She Kills Monsters is Hitting the Stage Tonight, Hope You Bought Tickets

Coleman Erickson, Rookie Reporter

Now that opening night has arrived, crew and actors of She Kills Monsters are ready for curtain call.

Behind the scenes of every Wheat Ridge High School production, hours of preparation and hard work go into making every act the best it can be.

No one ever said putting on a stage production is easy. At least, no one we interviewed did. To everyone in the Production, “Hell Week,” or the week leading up to the first show, is no joke.  

“When it’s getting near the end… Everyone is getting kind of stressed out,” said sophomore Kassady Werner about why Hell Week is “Complete Hell.” With so much to do and so little time, everyone is feeling the pressure.

As senior Lexie Greenawalt, performing Kelly, put it, “It’s also really exhausting, just being there for so long and having to be moving, talking, and just being all over the place.” The production takes even more of a toll in the weeks leading up to. What complicates things more is last minute changes to scenes and things breaking down behind scenes putting more stress on stage crew. “It was definitely a moment of truth,” are some words sophomore Baker Littrell, the Narrator, used to describe “Hell Week.”

There’s an element in low budget productions that makes them entirely independent of higher budget shows. This piece is the heart and soul of a good production, low budget or not. The Wheat Ridge Drama Department has always had very passionate, driven, and motivated people leading up production. I can say with confidence that this year is no outlier. With Ian Miller (a prominent producer of stage and film here at on the Farm), seasoned drama instructor Autumn Ehrhardt, and experienced sound designer Alexander Jacobius, this production is in more than capable hands.

The cast is also one of the most capable crews I’ve seen grace a less-than-major theater production stage.

“I’ve actually been an actress in the fall play as a lead role for the past four years,” senior Riley Hoffman gives in an interview for the video recap of the Fall Play. The rest of the cast is a diverse mix of experienced, seasoned actors as well as a few new faces debuting this Thursday in a special preview show.   

This Thursday, lasting well into the late hours of the night, I attended the final rehearsal before their Friday night debut. One thing to clear up right away is that this was not a finished product. Not all lighting/music/stage queues were figured out. Amazingly, everyone took the issues in strides. The show must go on.

Everyone was very professional throughout the whole rehearsal. Jen Fisher, lights, and Alexander Jacobius, sound, were ready and did an amazing job working together with the stage crew to establish timing and themes. It was apparent communication was the main focus of this production.

The acting was all very professional, seeming like second nature to everyone. Parts played by the seasoned actors and actresses were fit for Broadway. Even the understudies seemed to pick up on everything from the emotions to the stage fighting techniques.

As a filmmaker, I recognize how easy it is to hide details in a film from the viewer, like a fake arm, blood packs, and actor doubles. These things aren’t remotely easy to hide in stage performance. Coming into the theater you have to suspend a certain sense of reality to really engross yourself with the piece, which is why I find it incredibly fitting the play focuses around a fictional game.

In totality, I found every minute I spent watching this production worth every cent of the negligible at-door ticket price of ten dollars (pre-sale tickets were five dollars).

The Haystack will be posting a video version of this review as well as a promotional documentary for the whole production of the play. Getting to know the cast as well as the amazing people behind the scenes has given me a whole new appreciation for this production. Let me clear anything up for you, She Kills Monsters is the best production you will see this year, I can say with much assurance.