***At the end of every year we revisit some of our most popular stories from the calendar year. This article detailed a play presented by Earlham High School called “She Kills Monsters.” The recruitment for the production from the adult in charge said they needed students willing to get weird. It was originally published in May of 2022.***
Earlham High School’s spring play turned some heads and churned some stomachs this year. The school presented its version of “She Kills Monsters.” Here is some information about the production:
“Many high schools shy away from the intricacies and occasional controversies of representing various sexual identities, but ‘She Kills Monsters’ by Qui Nguyen faces the realities of being a part of the LGBTQ community head-on.”
According to an online summary, Agnes loses her entire family in a car accident, including her younger sister, Tilly. Agnes receives help from a “neighborhood uber-nerd” to help play the Dungeons and Dragons campaign Tilly had written. Agnes learns more about Tilly’s strength, wit and sexuality than she would have ever imagined.
She Kills Monsters “shines a spotlight” on LGBTQ characters.
In 2021, an Ohio high school canceled the play. But in Earlham, the show went on.
The recruitment email for the production, which was sent to The Iowa Standard, was sent from Sam Blum to students.
“Besides having an awesome title, this puppy is literally about killing monsters,” Blum wrote. “There’s even a giant eyeball that floats around and kills people. Seriously. And, because I’m directing this thing, there will be a fair amount of blood.”
Blum told students he needed a “very creative crew” that is “willing to get weird.”
“We will be very much figuring this out as we go, but this may be the weirdest and most entertaining play I’ve seen in a long time,” he wrote.
There was no warning to the community or to parents that the play is not a “family-friendly” production and not appropriate for children, some parents lamented. It was advertised throughout town as well as the K-12 school.
After the play, concerns were brought to the school board and, according to a source, it was mentioned there would NOW be a review committee for Earlham drama selections going forward.
District Facebook posts and tags on pictures/posts related to the production have been removed or deleted, according to concerned parents.
The Iowa Standard contacted the high school, but has not heard anything from school or district officials.
Here are some other photos from the performance, posted by Shannon Payne Sports Photography.