KHS’ First Virtual Performance: “She Kills Monsters”

Despite COVID-19, the show must go on: KHS releases its first virtual drama in light of the ongoing pandemic.

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Shreyal Sharma

Junior Rebecca Guetzov (left), casted as “Agnes”, and junior Jackie Roberts casted as “Vera”, in action during the virtual play.

Despite having to adapt to virtual meetings and social distancing guidelines, the KHS Fall Drama still took place this past Fri., Dec. 4. The cast, directed by music teacher Charles Linnell, performed “She Kills Monsters,” by Qui Nguyen. The comedy follows the protagonist, Agnes Evans, as she grieves the loss of her younger sister by immersing herself in the world of “Dungeons and Dragons.”  

With the pandemic crisis and hybrid learning, it has been tough to return to the normal way of life. Instead of disappointing students by canceling the fall drama, Linnell modified the production to be completely virtual.

“It’s our first virtual production, and we were really lucky to have a script catered towards making that more accessible given the circumstances,” says sophomore Caroline Nieto, who played the role of “Kaliope” in the show. “Mr. Linnell and the cast did a really great job making it [the play] feel just as exciting as an in-person production.” 

Whatever the circumstances may be, delivering a production is always challenging. Even with the virtual format, the cast member successfully organized an exciting production. “I love the eccentricities and unconventional nature of this show. It pulls off having ‘Dungeons and Dragons’, teenage drama, and cheerleaders not just in the same play, but on the same page,” says senior Nicole Sensenbach who played “Evil Nicole,” an antagonist in the drama. 

Although virtually rehearsing was interesting, the cast missed out on certain experiences that they have had in typical years. “[Before COVID] We were always together in rehearsals for hours in the same room interacting with each other. People would go and take trips to Dunkin Donuts or McDonald’s and get food, and we would just bond like that, with zoom we did not do that,” says sophomore Samantha Bowers, the “Narrator” of the play.  

Even though students did not get to interact with their castmates as much as in prior years, the virtual show brought significant changes that would have been impossible in a standard live play. “The virtual performances allowed for certain special effects which are not possible in live theatre,” says Linnell. “This also allowed students to work on a less rigid schedule, allowing more students to be involved.” 

Despite its challenges and triumphs, the drama allowed KHS students to get involved while respecting the current COVID-19 restrictions. “For this year, the traditional way of production would not have been safe unless it was a one-person show. Nevertheless, because the virtual show is pre-recorded, it also puts my mind at ease that we don’t have to perform it live online—that would invite disaster,” says Sensenbach.  

“This play appeals to a lot of people in a lot of ways, I think everyone can take something from it. I think a lot of high school nerds and geeks would appreciate the references,” says junior Katie Nieto, who was cast as “Tilly” in the show.