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Auburn University Department of Theatre and Dance hosts "Monstersongs"

AUBURN, Ala. (EETV) - Continuing its 2023-2024 season, the Auburn University Department of Theatre and Dance hosted "Monstersongs" by Rob Rokicki and David O’neil. Directed by Ashley Butler, the production ran from October 26 to November 5 at the Telfair B. Peet Black Box Theatre.

Monstersongs was originally a graphic novel written by Rob Rokicki, who later developed the music, with art by David O’Neill. It is a composition of songs from various monsters that spring forth from a child’s imagination, and it makes the audience question if a monster is simply something that we do not understand. 

AU Theatre had a creative and unique spin on the source material, utilizing the black box theater in order to create a club lounge in the audience. This fit really well into the opening of the production, which took place in a club. Actors sang to the audience and introduced themselves along with the band.

The main performance took place in a bedroom, with actors frequently entering and exiting the stage from all directions, even to and from the audience. This resulted in a very intimate feel the show had with the audience and represented an excellent use of the space.

Every monster’s song in the performance shined a light on their true characters. The central goal of each song was to humanize the monster singing it. It goes without saying, the production was able to accomplish this goal. Each song was deeply gripping, with the members of the cast and band being incredibly talented. During the songs, a projector screen just above the stage showed artwork from the original graphic novel pertaining to the monster currently singing. This was a great addition to the production, as it provided a visual aid to the monsters’ stories.

Overall, Monstersongs by AU Theatre was a fantastic, must-see production that incorporated an incredibly talented cast, a well-designed set, and thought-provoking source material.


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