Maui Arts & Entertainment

Award-winning play opens at ʻĪao Saturday

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The award-winning play She Kills Monsters opens at the ʻĪao Theatre Saturday. It’s produced by Maui Onstage.

Award-winning American playwright Qui Nguyen’s play “She Kills Monsters” is scheduled to open at the ʻĪao Theatre, as its popularity continues to grow among high school and college students in the United States.

Since it premiered in 2011, the play has had more than 700 productions, with 652 done on school and college campuses, according to the New York Times.

The play opens Saturday, April 16, at 7:30 p.m. and runs on Sundays, April 17, at 3 p.m. Other run dates include April 22, 23, 24, 29, 30, and May 1.


For more information, go to or call 808-633-5165.

While the dialogue seems breezy and comedic in a youthful world of fantasy role-playing games, the heart of the play is dramatic — a story about Ohio high school teacher Agnes Evans dealing with the grief of losing her teenage sister, Tilly.

Agnes finds Tilly’s Dungeons and Dragons’ notebook and begins her adventure in her sister’s imaginary world joining Tilly’s friends who collaborated and created monster stories.


The play is a place of real and metaphorical families where queer and nerdy youths create and enact stories within certain gaming rules, girls wield swords, and some assume heroic roles.

Maui Onstage director David Negaard said he picked the play because he liked the way the play included a broader representation of the youth culture and deals with issues of gender and sexual identity and grief.

The play has some adult themes and language but, “It’s playful, funny and authentic,” said Negaard, himself a high school teacher. “I like the balance between comedy and drama.”


Nguyen has written a number of plays including the semi-autobiographical play “Vietgone,” which received a Steinberg New Play Award.

For a weekly listing of Maui music and other events, go to Maui Entertainment, Arts, Community, April 14-20 and click here.

Gary Kubota
Gary Kubota, an associate writer with, has worked as a staff news writer with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and The Maui News. He lives on Maui. He’s also been an editor/business manager with the Lahaina News. He’s received national and regional journalism awards — a National Press Club Citation of Merit and Walter Cronkite Best In The West, among them.
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