Three Freshmen Cast in She Kills Monsters

Freshman Cassie Duker Stars in She Kills Monsters

The community makes being an underclassman almost a non-existent factor because I've been offered so many great opportunities. Everyone talks with everyone and there is no sense of seniority present because everyone is working toward one common goal. 

-Cassie Duker

On November 20-24th, the Miami University Department of Theatre will present She Kills Monsters, a dramatic comedy written by Qui Nguyen. The play follows a woman’s exploration through the world of Dungeons & Dragons as a means of connecting to her deceased younger sister. 

Miami University received its largest incoming freshman class this year, with an abundance of talent included. Therefore, it was no surprise that three freshmen were cast in the Department of Theatre's production of She Kills Monsters by Qui Nguyen. One of the freshmen is Cassie Duker from Cincinnati, who is playing the part of the Narrator and Farrah the Fairy. I had a chance to sit down and ask her a few questions this past week amidst her busy schedule. 

As mentioned above, Cassie is double-cast in two roles: The Narrator and a fairy named Farrah. She loves playing both parts, but each has its challenges. The Narrator is supposed to be more formal and tell the story from a neutral standpoint, and Cassie says that finding the right inflection is the most difficult part. But, as the narrator, she gets the first and last lines of the show and is tasked with driving the story along—a task she relishes. Farrah the Fairy is challenging in its own right, but for different reasons. Cassie says she isn’t used to playing a character like her: badass, daunting, yet funny. Completely opposite from any character that Cassie has played in the past. 

Despite being one of three freshmen cast in the show including Baxter Whitehead and Alexandra Leurck, she says the welcoming nature of the Department has really helped with the transition. It’s her favorite thing about it. The community makes being an underclassman almost "a non-existent factor," Cassie says, "because she’s been offered so many great opportunities. Everyone talks with everyone and there is no sense of seniority present because everyone is working toward one common goal." 

Theatre is a busy lifestyle choice, and when one is involved in a show it takes up a lot of time and energy to create what audiences will see in this production. I asked Cassie to describe her typical day with a rehearsal involved, and she sighed before she began. She says she is a student first, and her responsibilities with homework and class come before theatre. She makes choices regarding time management. She has rehearsal from 7-11pm every night. Cassie knew all of this was coming when she accepted the roles. That’s commitment. 

I asked her a few more questions about her costume and her favorite role she’s played in the past. At the time of the interview, all she knew about her costume was that it involved a pink wig. Her favorite role was playing Ruth in the play “The Dining Room” during her junior year of high school. The reason for this is because of her unique high school situation. She went to Mother of Mercy High School in Cincinnati for the first three years of high school but the school didn’t have enough money to remain open, so it merged with another school to form Mercy McAuley High School for her senior year. “The Dining Room” was her last show at Mother of Mercy. She ended the show with a toast to everyone, for the memories. It was a powerful moment that she looks back on fondly. 

Written by Malcolm Vanderwoude, Freshman

She Kills Monsters

By Qui Nguyen
Directed by Bridget Leak

Gates-Abegglen Theatre
Nov. 20 - 23 | 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 24 | 2 p.m.

  • Agnes struggles to come to terms with the sudden loss of her family, especially her little sister Tilly. With the help of a young dungeon master, Agnes ventures into the rich fantasy world of Tilly's imagination, wages epic battles, discovers who her sister was, and comes to terms with her grief. 


Available the Box Office (034 CAB) and at the door

$12 adult | $9 senior | $8 student