That thumping beat Thursday evening was from “She Kills Monsters,” the final production of the UNL Theatre Department’s 2015-16 season.
Part '90s dance party, part amusement park house of horrors, the comedy directed by Wesley Broulik explores the realm of fantasy role-playing through the eyes of Agnes Evans. The quirky script by Qui Nguyen deftly moves the audience from laughter to heartbreak and back again.
The ensemble cast was led by Lindsey Parodi in the role of Agnes and Janae Dunn as her younger sister, Tilly.
After Tilly is killed in a car accident, Agnes stumbles across her sister’s Dungeons & Dragons notebook. She seeks out Chuck, a teenage dungeon master played masterfully by Simon Gissler, who leads Agnes through the scenario Tilly had created. Along the way, Agnes discovers truths about her sister and herself.
As Agnes explores her sister’s world, she encounters the nerds, the love interests, and the mean girls who impacted Tilly’s life. Lynn Twarowski deftly navigated her dual personas as the evil warrior Lilith and the vulnerable Lilly. Karen Richards as sassy high school counselor Vera was a crowd favorite.
The lighting and special effects set the production apart. Don’t be late for the hour and forty-minute production or you might miss some of the magic created by lighting designer Sheric Hull. The scene designed by Dani Mader was both fun and functionally seamless.
The cast rocked the stunts and stage combat choreographed by Ian Bordan. While the production was a bit loose around the edges in term of timing and cues, this is a must-see show for anyone who is a geek, knows a geek or believes music peaked in the '90s.