School of Music, Theatre and Dance

Oakland University presents ‘She Kills Monsters' and ‘A New Brain'

Performances are Oct. 27-30 and Nov. 3-6

icon of a calendarOctober 11, 2022

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Oakland University presents ‘She Kills Monsters’ and ‘A New Brain’
Cast of 'She Kills Monsters' and 'A New Brain'
The cast of 'She Kills Monsters' (left) and 'A New Brain (right). Photo courtesy JLBoone Photography.

Oakland University’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance will present She Kills Monsters from Thursday, Oct. 27 – Sunday, Oct. 30 in Room 100 in the Oakland Campus West Student Center, and A New Brain from Thursday, Nov. 3 – Sunday, Nov. 6 in Varner Lab Theatre.

Directed by OU Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre Kelli Crump, 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 finds herself catapulted into a journey of discovery and action-packed adventure in the imaginary world that was her sister’s refuge.

“Much like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, Agnes is forced to face her deepest fears, ask herself questions that speak to her core foundational beliefs, and find the physical and emotional strength to unapologetically stand in her truth,” Crump said.

“I am unbelievably proud of everything our students have accomplished with this production,” she added. “They have let their imaginations and artistic passions provide a beautiful mosaic to tell our story with purpose, compassion, and heart. Watching out students work has reignited my own journey of artistic self-discovery, and I think audiences will be inspired by what they see.”

Due to violence and language, She Kills Monsters is appropriate for ages 10+. Tickets are $15 general and $8 for students, and are available at Audience members are welcomed and encouraged to dress up in costume for the performance.

Oakland West Campus is located at 1500 University Drive in Auburn Hills, two miles west of OU’s main campus.

A New Brain

Written by the Tony Award-winning authors of Falsettos — William Finn and James Lapine —A New Brain is an energetic, sardonic, often comical musical about a composer during a medical emergency.

Gordon collapses at a meeting and awakes in the hospital, surrounded by his maritime-enthusiast lover, his mother, his best friend, the doctor, and the nurses. Reluctantly, he had been composing a song for a children’s television show that features a frog — Mr. Bungee — and the specter of this large green character and the unfinished work haunts him throughout his medical ordeal.

What was thought to be a tumor turns out to be something more operable, and Gordon recovers, grateful for a second chance at life. This fanciful, heartfelt, and intimate piece directly explores Finn’s own harrowing questions of mortality and the healing power of art.

“It is no surprise that the play, as an extension of the story subject's life, explores the inner workings of a creative mind,” said Rachel Stevens, director of A New Brain and visiting professor of theatre at OU. “It humorously presents the pressures and joys of creation, and drives home the healing power of art.

“At this moment, our community has begun to emerge from a time of isolation and unrest, ready to begin again and make change. It is an important story for our students to explore as they grapple with their own personal and artistic missions. This story reminds us to find time for stillness and be present — it will only make our art and our world more impactful. As William Finn so aptly expresses, ‘time and music make a song.’”

Due to adult themes and language, A New Brain is suggested for young adults. Tickets are $22 general and $12 for students, and can be purchased at

Varner Lab Theatre is located at 371 Varner Drive in Rochester.

Due to the safety of the student actors, wearing face masks is highly recommended.

Performance Schedules:

She Kills Monsters:

Thursday, October 27 at 8 p.m.

Friday, October 28 at 8 p.m.

Saturday, October 29 at 8 p.m.

Sunday, October 30 at 8 p.m.

A New Brain:

Thursday, November 3 at 8 p.m.

Friday, November 4 at 8 p.m.

Saturday, November 5 at 2 and 8 p.m.

Sunday, November 6 at 2 and 8 p.m.

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