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By Qui Nguyen

She Kills Monsters is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc. www.concordtheatricals.com.

First produced in
New York City, The Flea Theater
Jim Simpson, Artistic Director
Carol Ostrow, Producing Director

The show will run for approximately
1 hour and 45 minutes.

There will not be an intermission.

Fog, haze, and strobe lights will be used
during this production.

The videotaping or making of electronic or other audio and/or visual recordings of this production and distributing recordings or streams in any medium, including the internet, is strictly prohibited, a violation of the author(s)’s rights and actionable under United States copyright law. For more information, please visit

From the President
Rick Trietley headshot

Dear Arts Patrons,

Welcome to this 2023–24 performing arts season production. The quality programming you are about to enjoy, and in which the university community takes so much pride, would be impossible without our friends, benefactors, and audience members. We are very pleased to have you join us.

This season is an expanded and eclectic mix of music, drama, music theatre, and stand-up comedy performed by outstanding artists ranging from nationally known acts to Viterbo students. The carefully crafted schedule reflects our dedication to upholding the legacy of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration and their goal of sharing the wonder of the arts with everyone in the region.

To all Viterbo arts patrons, benefactors, sponsors, volunteers, artists, and students, thank you very much for your continued support.

Enjoy the show!

“Pace e Bene”
Peace and all good
Rick Trietley signature
Rick Trietley
Viterbo University President

Conservatory Note
Rick Walters headshot

Welcome to the Viterbo University Conservatory for the Performing Arts. We’re so glad you’ve joined in this shared experience of live theatre and music. There’s nothing else quite like it.

This season promises a tapestry of emotions, stories, and melodies, from the enchanting glamour of 42nd Street to the quirky brilliance of Bat Boy: The Musical, and the soul-stirring magic of Godspell.

We’re pleased to bring you new works from some of the most current voices in American theatre. In She Kills Monsters, Obie-award-winner Qui Nguyen offers up a genre-bending Dungeons and Dragons romp that can make you laugh even when you’re not supposed to. Tar Beach by Tammy Ryan drops us into 1977 on a New York City rooftop where an overstressed electrical grid leads to a city-wide blackout and the loss of innocence.

Feel the warmth of the holidays with the music of A Viterbo Christmas: The Holly and The Ivy, blending timeless carols and modern classics to launch the season. And in February, mark your calendars for the jazz-inspired romantic short opera, Later That Same Evening.

Thank you for joining us on this artistic journey as we explore new worlds, challenge perspectives, and create memories that last long after the final curtain.

Rick Walters
Rick Walters signature
Executive Artistic Director
Conservatory for the Performing Arts

Director's Note
Benjamin Gonzales headshot

Welcome and thank you for attending She Kills Monsters. We are so excited for you to escape into this fantasy world filled with kobolds, skeletons, magic, and so much more! Like the show, the journey has been long and arduous in its path to completion. There was laughter, tears, lots of fight choreography, and bruises. It often felt like we were actually fighting a dragon.

But, this isn’t my first bout with a dragon.

In 1995, at the same time I was a high-school nerd playing Dungeons and Dragons in the basements of my friends' houses, I was told I had cancer for the first time. The journey was not the same as Agnes, but the shadows and scars echoing with the soundtrack of the time was so familiar to me. Every time I visit the world of She Kills Monsters, it teleports me to the greatest battles that I have overcome, and I can only hope that the story teleports you to visions of resilience and hope. Our version of this show is a period piece. You’ll be able to tell that once you hear the music and catch on to some of the Easter eggs hidden in the designs. We have gone to great lengths to take you to 1995 in Athens, Ohio, to sit at our Dungeon Master’s table and experience this once-in-a-generation theatrical experience.

So again, we welcome you to join our party in the Quest for the Lost Soul of Athens!

Benjamin Gonzales

Dramaturgical Note

The '90s were a pivotal time for gay rights. Queer communities were still reeling from the devastation of the AIDS epidemic and fighting to be acknowledged in a cultural climate that seemed more interested in ignoring them entirely. In the face of this, a younger generation began to realize that LGBTQ+ people deserved the same rights as anyone else and reinforced their predecessors in the fight for equality. Through this fight, geek counterculture provided many young people with a safe haven.

Dungeons and Dragons is inherently about providing players with a space to explore their identities and be their authentic selves in a reality that doesn’t always celebrate the diversity of humankind. Through fantasy, players have the freedom to create the representation that they can’t find in mainstream culture.

Although theatre and Dungeons and Dragons seem to exist in different worlds, at their core, both are rooted in a love of storytelling. Theatre is a community—and just like in the world of She Kills Monsters, everyone is welcome at our table!

