Magic, dragons, monsters and adventure, that is what Dungeons & Dragons is all about.
This past weekend, the Vivian Davis Michael Theatre in the Creative Arts Center hosted "She Kills Monsters" by Qui Nguyen.
The director of the show, Max Gould, is a senior student. This is the third show he has directed during his time at West Virginia University. Since his previous shows were heavier topics, Gould’s goal was to find a fun show. He credits his mentor Jim Knipple with leading him to the play.
"After the first monologue or prologue, I was pretty much hooked because I was raised playing D & D with my Dad," Gould said. "We didn’t play often, but whenever we did, it was the most fun things we ever did."
The show, while containing a serious message, maintained a lighthearted and funny experience for the audience. Almost the entire show had the audience roaring with laughter.
"She Kills Monsters" is about an average girl, Agnes, who loses her whole family in a car accident. While trying to learn more about her younger teen sister Tilly, she asks a dungeon master to help her play the Dungeons & Dragons module that her sister had created.
"Once he was assured that I could do things like a gelatinous cube and put a five-headed dragon on stage and six hours of fight choreography, it was the process and he became comfortable with the idea that it was something achievable," Gould said.
While playing and learning about D & D and Tilly, Agnes meets her sister’s best friend who is in a wheel chair, her best friend’s lazy brother and her crush who has been dating a football player for the past year. She learns about her sister getting bullied in school because she was a lesbian and a geek. Agnes learned how Tilly used D & D to give her and her friends a world where they could walk again, be strong, and get the girl.
"There were two main ideas behind the show," Gould said. "The first was that it was about having fun, but the other one was about how we are all different. The idea that I wish I could get to be the things that we do want to be but don’t get to be in normal life."
"That is what the world does, and that is what theatre does, and that is what D & D does. It isn’t even necessarily wishful minutes; it is putting yourself into those positions where you can figure out that you can do those things. I don’t know, I am still trying to figure it out, but it is interesting. Theatre is the D & D for me. I can be what I wanted to be and have no holds on being that," he said.
This fall, Gould was Frank N. Furter in the production of The Rocky Horror Picture show. Gould believes that with every character he plays, he comes out learning something new about himself.
Overall, the show was very successful. Every seat in the theatre was taken with many people standing in the back. At the end, the cast received a standing ovation from almost the entire audience.
"It hit me hard. I cried. I definitely had tears," said Deja Elliott, a freshman musical theatre student. "I think that it tackled a lot of important issues that are on the forefront of a lot of young peoples minds like being cool and fitting in and the whole sexuality and all of that kind of stuff. I think it was important and it was a good message."
The next lab theatre production is "Last Days of Judas Iscariot" by Stephen Guirgis the weekend of Dec. 4-6.