She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms
By Qui Nguyen

Directed by Dorie Barton, Sharon Ott, and Wes Seals

The department is thrilled to announce our virtual production of She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms by Qui Nguyen, premiering October 28th as part of VTA’s virtual 2020 Conference.

illustration of young girl slaying dragon

Co-Directors Dorie Barton (MFA ’20), Sharon Ott (Department Chair), and Wes Seals (MFA ’18) have joined forces to head this unique production. Most rehearsals and recordings are being done over Zoom with actors basically having to create film studios in their own spaces. Costumes, props, and technology were mailed to cast members for use in their homes, and our design/ tech students are learning new skills finessing virtual backgrounds and animated special effects, using socially distanced costume fittings, and creating film storyboards. Any scenes filmed in person follow social distancing and safety protocols.

The production will premiere as a special event during VTA’s virtual conference on Wednesday October 28th. All performances will be virtual (we’ll be sending a streaming link and access code to ticket holders on the day of the performance).

It’s been an adventure navigating this new territory on all fronts! We’re thinking of hosting an She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms Alum Viewing Party–contact Sarah if you’re interested (

We’re offering student discounts and special packages for teachers interested in sharing with their classrooms! (If you are a teacher interested in that option, please reach out to Sarah Moore at!)

Screenshot of cast and creative team from the first reading!

About She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms

In response to the global pandemic of Covid-19, and the subsequent closure of theaters worldwide, playwright Qui Nguyen released a new adaptation of the play intended for online performances via video conferencing software such as Zoom.

She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms follows Agnes Evans, a high schooler in Ohio who thinks of herself as the world’s most average teenager—until her little sister Tilly suddenly dies. Agnes finds Tilly’s Dungeons And Dragons notebook and decides to play the campaign her sister created. Agnes is drawn into her sister’s personal fantasy, a place where Tilly sought refuge and where Agnes learns more about her sister than she could have in real teenage life.

Nguyen approaches the relationship and loss between these two sisters with a light, comedic voice that leaves you mostly laughing, but sometimes in tears. In this drama-comedy filled with D&D monsters and high school friends and bullies, Nguyen pays homage to the warrior and geek in us all.


This production is made possible through the generosity of LA Phipps’ friends and family in her loving memory.

l a phipps
Lisa Anne Phipps (1965-2020)

She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc.

Compiled by Liz Hopper (Emeritus Faculty) and Jerry Williams (BFA ’71) for the September 2020 Theatre Alumni Newsletter