At first glance, She Kills Monsters appears to be a view of adolescence in the 1990s...and it is! However, beneath the layers of Smashing Pumpkins and Poison references, this play sheds a light on the universal truths facing anybody that has ever felt othered by the world around them. She Kills Monsters is, at its core, a piece about identity. It’s a piece about resilience and finding where you can be the hero of your own story.


Athens, Ohio, and the imaginary land of New Landia; 1995


Agnes: Ryan Dettbarn

Tilly: Anna Martinson

Lilith: Makayla Taylor

Kaliope: Elisabeth Meyer

Vera: Cortney Piepenburg

Farrah: Willow–Jo

Tina: Megan Wheelock

Gabbi: Lindsey Meath

Orcus: Ian Zempel

Chuck: Isaac Knudsen

Miles: Robby Alston

Steve: Mahlivanh Fleckenstein

Narrator: Sophie La Fave

Stunt Monsters: Katie Kostner (Tilly understudy), Erica Ashley (Gabbi understudy), Bailey Millimaki (Tina understudy), Lauren Bergquist (Agnes understudy), Marie Peterson (Farrah and Vera understudy), Adelaide Young (Kaliope and Narrator understudy)

Production Team

Director: Benjamin Gonzales

Fight Choreographer: Teddy Eck

Stage Manager: Joie Steele

Costume Designer: Jen Brown

Scenic Designer: Madi Bollinger

Lighting Designer: Dillon McArdle

Sound Designer: Benjamin Gonzales

Properties Designer: Kelsey Taunt

Hair and Makeup Designer: Shea Grande

Dance Battle Choreography: Beth Anderson, Amber Arevalo Medellin

Production Manager: Jason Underferth

Technical Director: Chad Kolbe

Intimacy Director: Brittany Bara

Assistant Director: Raven Hurlock

Assistant Stage Manager: Alli Austin

Fight Captain: Lauren Bergquist

Sound Engineer: Doug Wilken

Lead Electrician: Jason Underferth

Assistant Technical Director: Madi Bollinger

Costume Shop Supervisor: Alex Bell

Production Crew

Deck Supervisor: Emma Phillips

Light Board Operator: Soph Klemp

Sound Board Operator: Jessica Schneider

Sound Run/Microphones (A2): Spencer Fletcher

Costume Run Crew: Annie Voss, Braeden Jackson, August Knaus, Sydney Ellis

Scenic Run Crew: Brandon Rundquist, Hailey Fernandes, Lou Xiong

Props Run Crew: Ashlyn Cox, Abby Schrunk

Lighting/Electricians: Clay Corley, Sophie La Fave, Halle Utterback

Costume Build Crew: Robby Alston, Colin Cada, Shea Grande, Lindsey Meath, Elisabeth Meyer, Gabby Moten, Calvin Pierce, Josh Terrones, Adelaide Young

Scenic Build Crew: Amber Arevalo, Spencer Curtis, Savannah DeShazo, Reagan Kettner, Jillian Kohl, Cortney Piepenburg, CJ Zimmer

Prop Build Crew: Sophia Barbato, Kjersten Danzig, Ryan Dettbarn, Mackenzie Greenwood, Anna Martinson

Special Thanks

Anna Graham
Lisa Lock
La Crosse Community Theatre
River City Hobbies
Nisse Taunt



Robert Alston headshot

Robert Alston
is a junior music theatre major from Wausau. Previous Viterbo credits include Lyle in Footloose and Captain Riser in The Hello Girls. He has also been seen as Henry in Next to Normal at La Crosse Community Theatre and Kurt in Heathers: The Musical with Viterbo's Student Theatre Project. He would like to extend a huge thanks to his family, friends, and partner for their constant love, support, and encouragement! @robbyalston1


Erica Ashley headshot

Erica Ashley
is a senior music theatre major from Ft Wayne, Ind. with a minor in business administration. At Viterbo, she has been seen in Everybody, Pirates of Penzance, Dear Diary cabaret, and the sophomore class cabaret. She would like to thank her family, friends, and double shot espressos for all their continued support!


