Go on a coming-of-age journey with Wego Drama's production of 'A Monster Calls'

Wego Drama at West Chicago Community High School continues their 2023-24 theatrical season with the direct from London premiere of "A Monster Calls."

This powerful production is based on the young adult novel by Patrick Ness. It tells the story of Conor O'Malley as he faces remarkable problems, one being the appearance of a monster that has come to challenge him.

This new script was created to help those that are struggling with family, school, and life.

The emotions and empathy that the story elicits from the audience fits with the Wego Drama season theme of "Once More With Feeling."

Senior Alex Bradley states, "Conor's struggles are real and difficult ones for people. Telling this story makes me hope to help someone feel that they are not alone. Honestly, if we can help one person then we've done our job."

Additionally, senior Karidja Monjolo says, "I've found myself being amazed by this story. I am so proud to get a chance to tell it. The entire company really wants to be great storytellers."

Performances will be at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Sept. 15-16, at West Chicago Community High School, 326 Joliet St.

The production of "A Monster Calls" is a show directly from London. It is produced by special arrangement with Patrick Ness. It is based on the 2011 novel by Patrick Ness and inspired from an original idea by Siobhan Dowd. It is devised by Sally Cookson, Adam Peck, and the company. It originally premiered at the Old Vic.

Note, "A Monster Calls" contains serious subject matters such as bullying, life, death, and symbolic destruction and violence.

The company of actors and crew for the show includes: from Carol Stream, Arson Gutierrez and William Wenberg; from West Chicago, Mariana Acosta, Stephanie Alfaro, Noemi Amaro, Antwan Angeles, Michael Angeles, Alex Bradley, Lucas Brown, Wil Cooper, Danais Gomez-Garcia, Sentia Irakoze, Nirali Kadakia, Kayliana Koeune, Matthew Krysinski, Karidja Monjolo, Edgar Oropeza, Romina Pietanza, Jocelyn Ramirez, Alex Rocha, Ryley Salazar Ja'Nyah Villa, and Dayan Zenteno; and from Winfield, Ryan Blackburn, Carolyn Fleming, Caiden McDougall, Francis Moffatt, and Mariah Varnado.

"I love how big and grand this show is," senior Carolyn Fleming said. "The audience will be blown away by the cool factor. You do not want to miss this show. It is amazing."

Tickets are $8 or $5 for students. General admission seating tickets are now on sale at

Tickets also will be available at the door.

The play is directed by Mark Begovich with technical direction by Christopher Jensen, costumes by Kim Maslo, and hair and makeup by Jaime Elza.

The season began with "The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon" in August. In November, Wego Drama will put on "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." Next year, it will be Studio 94's ISHA Drama Showcase in March and "Mean Girls, High School Version" in April.

From left, Antwan Angeles, Michael Angeles and Alex Bradley work through a scene in Wego Drama's production of "A Monster Calls." Performances will be Sept. 15-16. Courtesy of Wego Drama
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