She Kills Monsters: A Dramatic Comeback

Students+taking+their+final+bow+at+She+Kills+Monsters

Students taking their final bow at “She Kills Monsters”

Hayes Hunter, Managing Editor

After sixteen months of zoom boxes, students in the JHS theater program finally stepped out onto the stage. They were greeted by the brisk October air and the sound of cars passing by on Garrett Road. Their voices had to overcome sirens, dogs barking, and the bustling of the teacher parking lot. However, they had no complaints. She Kills Monsters, a play written by Qui Nguyen, premiered at JHS on October 21st: 587 days after students were sent home for what was supposed to be a three week break. 

A tale set in the world of Dungeons & Dragons brought joy to hundreds of people over the course of its three night run. Director Olivia Bellido worked with students for months on the production, hoping that the show would bring attention back to the arts. With an all female stage management team, the program got to work. Set in the summer of 1995, the play tells the story of two sisters and how the acceptance of each other´s interests brings them together. Audiences enjoyed dance battles, giant Jello molds, and evil cheerleaders as they sat at their assigned picnic tables. Students spent the night wearing and removing disposable masks every time they went on stage, and fighting the sound issues that came without having amplification. Despite all of the challenges, the program put on a production that was difficult to forget. Audience members were greeted by students in character, and walked to their personal D&D table. At the table, playing cards, character sheets, and candles could be found, welcoming the ¨players¨ to the game. Throughout the night, cheers could be heard from back tables, and tears were shed over a poor character that just kept dying (six times to be precise). There was an energy at each performance that could only mean one thing: theater was back. 

Every night before the sound cues to start the show began, the cast and director gathered in a circle (a long standing tradition). The cast was reminded of the challenges that they had overcome to put on the performance, and there were tears, laughter, and the occasional dance party. When the show was over, students stayed on campus to break down the entire set, and store every trace of their program inside until the next night. On Saturday night the show closed. During the curtain call, audience members could see the joy on students’ faces as they took their first bows in over a year. In the following days, rave reviews about the play could be heard through the hallways. The program had accomplished their goal. 

While the success of the play was enough to revel in for months, theater students are wasting no time to begin their next project. In January, the musical theater program will put on Roger & Hammerstein’s Cinderella.  Not only will they be producing a full-length musical, but also be prepping for a second musical, student-directed one act plays, and thespian society competitions. While walking by the technical theater room, anyone can see the passion and hard work of students in the program. While She Kills Monsters was an amazing feat for Jordan High School Theater, they are just getting started.