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WCHS Insight

The Student News Site of West Covina High School

WCHS Insight

The dedication behind “She Kills Monsters”

Aidan Renteria
Farrah (Kim de Pez) introduces herself while the party is traveling through the woods. Farrah began attacking Agnus after she revealed that they were attempting to slay the dragon, Tiamat.

“She Kills Monsters” was the final spring play for the class of 2024 and the first play ever for a few cast members. With the play came feelings of accomplishment from the theater department.

 Seniors Julianna Othmer and Grey Jimenez were chosen by theater teacher Kimberly Segura to direct the final play of the school year. According to Othmer, Jimenez and Othmer were selected to direct the play after their work on previous theater productions such as “Matilda” and “Mamma Mia.” Jimenez’s first ever role was that of a narrator with Othmer already previously directing a play during her sophomore year. 

“I’d say our demonstration of leadership. I’ve been president for three years and Gray has also had various leadership positions so Ms. B has definitely seen our capabilities,” said Othmer. 

Segura choreographed most of the fight scene but gave complete artistic freedom to Jimenez and Othmer for the rest of the  play. Jimenez had complete control over the “Miles Cube” scene and was the scene he was most proud of. Othmer had the most fun choreographing the dance battle between the party and the demon cheerleaders. 

“Everything came together and everyone was together in that scene,” said Othmer. 

The cast of “She Kills Monsters” was chosen by Segura after her students had volunteered for various roles instead of auditioning for just one. Matthew Aguilera, Alex Arreola, Kaitlyn Liang, AC Chung, and Justin Clark Yuvienco were casted for characters despite it being their first time acting for an official play. 

Senior Jade Coronado was casted for the main role of Agnus with senior Isaac Vargas casted as  her character’s companion, Chuck. The role of Agnus’s sister, Tily Evans was given to Nani Garcia. Josh Castro, Arela Acuna, Kim De Pez were casted as Agnus’s party members. Despite being a director, Othmer was also casted to play Lilith. 

Arreola previously auditioned for the role of a monster before Segura gave him the chance of playing the supporting character, Orcus. Arreola was nervous at first about a main role, but the support from fellow cast members helped him adjust to the new responsibility. 

“It felt great to have worked with such an amazing cast. There’s no one else I would have traded this character for,” said Arreola.

While not many of the students working on the play knew each other personally, the desire to perfect “She Kills Monsters” made it easy for the cast and technicians to work together.

“The cast is great and everyone is so welcoming. I don’t really know the actors that well, but they’re all just so nice. You just feel like you’ve known them for a long time,” said tech director Abel Ortiz. 

The last two weeks of their lives have been dedicated to the play with rehearsals every day lasting until 9 p.m.  The process was both exhausting and  exciting to those working to perfect “She Kills Monsters”. 

“I can safely say that we are here on campus more than we are at our houses, but I mean, the payoff is worth it and I wouldn’t trade being here for being at home,” said Jimenez.

The comedy aspect of the play was something all the cast members were nervous about. Having to rehearse the same jokes again and again made the cast doubt if the play would be actually enjoyable to the audience. Opening night was the most nerve racking for the cast members as they braced for either disappointment or applause. Their nerves quickly left them after performing the first night. 

“Hearing the audience laugh and have these such big reactions to jokes told on stage just melts all those nerves away,” said Jimenez. 

Seeing all the work the cast put in had made Jimenez grow a love for his cast mates. He  was especially proud of Arreola for taking on Orcus with so much pride despite it being his first time acting on stage, as well as making the weapons used during the play. Arreola was also the main designer of the weapons as Segura had given him full access to the theater workshop and supplied him the materials he needed to perfect the weapon props.

With all the effort put into the play, the weight of the ending was something Julianna and Grey were most anxious about. Having to show Agnus traveling the world that Tilly created for her is a journey that Jimenez felt needed to be properly ended. 

“The last scene has to hold so much weight and embody the show as a whole and we wanted to make sure we got it right,” said Jimenez.

The hard work paid off as many audience members teared up throughout the show and laughs had filled the Bulldog Cafe with those who worked on “She Kills Monsters” feeling accomplished over their final play of the year.

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