Halloween is just around the corner; it’s time for some fun and a bit of the macabre. William Peace Theatre’s Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom, written by Jennifer Haley and directed by Amy White, offers just that.
The premise: teens are enthralled by a video game that involves escaping from zombies that are taking over the neighborhood; parents are concerned about their children but are unable to influence them; the virtual encroaches on the real; and people die. The play includes an element of poking fun at both its subject matter and the genre.
When we enter the theater, we encounter a nearly bare stage with a backdrop that represents the login screen for the game (complete with buttons for “Start,” “Options,” and “Login”). Once we have “logged in,” we get the “LOADING …” message, the game’s narrator walks onstage, the backdrop changes to a representation of the upcoming scene, actors enter, and we are up-and-running. Each time there is a scene change, the same device is used.
The first two scenes set up the rest of the play nicely. Scene 1 is an interaction between two of the teens: Makaela (played by Amethyst Palma) and Trevor (played by Christopher Lincoln Haskins). We learn about the game and the attraction that the players feel toward it. Palma and Haskins have a good onstage chemistry -– we can feel as well as hear about their friendship and its history.
Scene 2 is an interaction between two of the adults in the neighborhood. Alex Reynolds (as Steve) and Alexandra Finazza (as Leslie), with a little help from a Garden Gnome, give us what is easily the funniest scene of the evening.
After these two scenes, the stakes are raised; and the action becomes more intense. However, the action does remain laced with humor.
If you are looking for some seasonal entertainment and/or if you are a “gamer” or if you know anybody that you might describe as an “obsessed gamer,” this play might just be your cup of tea!
Kurt Benrud is a graduate of Cary High School and N.C. State University, and he has taught English at both. He first became involved in local theater in 1980. He has served on the board of directors for both the Cary Players and the Cary Playwrights’ Forum. He is also a volunteer reader with Triangle Radio Reading Service. Click here to read his reviews for Triangle Review and Triangle Arts and Entertainment.