Patti & Rusty Rueff School of Design, Art, and Performance Department of TheatreCollege of Liberal Arts

She Kills Monsters Biographies and Notes

Designer's Notes

Daniel Taylor (Lighting Designer)  |  She Kills Monsters is an comical, fantastical, poignant, and heartfelt exploration of loss, connection, and self-discovery. In reading the play, the first thing that stood out was the motion and composition of the story telling. The script reads and feels like a comic book, with moments of explosive interruptions from villains and monsters that really bring attention to themselves (much like the villain entrances of  the original Power Ranger series). Inspiration was drawn from imagery in 90s television series such as Goosebumps and Are You Afraid of the Dark?, as well as the fantasy artwork of the Hildebrand Brothers. The goal of the lighting in this play is to capture and portray the sense of 90s highschool nostalgia, give weight to the moments of heart, and epicness to the moments of fantasy.

Zackery A. Bennett (Sound Designer)  |  This production takes us on a journey of loss, love, and self-discovery.  As we join Agnes’ dive into the world of Dungeons & Dragons, the soundscape serves to create a more complete picture of the world.  The everyday sounds of Agnes’ home and workplace are overtaken by the richer soundscape of Orcus’ cave, the Mountain of Steepness, and other locations within Newlandia.  In order to keep up with the intense fight scenes, the monsters’ vocalizations will be played live as an instrument.  Both the friends and foes we meet in Tilly’s world will have their voices modulated and altered live to emphasize their differences from their real-world counterparts.

Jeff Sherwood (Composer)  |  Qui Nguyen takes us on a thrilling journey where Tilly Evans challenges her older sister Agnes to step outside of her comfort zone and take risks through playing Dungeons & Dragons.  “It’s about adventures and saving the world and having magic.”  Inspired by the iconic sounds of the mid-90’s, the driving industrial music of The Matrix, and the sweet tunes of the Indigo Girls, we hear Agnes’ safe mainstream world confronted with Tilly’s world of danger and risks.  I hope you enjoy the show, and that the music will help you experience the grief, loss, growth, and excitement in Agnes’ adventure.

Who's Who on the Production Team

Jeffrey Kmiec (Scenic Designer)  |  Jeffrey D. Kmiec is an award-winning Chicago-based scenic designer. His designs have been seen at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Paramount Theatre, Drury Lane Theatre, Marriott Theatre, Timeline Theatre, American Players Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Porchlight, Raven Theatre, The Artistic Home, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, Heritage Theatre Festival and The Children’s Theatre of Charlotte. 

He received three consecutive Equity Jeff Awards for his designs on The Little Mermaid at the Paramount Theatre (2017), Deathtrap at Drury Lane Theatre (2016), and Les Miserable at The Paramount Theatre (Co-Design with Kevin Depinet in 2015). Jeffrey received his MFA from the University of Virginia, BA from Illinois State University, and is a member of USA 829.

Courtney Frederick (Costume Designer)  |  Courtney Bourque Frederick is a third-year costume design graduate student. He earned both a B.A. and M.A. in English and came to theatre through his love of poetry, story, and character. He is co-founder, writer, and resident costumer of Sogmush Collective. Courtney would like to thank Harry, Stuart, and Charles for their love and support.

Zackery A. Bennett (Sound Designer)  |  Zack is in the second year of his Sound Design MFA training with Purdue Theatre. He would like to thank his wife Alex for her support and encouragement throughout grad school. He would also like to thank his family and the sound team, for their support. 

Purdue Theatre: Next to Normal, Clybourne Park. Regional: Around the World in 80 Days (Associate), This is Our Youth. Corporate: 2017 National Boy Scout Jamboree (Associate), 2018 National Order of the Arrow Conference (Associate).

Orion Couling (Violence Designer & Armorer)  |  Orion Couling is the award-winning founder and executive director of EDGE of Orion, an Illinois NFP. He is a specialist in project-based learning and carries 20 years of adventure based teaching experience. He created the Constellation Project, a program that celebrates inclusion and neuro-diverse participation. With over 100 directing credits in professional and youth theatre to his name, he remains one of the foremost experts in dynamic educational theatre. His “edu-tainment” style is known to bring levity and inspiration to classrooms and audiences. Orion is also a stage combat instructor, stunt coordinator, and a licensed Maritime Captain. When not leading the “inclusion revolution,” you’ll find him playing with his Irish Folk rock band “Finger on the Trigger,” leading ghost tours, or by the water. He wants to send a special thanks to Carly for being his Samwise and Amy for being his Arogorn!

Carly Christensen (Intimacy Staging Coach & Assistant Violence Designer)  |  Carly is a third year graduate actor at Purdue. This is her violence design assisting debut! Recently, you may have seen Carly in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, next to normal (Diana), Clybourne Park (Bev/Kathy), and The Mousetrap. Carly, originally from the PNW, loves powerlifting, fitness, and puns. She plans to pursue certification in intimacy choreography in the future. Carly would like to give a very big thank you to Orion Couling for being such a generous mentor and overall phenomenal human being. Training: MFA Purdue University, BA Willamette University.