Lauren Bergquist headshot

Lauren Bergquist
is a senior theatre major with a minor in arts administration and is thrilled to be a part of this production. Previous Viterbo credits include Everybody, The Elephant Speaks Jazz, Measure for Measure, and The Pirates of Penzance. She would like to thank you for supporting live theatre. Enjoy the show! @laurenmbergquist


Ryan Dettbarn headshot

Ryan Dettbarn
is a junior theatre major with a dance minor. She has always loved performing and cannot wait to share the stage with her incredibly talented peers this semester! Dettbarn would like to thank her friends and family for their continued support and for always believing in her. @ryan.dettbarn4


Mahlivanh Fleckenstein headshot

Mahlivanh Fleckenstein
is a senior theatre major. They have been involved with theatre since their first year of high school in their hometown of West Salem. Fleckenstein spent this past summer performing in Dog Sees God and Legally Blonde: The Musical with La Crosse Community Theatre. This fall, you may spot Fleckenstein getting eaten and/or dismembered in She Kills Monsters. Oh my! They would like to leave you with this quote from Neil Gaiman's Stardust, "You have to believe. Otherwise, it will never happen." @mahlivanh


Katie Kostner headshot

Katie Kostner
can't wait for her second year! She's a music theatre major with minors in dance and music. This semester she'll be performing in She Kills Monsters as a monster and understudying the role of Tilly. She is a member of the Student Theatre Project and a senator in the Student Government Association. She would like to thank her family, friends, and the Viterbo faculty for all they've done. See you soon! www.katiekostner.com


Isaac Knudsen headshot

Isaac Knudsen
is a sophomore music theatre major and dance minor. They are so excited to be returning to Viterbo this year! Their credits include being a swing in Viterbo's production of The Pirates of Penzance and Chuck in She Kills Monsters. @isaacknudseng


Sophie La Fave headshot

Sophie La Fave
is a junior music theatre major with an arts administration minor from the Twin Cities. Recent Viterbo credits include: The Hello Girls (Swing), Footloose (Cowboy Bob/Ensemble), and CARRIE: The Musical (Swing). She has a passion for writing, theatre education, and storytelling in general. Outside of the theatre they can be seen crocheting, baking, and laughing loudly. Much love and thanks to Maman, Dave, Cal, and the 4 torts. @sophlafave


Anna Martinson headshot

Anna Martinson
is a senior theatre major from Mahtomedi, Minn. They were last seen on the Viterbo stage in the ensemble in Measure for Measure and the understudy for Usher/God/Understanding in Everybody. She was also recently in Student Theatre Project's productions of Heathers: The Musical and Puffs. They would like to thank their friends, their professors, and of course their family for always being there for them. She hopes you enjoy the show! @Anna_martinson75


Lindsey Meath headshot

Lindsey Meath
is a senior music theatre major from Dallas who has most recently been seen in Viterbo's productions of The Hello Girls, Footloose, The Elephant Speaks Jazz, and Everybody. She would like to thank all her family, friends, and professors for encouraging her to grow in her craft. She can't wait for you to see the show. Sit back, relax, and let the magic of theatre take you somewhere new! @linzerdeanna


Elisabeth Meyer headshot

Elisabeth Meyer
is a junior theatre major with a dance minor from New Berlin. Previous Viterbo credits include The Elephant Speaks Jazz (Sam/Lucy US) and ensemble in Measure for Measure, as well as appearing in Platinum and Diamond Edition show choirs. If she's not on stage, you'll find her around the costume shop. Her many thanks go to God and her incomparable family and friends for always supporting and loving her. Go V-Hawks! @liz_hope_3


Bailey Millimaki headshot

Bailey Millimaki
is a junior theatre major with a minor in dance. She was most recently seen as Juliet in Viterbo's production of Measure for Measure and was a part of Dance Kaleidoscope as a dancer last spring. She spent this past summer studying acting for film in Los Angeles and is very excited to continue her work on camera this year as a co-president of Viterbo's film club. She would like to thank her support system (you know who you are) and all of the amazing professors and faculty at Viterbo. Proverbs 16:9. @baileyy.katee


Marie Faustina Peterson headshot

Marie Faustina Peterson
is a senior music theatre major. Past Viterbo credits include: Why Love? (Cabaret, and playing Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance. She simply adores time with her family and friends, creating art of any kind, and all that life has to offer. She hopes you enjoy the show and are able to take something for yourself from this performance. Thank you!


