Dungeons and Dragons coming to AU in this years’ fall play

Zoe Bogarty, News Editor

Coming soon to Ashland University’s Hugo Young Theatre, students will be participating in the fall play on Nov. 4 -6 called “She Kills Monsters” by Qui Nguyen.

The play follows a woman named Agnes Evans (played by Katherine Snell), a high school teacher whose parents and younger sister were killed two years before the action of the play in a car accident.

While cleaning out her younger sisters’ old room, Tilly Evans (played by Bethany Double), she finds a Dungeon and Dragons (DND) notebook. Agnes learns the game and gets to know her younger sister by playing DND. Students in the play have the opportunity to learn stage combat with weapons and swords as they “kill” monsters.

Dr. Teresa Durbin-Ames, an Ashland Faculty Director, will be working with Dusten Welch, an AU alum on the production. Dustin is a certified actor combatant who will assist with stage choreography and fight scenes for the play.

 “That’s one of the reasons I chose the play,” said Durbin-Ames. “I thought that it would be a great skill for our students to have. Last spring when I was thinking about doing this show, he was the first person I thought of. If he would not have been available, we would not have done the show.”

Having last spring’s show, “The Theory of Relativity”, streamed instead of live makes going back to a regular theatre setting the highlight of the actors’ experience thus far. This year, there will be live audiences within the theatre and no social distancing.

“We are hoping to get about 100 to 200 people. Hopefully, more people will feel comfortable returning to the theatre,” Durbin-Ames said. “We’re ready to bring audiences back.”

Compared to last year, the theatre department will still be requiring masks but no longer have to regularly sanitize the space and allow the theatre to air out every thirty minutes.

“I’ve always preferred live theatre. There’s a lot of stuff that happens on stage that you can’t do in a film. You can’t do that if you’re on video and there is no audience,” Double said.

Cast members have been expressing their excitement for the coming weeks.

“Our theme this year is the outsider,” said Double. “My character is queer, and her sister doesn’t find out until after she’s dead, by playing a DND module she wrote. I would like people to take away that there are parts of people you don’t know unless you pay attention.”

Snell expressed how meaningful doing the show is to her. This being her first major role in any play, having a somewhat regular experience this year is the highlight of many cast members’ theatre journey.

“I want the audience to take away that it is okay to be a geek who likes dungeons and dragons,” Snell said. “Like this play deals with homosexuality and issues with that. One of our characters is gay and she deals with harassment and bullying. And it’s like learning to accept herself and other characters learning to accept her. I just hope that translates that everyone should be accepted, and I hope the audience will see that and take that away.”

Tickets for the upcoming show can be purchased at the AU bookstore or by using the link below: https://ashland.universitytickets.com/