Stony Batter Players, Mercersburg Academy’s student theatre company, presented She Kills Monsters October 19-21 in the Burgin Center for the Arts’ Simon Theatre. The play was directed by faculty members Matt Maurer and Kelly Dowling. View a photo gallery from She Kills Monsters.
She Kills Monsters, written by Qui Nguyen, is a contemporary comedic piece based on two sisters. When older sister Agnes discovers a Dungeons & Dragons notebook kept by her deceased sister, she sets off on her own quest to understand her mysterious younger sibling. A tale of friendship, loss, and acceptance, the play is set in Ohio in 1995 and New Landia, a fantasy land. Dowling says she had filed this script away as one to do in the future, and when Maurer approached her with the play, they decided to collaborate as co-directors. She Kills Monsters has been popular for high schools and colleges alike in recent years for its celebration of nerd culture and women as heroes, Dowling adds.
The play’s cast included 31 members plus technical crew and involved stage combat, puppetry, and special effects. Dowling handled set, costume, and puppetry design, combat scenes, and directed the scenes in New Landia. Maurer directed scenes set in Ohio (his home state) and provided sound design and Dungeons & Dragons research and dramaturgy. Sabrina Skaggs ’19 and faculty member Bryan Morgan ’07 composed an original score for sections of the show.
To add to the collaborative nature of the play, Visual Arts students designed animation for the show; Joe Kelley (husband of faculty member Amy Kelley) created weapons and armor; the school’s Department of Athletics provided athletic equipment; and Eden Gross '19 contributed cheerleader choreography. Members of the dance program made a cameo appearance in the show. Lighting design was by Walt Dowling, with faculty members Laurie Mufson and Matt Bresler offering technical support.
Founded in 1893 in the heart of Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic, Mercersburg is a private, coed, college preparatory boarding school with approximately 435 students (15 percent are day), grades 9-12 and postgraduate.
We offer 170 courses, including AP and Honors, more than $7 million in financial aid, 26 varsity sports, and a state-of-the-art performing and visual arts center. Located 90 minutes from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, and within easy driving distance of New York City, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. 300 East Seminary Street, Mercersburg, PA 17236 GPS Address: 10951 Buchanan Trail West, Mercersburg, PA 17236 717-328-6173