Cortney Piepenburg headshot

Cortney Piepenburg
is super excited to be back for another year at Viterbo! She is in her third year on campus, pursuing a BFA in theatre with minors in arts administration and marketing. You may have seen her in past Viterbo productions such as: Pompey in Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, Ensemble in Student Theatre Project's Heathers: The Musical, as well as various shows with Diamond Edition show choir and Viterbo's Concert Choir. Piepenburg would like to thank her friends and family for their neverending support and love. @Cortspian


Makayla Taylor headshot

Makayla Taylor
is a sophomore music theatre major. She is thrilled to be back on stage this year. You may have seen her previously as a Maiden/Mabel understudy in The Pirates of Penzance. Besides performing she is a part of Student Theatre Project and the season selection committee. She wants to thank her parents and twin sister for all their support, and is excited to see what this year has in store! @Kayla_Taylor207


Megan Wheelock headshot

Megan Wheelock
is a junior music theatre major with a minor in dance. Her Viterbo credits include being involved in the swing company of Footloose, Martha Dunnstock in Student Theatre Project's production of Heathers: The Musical, and Evil Tina in She Kills Monsters. She would like to thank her friends and family for all of their continuous support. @meganelisewheelock


Willow-Jo headshot

is a senior music theatre major with a minor in dance. Some of Willow-Jo's favorite productions have been Rent (Angel), The Vagina Monologues, Puffs (Oliver Rivers), and Something Rotten! (The Minstrel). They would like to thank all the faculty, their family, and their partner for their continuous support! Insta: @willow_jo_z


Adelaide Young headshot

Adelaide Young
is a junior music theatre major and dance minor from Illinois. Previously she has been seen in Viterbo's production of The Hello Girls as Helen Hill, Measure for Measure as Mariana/Claudio understudy, and Platinum Edition show choir. She'd like to extend a massive thanks to the faculty, her classmates, and her parents for never diminishing her drive and love for artistry. @adelaiderhyss


Ian Zempel< headshot

Ian Zempel
is a senior music theatre major from Sheboygan. He has been seen onstage performing in Footloose, and heard off-stage engineering sound for In Limbo, Lysistrata, CARRIE: the Musical, Measure for Measure, The Pirates of Penzance, and the Viterbo senior showcase. He looks forward to more explorations of music and theatre both on campus and in the community! @b_r_i_b_e

Production Team


Benjamin Gonzalez headshot

Benjamin Gonzalez
is an assistant professor teaching in the areas of theatre history and literature at Viterbo. He previously served as a guest instructor for lighting design and theatre technology at the University of Central Missouri and is also formerly an associate clinical professor who taught an array of theatrical subjects at Washington State University that included lighting design, playwriting, and media literacy. He earned an MFA in theatre arts (focused on dramatic writing) from the University of Idaho. He also earned an MA in teaching and a bachelor of arts in theatre arts and drama from Washington State University. Gonzalez currently serves as the National Chair of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival's (KCACTF) National Playwriting Program (NPP) and has previously served as the representation, equity, and diversity (RED) coordinator. Professionally, he is a theatre generalist with experience in lighting design, set design, sound design, technical direction, production management, direction, as well as playwriting. He specializes in writing verbatim plays that highlight the stories of students who have in some way been marginalized. He also has been known to write scenes and short plays for his students to use for contemporary scene work and/or auditions.


Teddy Eck headshot

Teddy Eck
is in his third year of teaching at Viterbo. He teaches various theatre performance classes, arts administration courses, and leads the stage management program. His professional experience includes working as a performer at various Off-Broadway and LORT theatres, cruise ships, tours, and regional theatre as well as in commercials/industrials, feature films, and TV appearances. In addition, Eck has held various administrative positions at theatres and arts organizations across the county. His current passions include using interactive and immersive performance techniques (VR/AR/XR) to continue to enhance the ability to build empathy and compassion within live performances. www.teddyeck.com


Joie Steele headshot

Joie Steele
is a junior music theatre major with a minor in dance from Tuscaloosa, Ala. Featured credits include Norma in Viterbo's production of CARRIE: The Musical, Female 2/Onstage swing in La Crosse Community Theatre's production of The Laramie Project, and has over 20 shows under her choreography belt. Enjoy the show and lots of love! @joie.steele


Madi Bollinger headshot

Madi Bollinger
has just begun her journey with Viterbo. She came from California where she was a lighting, sound, and scenic designer, an assistant technical director, and stagecraft teacher. She has a BA in technical theatre from CSU Fresno and is earning an MFA in technical direction from the University of Idaho. Some previous credits include: Lighting: Mary Poppins, Be More Chill, Arabian Nights, Clybourne Park; Scenic: Mamma Mia, Into The Woods, Freaky Friday; Fly Lead: Disney's Descendants, Sister Act, Tuck Everlasting.


Dillon McArdle headshot

Dillon McArdle
is a seasoned arts leader, currently lending his expertise as the director of the Viterbo University Fine Arts Center while simultaneously serving as co-director of the Weber Center for the Performing Arts. With a rich background in the performing arts, McArdle has held the role of executive director at the Weber Center for the Performing Arts, and his artistic journey also saw him as the scenic designer and technical director for La Crosse Community Theatre. Beyond his university and theatre commitments, McArdle is passionate about the cultural enrichment of his community and currently holds the position of vice chair on the La Crosse Arts Board, where he continues to foster a thriving arts scene.


