Tilly Evans in ‘She Kills Monsters’: From the earth she is gone, but in Dungeons and Dragons, she lives on.


“She Kills Monsters” tackles sisterhood from another world. Courtesy of Selma Arts Center.

By Cynthia Carranza, Contributor

‘She Kills Monsters’ premiered on Friday, Feb. 3, at Selma Arts Center, taking the audience deep into the world of “Dungeons and Dragons”(D&D).

The script was written by Qui Nguyen and directed by Claudio Laso. Laso describes D&D as an “artistic outlet” where social norms are nonexistent.

The drama-comedy takes us on a D&D quest created in the mind of Agnes Evans, played by Aleah Rashel Muniz. She is desperately trying to reconnect with her dead sister Tilly Evans, played by Liliana Morgan. She feels this game of D&D which she’s found written in her little sister’s journal is all that is left of her.

Tilly, was well known for role as “Tillius, the Paladin” in the games. She became a famous icon amongst the nerd community at her school. She stands tall and relishes in the excitement of her adventures. Despite her popularity within D&D culture, she struggled with her sexual identity as a closeted 15-year-old lesbian.

Agnes runs to the only person who she knows can help her understand the rules to the game, Chuck, played by Rich Mua Kong Thao. Together they whip open the journal and a search for Tilly’s lost soul begins. 

The director’s vision phenomenally illustrated the flip-flopping between Agnes’ real life in Ohio, 1995 and the imaginary world of New Landia. Flashing lights, smoke, weapons and mythical costumes were all calculated tools used to make these transitions happen. The audience knew, undoubtedly, when they’d exited reality and entered the fictitious world of endless possibilities and wish fulfillment. 

Agnes having no prior knowledge of the culture of D&D led to many comedic moments throughout that the audience responded to. The atmosphere of the room was full of energy and excitement.

The play emphasized themes such as romance, fantasy, preciosity of time and the irreplaceable bond between two sisters.

The storyline shifts to a more vulnerable tone when Agnes walks in on her little sister locking lips with her girlfriend. Agnes was this late to learning that her little sister liked girls and suddenly she’s swallowed by guilt. Agnes begins to spiral. She’s hit in the face with the realization that she didn’t pay enough attention to her sister when she was alive. 

This marks a pivotal moment in the story where major character development for Agnes begins. She starts to value Tilly’s interests and the game becomes the outlet in which Agnes gets to meet her little sister seemingly for the first time.

The cast embraced their fantasy characters in the game to the fullest. While these characters lived in a world that was fictitious, the emotions they sparked in the audience were real. 

When the two sisters have the difficult conversation about Tilly’s sexuality, one could feel the high stakes from their seats. The energy of the room shifted, there was complete silence. Both members of the cast had created a believable, vulnerable and beautiful moment on stage.

The play had a total run time of ninety minutes and no intermission.

The cast of ‘She Kills Monsters’ will continue captivating their audiences over the next few weeks until their official closing night, Feb. 18. Tickets are for sale on their website which you can find linked in the bio of the Selma Arts Center Instagram