Setting the World of SHE KILLS MONSTERS

CHUCK: You are standing on the sands of a mystical beachside. To one side of you is the endless ocean, on the other is an ominous dark forest. And from the distance, a hooded stranger approaches…

AGNES: If a hooded stranger approached me in real life, I would mace him. 

The characters in SHE KILLS MONSTERS, like any adventurers in a tabletop RPG, do a lot of traveling: swamps; mountains; caves; Ohio gaming stores. The sets for the show need to transform quickly, dynamically and theatrically all while maintaining an air of badassitude.

Enter set designer Erik Diaz with the first draft of his model for C1SKM!

Erik Diaz loves the Plaza Theater! And totally rearranging everything about it!

Erik Diaz loves the Plaza Theatre! And totally rearranging everything about it!

If you’ve never been to the Plaza Theater at Company One’s artistic home, the Boston Center for the Arts, it can be quite the space to work in! It features:

  • TWO immovable I-beam support columns in the middle of the stage
  • THREE-QUARTER audience seating
  • ONE proscenium-y wall/arch blocking aforementioned audience from seeing
  • HALF of the stage

So the space has some challenges.

Fortunately, Erik Diaz and our top-notch design team have the solutions. For this first draft of the set design (which could change at any moment, don’t cry if it does) C1 is shifting the audience. Instead of a 3/4 surrounding view, we’re getting rid of house left seating and using it as part of our playing area. We’ll make up additional seating on the floor in front of the Center and House Right sections.

Everything appears to be in one place . . .

Everything appears to be in one place . . .

The story begins in a nerdy-yet-normal American teenager’s room in Ohio, but is quickly invaded by fantastical monsters.

That's a lot of fan love!

That’s a lot of fan love!

The set has to be able to change, morph and reflect this shift between the two worlds. Director Shira Milikowsky keeps stressing to the creative team that “every new thing has to top the thing before it.” So each set transformation has to be more creative and exciting as the play moves forward.

What's this? The world goes deeper and deeper!

What’s this? The world goes deeper and deeper!

Stay tuned to the blog for more design renderings and updates as C1SKM moves forward!

Tillius the Paladin

Name: Tilly Evans aka Tillius the Paladin, healer of the wounded and the protector of lights.Class: Awesome!

Name: Tilly Evans aka Tillius the Paladin, healer of the wounded and the protector of lights.
Class: Awesome!

 

Paladins!

Paladins are awesome: Your knight in shining armor; your holy warrior of light and all that is true; your . . . hey wait, what else?

Here’s the official Wizards of the Coast paladin page written by Skip Williams, one of the developers of the 3rd edition of D&D. I especially liked the “Playing a Classy Paladin” section (take note Rob Najarian.)

 

Iconic "Paladin in Hell" image from 1st Edition D&D.

Iconic “Paladin in Hell” image from 1st Edition D&D.

 

D&D Night One

Cate Blanchett: In a classroom near the Red Line, in the year two-thousand and thirteen, six adventurers and one geek overlord gathered to embark on an adventure. For some, it was their first quest: for others, but another journey in an epic series of fantasy awesomnitude.

C1's resident D&D loremaster Chris Robichaud begins his prep session with members of the SKM design team.

C1’s resident D&D loremaster Chris Robichaud begins his prep session with members of the SKM design team.

First, the party created their characters: Montauk, the Human Cleric; Shalimar, the Elf Wizard; Kōn, the Gnome Thief/Hammer Dulcimerist; Bane, the Dwarf Fighter; and Rob Najarian, the Fight Director Too Good at Playing the Paladin to Need an Alias.

SKM Director Shira Milikowsky becomes Shalimar the Elven Wizard!

SKM Director Shira Milikowsky becomes Shalimar the Elven Wizard! Cleric/Lighting Designer Justin Paice and Dwarf/Production Manager Karthik Subramanian articulate their approval.

The quest was fraught with perils: Dubious townsfolk; odd-smelling mead; trying to decide where to go as a party for about an hour…

IMG_1057

Finally, we agreed on our collective alignment differences and settled on the burned-out tavern that carried a peculiar odor . . .

Pick your alignment ... hilarious Harry Potter alignment image to come...

Pick your alignment … hilarious Harry Potter alignment image to come…

When suddenly, after a foolhardy solo advance into a smelly basement from a dramaturgically inclined gnome, three bloodthirsty and aroused lizard warriors attack!

These guys had all the luck...and a strength-sapping odor

These guys had all the luck…and a strength-sapping odor

The gnome was unconscious; the wizard, unable to use her spells in close quarters; the cleric, busy resuscitating the idiot chaotic-neutral gnome; the paladin, the dwarf and the amazon kicking lizard ass as best as they could. But the DM’s dice rolls were too powerful, and the party almost down for the count!

"Oh no. I'm the only one who touches these dice. And they don't touch other dice" CR

“Oh no. I’m the only one who touches these dice. And they don’t touch other dice” CR

When finally, the party’s fortunes changed! The paladin and the gnome passed out on the floor, the Ranger, Dwarf and Cleric beateth the poo out of the stenchful lizardmen. The party barely escaped with their lives, but lived to play again!

What lies in store for the party? And what of the cast and the C1 staff? How will they fare against Master Robichaud's mighty D&D aptitude?

What lies in store for the party? And what of the cast and the C1 staff? How will they fare against Master Robichaud’s mighty D&D aptitude?

Monstrous Manual

CHUCK: I keep her pretty busy if you know what I mean.

MILES: Doing what?

CHUCK: Fighting monsters, my man. Fighting. Monsters. 

You couldn’t go see a play called SHE KILLS MONSTERS and walk away without seeing any monsters. Fortunately for us, Qui Nguyen injects his Dungeons & Dragons-inspired Ohio fantasy world with plenty of D&D beasties to make any casual adventurer giggle with second edition delight. The majority of these creatures are referenced in the Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition Monstrous Manual, available in its entirety online. Click on the kobald to start the monster slideshow.