Kelsey Taunt headshot

Kelsey Taunt
has been working as a freelance theatre artist/designer/teacher for more than 15 years. She has a BA in theatre from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, with a double emphasis in design and acting. Taunt is excited to be a part of Viterbo's Conservatory for the Performing Arts.


Shea Grande headshot

Shea Grande
is a junior music theatre major with double minors in dance and arts administration from Chattanooga, Tenn. She was recently seen in La Crosse Community Theatre's productions of Beauty and the Beast and RENT as well as on the Viterbo stage in the final Platinum Edition show choir Celebration 2023. Her hair and makeup designs have been seen in past Viterbo shows including The Hello Girls and Measure for Measure. She would like to thank Mom, Bill, Kenzie, Reagan, and Will for their neverending support. Enjoy the show! @sheagrande


Beth Anderson headshot

Beth Anderson
is a junior music theatre major with minors in dance and arts administration. She has previously been involved in Viterbo's productions of Measure for Measure and The Pirates of Penzance as a member of the swing/understudy company. She was ecstatic to make her main stage debut as Phyllis in 42nd Street. Anderson extends thanks to her friends, family, and Center Stage Academy faculty in Warrensburg, Mo. To God be the glory! Galatians 2:20. @bethhandersonn4


Amber Arevalo headshot

Amber Arevalo
is a senior majoring in music theatre and minoring in dance. She is from Fort Lauderdale, but was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico. During the summer, she played Sandy in Grease at Summerstock Austin. Last year, she played Kiki in Significant Other and Mistress Overdone in Shakespeare's Measure for Measure at Viterbo. Additionally, she is a member of Viterbo's dance team. Arevalo is thrilled and grateful to be playing the role of Peggy Sawyer in 42nd Street during her final year at Viterbo. She would like to express her gratitude to her family, friends, Apollo, and the faculty for their love and support! @amberarevalo


Jason Underferth headshot

Jason Underferth
has been a lighting designer in the Midwest region for more than 20 years. Most recently, he has spent the last 10 years as the production manager and lighting design lecturer at Saint Mary's University in Winona, Minn., where he has designed more than 40 shows. Favorite designs include Man of La Mancha and Enchanted April, both at The Commonweal Theatre Company. He is starting his second year at Viterbo as the production manager for the Conservatory for the Performing Arts and excited to be designing again for the Conservatory.


Chad Kolbe headshot

Chad Kolbe
is an associate professor of theatre in his 18th year teaching at Viterbo. He teaches design and technology courses such as stage craft, principles of design, theatre practicum, and stage lighting. He also serves as technical director and lighting designer for the theatre and music theatre department. Before beginning his journey at Viterbo, Kolbe served as instructor and technical director at The University of Northern Iowa. For six years, Kolbe served as the technical director for the Texas Shakespeare Festival in Kilgore, Texas. Before that he served three years as carpenter, head rigger, and assistant technical director for The Des Moines Metro Opera. He enjoys time with family and being outside exploring all La Crosse and the surrounding areas have to offer.


Brittany Bara headshot

Brittany Bara
is in her second year as assistant professor of theatre and music theatre at Viterbo. Recent Viterbo credits: The Hello Girls (director). As an actor and director, she has worked extensively throughout the U.S., Canada, and Western Europe. As a Designated Linklater Teacher, Bara is interested in helping people find their authentic voice for use on stage, in business, and in everyday life. Throughout all areas, she focuses her work on cultivating empathy and believes strongly in radical kindness and approaching life with a generosity of spirit. As a performer, favorite roles include Reno in Anything Goes, Woman 2 in I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, Mme. Thenardier in Les Miserables, and Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Bara holds a BFA in musical theatre from Emerson College in Boston and an MFA in performance pedagogy from the University of Pittsburgh. Thanks and love to Dan, for everything. For more information, visit www.brittanybara.com


Raven Hurlock headshot

Raven Hurlock
is a senior theatre major from the Chicago suburbs. Recently, they worked as the theatre teaching artist for a therapeutic arts program in Chicago. Additional past credits include The Laramie Project and The Pirates of Penzance. Hurlock is endlessly grateful to their family, their partner, and everybody else who has helped to push them toward success in their creative endeavors. @raven.marlowe


Alli Austin headshot

Alli Austin
is a first-year theatre major with an emphasis in stage management. She was involved throughout high school in various musicals and hopes to continue throughout her college experience. She also likes to read, write, and meet new friends! @alli.mae.23

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