-Uzi (Miles), Brenda Lopez (Evil Tina), Reagan Harwood (Evil Gabbi), and Abbey Eklund (Farrah). The ensemble includes: Sarah Hamidi, Sidney Kenny, Jonathan Wright, Daniel Cardenas, and Kyle Welsh.
Director Bruce McLeod joined the Foothill College Theatre Arts department in 2007 for the opening of the Lohman Theatre. He is responsible for the Theatre Technology Program and serves as the department's Production Manager and Technical Director. He has worked professionally at several theatres including the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and was the first technical director and production manager for TheatreWorks, where he oversaw dozens of works, including site-specific productions of Cabaret (downtown Fire Station, now Avenidas), Macbeth (Baylands Nature Center) and Everyman (various churches). He has a long career as a set and lighting designer in the Bay Area including work with Center Rep, West Bay Opera, Magic Theatre, Eureka Theatre and TheatreWorks. Several of his set designs have received recognition, including the Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award for Sunday in the Park with George and a Theatre Bay Area nomination for the recent Marry Me A Little at TheatreWorks. At Foothill he has directed critically acclaimed productions of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, Our Town, and It Can’t Happen Here.
The extensive battles depicted in She Kills Warriors will be staged by fight choreographer Carla Pantoja. Resident fight director for Teatro Visión (San Jose) and Woman’s Will (Oakland), Pantoja’s work has been seen on stage throughout the Bay Area at Cutting Ball Theater, Killing My Lobster, Teatro Visión, Woman’s Will, Palo Alto Players, Broadway West, East LA Repertory Theater, as well as school productions around the Bay Area. She was the fight coordinator for two films: Evolution the Musical and Monsters Don’t Get to Cry. She is also an instructor of theatrical combat for California Shakespeare Theater and San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, teaches stage combat and acting as an adjunct faculty for Hartnell Community College, and has assisted Master Teacher Gregory Hoffman in classes at the American Conservatory Theater’s MFA program. She is a teaching artist through Berkeley Repertory Theatre, San Jose Repertory Theatre, and Each One Reach One. Carla received her theatrical combat training through the British Academy of Stage & Screen Combat, Academy of the Sword, Action Actor’s Society.
The rest of the production team for She Kills Monsters includes set designs by Seafus Chatmon, costume designs by Kathleen Qiu, and lighting designs by Mikaela Rangel and special prop designs by Yuseke Soi.
FREE RUSH ADMISSION for those arriving in costume on Nov. 2 or 3 (subject to availability, starting at 7:30pm). For tickets ($5 - $20) and information the public can visit www.foothill.edu/theater or call (650) 949-7360.