March 10, 2020 — “Dungeons and Dragons” plays a starring role in the CSU Channel Islands’ (CSUCI) spring production: “She Kills Monsters.”

Opening Thursday, March 12 and running through March 14, “She Kills Monsters” is the story of sisters Agnes and Tilly and how Agnes gets to know her deceased sister Tilly through a Dungeons and Dragons diary Tilly left behind.

“It takes place after I die,” said Performing Arts/Political Science double major Sara Ruiz, who plays Tilly. “I’m playing from the perspective of the sister who didn’t really get to know me when I was alive.”

Performing Arts Lecturer Laura Covault said she chose “She Kills Monsters” by playwright Qui Nguyen to give the audience and cast members a comedy loaded with ‘90s pop culture.

“We did ‘The Laramie Project’ in the fall and it was wonderful and serious,” Covault said. “I thought it would be nice to do something lighthearted and physical. There’s a lot of comedy. It offers a heart-pounding homage to the geek and warrior in us all.”

Covault is co-directing “She Kills Monsters” with History/Performing Arts double major Ty Meyers. He said directing required him to make a real distinction between personal and stage time.

“It was a real learning curve,” he said. “Because this is a cast of my friends and my peers. To suddenly like to have to separate that was like ‘OK, I’m your friend for these hours, but during rehearsal, I’m your director.”

Because Dungeons and Dragons requires a lot of swordplay, Covault and Meyers arranged for a professional fight coordinator to work with the cast. Kaylena Mann, the Psychology major Theater minor who plays Agnes, the older sister, is experienced in dance and martial arts, but the stage fighting was a new skill for her.

“I had to learn to fight and not actually hurt people and make it look good,” Mann said.

The show is largely a comedy, but also fields a few weighty issues, such as bullying and the LBGTQ experience in 1990s Ohio.

“LGBTQ stories rarely get told,” Ruiz said. “A lot of them are trauma porn—the sad things that happen to LGBTQ people. I think sometimes it’s refreshing to see shows with gay characters with humor and complexity. This show does a great job of that.”

“She Kills Monsters” will be shown in Malibu Hall March 12 and 13 at 8 p.m. and Saturday March 14 at 2 and 8 p.m.

Tickets for “She Kills Monsters”: $15-General, $10 Faculty, $5 Non-CSUCI Students, CSUCI Students are Free.

Limited parking is available on campus with the purchase of a $6 daily permit; follow signs to the parking permit dispensers. Free parking is available at the Camarillo Metrolink Station/Lewis Road with bus service to and from the campus.  Riders should board the CSUCI Vista Bus to the campus; the cash-only fare is $1.25 each way. Buses arrive and depart from the Camarillo Metrolink Station every 30 minutes from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday. For exact times, check the schedule at

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