Dramatic Comedy by Qui Nguyen

She Kills Monsters: MST&DA's Talented Next Gen Ushers In New Spring Teen Show

David Stone
She Kills Monsters: MST&DA's Talented Next Gen Ushers In New Spring Teen Show

Not long ago, they were kids coming up through seasons of shows at Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance, but now Joan Marie Cusick and Chana Meltzer are showing a fresh set of Roosevelt Island teens what they mastered in classes and on stage.

Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance alumnus Joan Marie Cusick directs She Kills Monsters, an Off-Broadway Classic, keeping with family tradition by following the footsteps of Mom Jackie and Dad Russ, both of whom teach and direct shows in the Howe Theatre. (This spring, Jackie directs an MST&DA production of 1776.)

Joan Marie earned a BFA at Fredonia State before swinging back to Roosevelt Island to teach, act and direct. She's also an associate artist with the Shellscrape Theatre Company, a grassroots cabaret troop that did its thing here last July.

Joining her as associate director is Chana Meltzer, another MST&DA graduate, who focuses on the off-stage elements that make productions work invisibly. Meltzer is also sound designer for She Kills Monsters.

Cusick #2, Bryan, works as dance captain while finding time to show his stuff on stage.

The show's light board operator is Kaitlyn Abdul who seems to find a way to contribute to everything going on at MST&DA and is, not surprisingly, the second in her family to polish off her training here.

Space does not allow for mentioning all the vibrant contributors to this production, but you can check the roster of local talent here.

As for the show, it's a lot of fun from start to finish:

"A comedic romp into the world of fantasy role-playing games, in a new edition created specially for High School performing groups! She Kills Monsters tells the story of Agnes Evans as she leaves her childhood home in Ohio following the death of her teenage sister, Tilly. When Agnes finds Tilly's Dungeons & Dragons notebook, however, she stumbles into a journey of discovery and action-packed adventure in the imaginary world that was Tilly's refuge. In this high-octane dramatic comedy laden with homicidal fairies, nasty ogres, and 90s pop culture, acclaimed young playwright Qui Nguyen offers a heart-pounding homage to the geek and warrior within us all."

You've gotta have fun with that, right?

Performances begin next Friday, February 9th. Click here for showtimes, tickets and more information.

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