Jeff Sherwood (Composer)  |  Jeff Sherwood (Composer) is thrilled to continue his second season pursuing his Sound Design MFA with the Purdue Theatre family. Purdue Theatre: By the Way Meet Vera Stark (Sound Designer), The Beaux’ Stratagem (Composer). Regional: Untitled Russia Play, Jump, The Amish Project (Chautauqua Theater Company); Take the Car (Williamstown Theatre Festival). Film: Master of Return, White Noise, Troilus & Cressida, We Are ROM3 (Short). TV: Expats 101 (Pilot). Awards: KCACTF National Finalist 2012, 2014. BFA: Oklahoma City University.

Who's Who in the Cast

Alyssa Fritz (Agnes)  |  Alyssa Fritz is a senior in Theatre Acting and Film and Theatre Production. This is her third time on stage as an actor with previous roles in The Sins of Sor Juana and Rabbit Hole. She also served as the Director of Photography for By the Way, Meet Vera Stark. Alyssa is graduating this May to attend the University of Southern California as a MFA Film Directing student. She is grateful for the time she gets to spend with her friends and family in Purdue Theatre and Purdue Film and Video Studies and thanks her friends and novio for their constant support.

Hope Krajnak (Tilly) |  A junior double majoring in Acting and English at Purdue, Hope is happy to be back on stage with Purdue Theatre. This is her third main stage production; she was last seen in The Two Gentlemen of Verona. She has also worked on workshop productions of Picnic and Companion Animals. Hope is grateful to have had the opportunity to witness and participate in such great work.

Jake Carrico (Chuck)  |  This is Jake’s fourth mainstage show with Purdue Theatre. He is a junior majoring in Political Science and Theatre. He has also been a member of the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band where he marches the Alto Saxophone. 

Jack Gardner (Miles)  |  Jack Gardner is a sophomore double majoring in English Literature and History in addition to an Acting Certificate. Past roles with Purdue Theatre include Hounslow in The Beaux' Stratagem and Howard Bevans in Picnic. Jack would like to thank his friends and family for their constant love and support.

Emma Poor (Kaliope/Kelly) |  Emma is a sophomore majoring in Acting, Creative Writing, and Classical Studies at Purdue. She has appeared in Purdue Theatre’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona and Companion Animals. Emma is excited to be playing Kaliope and would like to thank her family for helping with her research with a family campaign of D&D. She would also like to thank her family and friends for their never-ending support and love.

Anna Davis (Lilith/Lily)  |  – Anna Davis is a third year Theatre and English student. She has worked on several productions with Purdue Theatre in direction and stage management. She Kills Monsters is her first time acting and she would like to thank the department for the opportunity.

Esmerelda Martinez-Perales (Vera/Beholder/Agnes Understudy)  |  This is Esmeralda's first mainstage play with Purdue Theatre. She is a senior majoring in Acting at Purdue.  She graduated from Vincennes University in 2017 with her Associate of Science in Theatre Arts. Her previous credits include Companion Animals at Purdue University and Cabaret, Rumors, Hairspray, and Antigone (Antigone) at Vincennes University. Esmeralda is also working as a Production Intern for Purdue Convocations.  

Jackson Janowicz (Orcus/Ronnie) |  Jackson is a second year Acting and Philosophy double major. He has appeared in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Next to Normal, and as Charlie Brown in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown. Jackson would like to thank his family and friends for their constant love and support.

Tori Sonza (Evil Gabbi/Gabbi) |  Tori is ecstatic to be in She Kills Monsters! This is her Purdue Theatre debut. Tori is a freshman majoring in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences. Her past productions include Connie Wong in A Chorus Line (Connie Wong), Footloose (Urleen), and Once on This Island (Ti Moune). Off stage, Tori is involved with her sorority, Tri Delta, and as a tour guide on campus. Tori would love to thank everybody for their endless support.

Maya Mays (Evil Tina/Tina)  |  Maya Mays is a sophomore at Purdue University. She is a Psychology major who is currently adding theatre to her academic journey. She was last seen as the sultry character Anna Mae in the Purdue mainstage production of By the Way, Meet Vera Stark. She has been involved in many other mainstage and workshop projects around Purdue Theatre. Theatre will forever be in her future.

Jet Terry (Farrah the Faerie)  |  Jet is a freshman Acting major with a minor in Dance. He was recently in The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Thurio) with Purdue Theatre. Some of his favorite roles include Cornelius in Hello, Dolly! and Thuy in Miss Saigon. Jet is also a member of the Purdue University Choir. He would like to thank his family and friends for their never-ending love and support!

Izik Metcalf (Steve/The Great Mage) |  A sophomore majoring in Acting at Purdue, Izik has spent his life performing for friends and family. He was cast in several plays here at Purdue University and was last seen performing as an Outlaw in The Two Gentlemen of Verona.

