Greenhill Performs “She Kills Monsters”

William Maher

“She Kills Monsters” is being put on by Greenhill’s theatre team with opening night on Thursday, Mar. 30 and two more shows following in subsequent days.

“She Kills Monsters,” is a story about two sisters, Tilly and Agnes, in which Tilly dies early in the story, and Agnes learns more about her sister’s life by playing with her Dungeons and Dragons kit.

“Agnes creates a stronger connection with her sister, even though she’s already gone,” Assistant Stage Manager Santiago Lopez said.

“She Kills Monsters” is a lot more intense than the last theater production, “Big Fish”, as it has a lot more fighting, action and more mature themes.

“This play is more geared towards 13 and up,” said Upper School Theater Instructor Valerie Hauss-Smith said.

She further mentioned how “it’s a comedy, but it’s dealing with serious themes.”

The theater crew has been working on “She Kills Monsters,” since the start of the semester. The play or musical is chosen far ahead of time.

According to Hauss-Smith, the process of choosing a play or musical has multiple varying factors.

She guesses which students will take the class and what their strengths are, and what had been done in the past.

This year, she wanted to challenge her Tech Theater senior students with “something big.” Due to all of the technical aspects of the play, she decided to make each senior run their own department.

“One senior actually designed a set, one did the lights, one did the sound,” Hauss-Smith said. She continued to mention how it was “rare,” and a “big responsibility.”

Once the play is chosen, the first step in the process is getting the script. Lopez says they got the scripts in early December 2022.

“For us tech people, they wanted us [to have winter break] to imagine the ideas we wanted to implement into the play,” Lopez said.

Winter break also allowed participants to read the script and ponder about which characters they hope to audition for. Auditions took place in early January over the course of two weeks.

Afterward, the crew started “blocking,” which refers to the process of deciding where actors are positioned on stage, come into the scene, exit the scene and more.

“Blocking is just a synonym for taking notes when actors will make an entrance or when they will make an exit,” Lopez said.

Due to the number of fights in the play, Bobby Garcia, a stage fight choreographer, was hired to help the cast with the fighting scenes. Hand-to-hand combat is uncommon among Upper School performances.

“We hired a guy outside of Greenhill to help us coordinate what attacks we should use, how to be safe and what weapons work best onstage,” Lopez said.

In the final week leading up to the play, the cast and the technical crew worked in tandem to rehearse with all the moving parts.

The last week before the play is known as tech week. It started last Tuesday.

“Every day last week we went until 6 o’clock, then Saturday we were [at Greenhill] for 7 hours,” Hauss-Smith said.

This week, they are rehearsing at Greenhill “until basically 9 o’clock.”

On Wednesday, they have a final dress rehearsal for teachers, and the play opens on Thursday at 7 o’clock at the MPAC Studio Theater.

The play has been a subject at assemblies for a couple of weeks now, and students have expressed their excitement.

“I am excited for the interesting features I’ve heard about it,” junior Daniel Walker said.