High School play blends fantasy and reality
When Comet Amezian first read Qui Nguyen’s play “She Kills Monsters,” she was stunned by the similarities between herself and Tilly, one of the play’s main characters.
“Me and Tilly are very similar,” the Wareham High School freshman said. “We’re both lesbians in high school, and Tilly’s character is portrayed in a similar manner. Also, we’re both nerds.”
Amezian plays Tilly, her first leading role, in Wareham High School’s upcoming production of “She Kills Monsters,” playing Friday, Dec. 9, Saturday, Dec. 10 and Sunday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. in the High School Auditorium.
After 15-year-old Tilly and her parents die in a car accident, her older sister Agnes is the family’s sole survivor. To learn more about her sister, Agnes decides to play Tilly’s Dungeons and Dragons fantasy role-playing game. She discovers that the characters and events in Tilly’s game are based on the people in Tilly’s life, and her struggles with bullying, first love and being a teenager.
“I love going up on stage and I love being this character so similar to myself,” Amezian said, “seeing my experiences represented on stage, by me. I think that’s a cool experience.”
Amezian was nervous at first, but her confidence has grown over time. She has played Dungeons and Dragons in the past, which helped her with the role.
“It requires me always,” she said, “both in Dungeons and Dragons and on stage, to think about the world I’m in and about the scenario, because it allows me to deliver the emotions.”
Many actors in the show are avid Dungeons and Dragons fans. Senior Sage Kidder, who plays Kaliope the dark elf, has been playing since she was 13.
“I really love being able to make up my own character and venture into my own world,” she said. “It’s an escape almost.”
Dungeons and Dragons has helped Kidder get into the mindset of Kaliope, a confident and independent dark elf based on Tilly’s friend Kelly. In her own Dungeons and Dragons games, Kidder plays Aeren, a high elf. Dark elves, she said, “are very much the black sheep of the elf community.”
“They get a bad rap,” agreed senior Isabella Russo, who plays Orcus the demon overlord along with handling lighting and sound.
Senior Peyton Smith, who plays Chuck the dungeon master, is often the real-life dungeon master when she plays with Russo and Kidder. The dungeon master is in charge of controlling the game and keeping the story in check. When it comes to “She Kills Monsters,” the closest thing to a dungeon master would be director James Pinkham.
“I really like how this show explores some talked-about themes of homosexuality and acceptance of yourself,” said Pinkham, a senior, “and acceptance of grief and loss.”
Being in the play has helped sophomore Charlotte Roy learn more about herself. Roy plays Lilith, a demonic character that Tilly based on her friend Lily.
“She’s tough,” Roy said about Lilith, but she can be relatable. There’s two versions of Lilith — Lilith and Lily. One is a little tough but one is softer.”
Roy said that Lilith is much more confident than she is.
“It’s been nice to play that role and play into the strength that she has,” she said. “It’s had me feel a little differently about myself, understand that I do have a little strength inside of me.”
Tickets to “She Kills Monsters” are $10 for adults, $7 for students and $5 for seniors and children under 5. They can be purchased at the door (cash only) or online at showtix4u.com/event-details/69721.