Costadina Buelna (Ensemble) |  Costadina Buelna is second year Acting major. Costadina has appeared in The Beaux Stratagem and The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Lucetta). She would like to thank her family, friends, cast and crew for all their love and support. 

Micah Davis (Ensemble)  |  Micah Davis is a second-year student pursuing double majors in Acting and Human Services. This is her fifth production acting with Purdue University, her fifteenth in total, with her most recent credit being Companion Animals. She is looking forward to finding out what the stage has in store for her next!

Michael Shen (Ensemble)  |  Michael Shen is a freshman majoring in Marketing, who is also an Acting certificate student. This is his Purdue Theatre debut. He feels grateful for being finally able to do what he loves: performing. He wants to thank Amy Budd and Richard Rand for encouraging and his family for supporting.

Parker Underwood (Ensemble)  |  Parker Underwood is finishing up his third year at Purdue University with an Acting major and two minors. This is his ninth production with Purdue and he is excited for everyone to watch and enjoy She Kills Monsters

Adriana Sambolin Lefranc (Understudy) |  This is Adriana Sambolin’s first show at Purdue University. She is a sophomore majoring in Retail Management with a Theatre Acting certificate. She’d like to thank Professor Amy for allowing her to work on the show, and thank the cast and crew for making it a magical experience

Production Staff

Scenic Designer  |  Jeffrey Kmiec
Costume Designer  |  Courtney Frederick
Lighting Designer  |  Daniel Taylor
Sound Designer  |  Zackery A. Bennett
Stage Manager  |  Nick Snow
Technical Director  |  Stephen Frausto
Properties Artisan  |  Jinqiu He
Violence Designer & Armorer  |  Orion Couling
Dance Choreographer  |  Izik Metcalf
Composer  |  Jeff Sherwood
Producer  |   Ann M. Shanahan
Production Manager  |  Rich Dionne
Associate Production Manager  |  Fritz Bennett
Assistant Director  |  Wyndham Maxwell
Production Assistants  |   Issy Block, Emily Cain, Caroline Kester, Claire LeMonnier, Crystal Webb, & Sohee Yoo
Assistant Stage Managers  |  Amelia Armstrong & Anna-Nikol Georgiev
Fight Captains  |  Costadina Buelna & Jake Carrico
Intimacy Staging Coach & Assistant Violence Designer  |   Carly Christensen
Dance Captain  |  Izik Metcalf
Assistant Scenic Designer  |  Katie Cardinalli
Tiamat Technical Designers  |  Elena Helvajian, Zachary Kovalenko, & Carina Stocker
Assistant Technical Director  |  Amy Paluch
Deck Carpenter  |  Leigh Witek
Charge Artist  |  Jake Wood
Assistant Properties Master  |  Audra Weideman
Properties Assistants  |  Julie Aker & Isabella Campins
Scene Shop Supervisor  |  Vincent J. Lobello
Scene Shop Staff  |  Dakayla Calhoun, Kaylan Downin, Kenneth England, Stephen Frausto, Arthur Koehler, Alexis Lyons, & Kevin Murcia-Barrios
Painters  |  Nayli Ahmad Nizam, Madeleine Brown, Jade Bryant, Emily Cain, Isabella Campins, Rachel Dexter, Kaylee Granger, Tristan Harris, Caroline Kester, Logan Marshall, Jamie Moriarity, Katie Pischel, Christopher Tabares, Kevin Tarbet, Bailey VanMatre, Jiayu Wu, & Tristan Zadravecz
Scenery Build Crew  |  Dustin Andree, Issy Block, Shep Dick, Kaleb Dunn, Emily Greenberg, Ashley Kikos, Olivia Martinez-Rice, & Amy Paluch
Costume Shop Manager  |  Jan Evans
Costume Crafts  |  Stephanie Nguyen
Costume Construction  |  Emily Duncan, Hannah Eckert, Courtney Frederick, Kendra Gadberry, Kaylee Granger, Carena Hasara, Qianru Jia, Riley Johnston, Allison Jones, Jamie Moriarity, Caroline Rein, & Ariana Sun
Wardrobe Head  |  Kaylee Granger
Wardrobe Crew  |  Riley Johnston & Jamie Moriarity
Assistant Lighting Designer  |  Pravina Ravi
Master Electrician  |  Brady Alumbaugh
Assistant Master Electrician  |  Rachel Dexter
Lighting Crew  |  Issy Block, Costadina Buelna, Isabella Campins, Yichen Fan, Garrison Garland, Kellie Hageman, Allison Hemingway, Grace Kindig, Liz Walker, Natalie Willman, Garrett Windler, & Gabriel Zepeda
Lighting Work-Study Students  |  Sophia Holt & Nolan Pilarski
Sound System Designer & Production Sound Engineer  |  AJ Trent
Assistant Sound Designer  |  Nathan McWilliams
Assistant Production Sound Engineer & Sound Board Operator  |  Adam Lewis
Assistant Sound Board Operator  |  Delaney Shay

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