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Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom
Nov 7, 2014 - Nov 15, 2014$12.50 - $30.00
By Jennifer Haley
DATES: November 7th -15th, 2014
TIMES: Wed – Sat at 7:30 p.m., Sun at 2 p.m.
TICKETS: Midwestix or 515-309-0251
SUNDAY TALK-BACK: November 9th at 3:30pm or Immediately following the production
RADICAL HOSPITALITY: Thanks to a grant from Prairie Meadows there are tickets available at no cost for each performance excluding Saturdays. When you go to the ticketing page at Midwestix choose the Radical Hospitality ticket type, limit of two per person and a limited number available for each performance.
In a suburban subdivision with identical houses, parents find their teenagers addicted to an online horror video game. The goal: smash through an army of zombies to escape the neighborhood for good. But as the line blurs between virtual and reality, both parents and players realize that fear has a life of its own.
- Father Type – James Serpento
- Mother Type – Alissa Tschetter Siedschlaw
- Son Type – Nick Cornelison
- Daughter Type – Glori Dei Filippone
- Director – Zach Mannheimer
- Asst. Director / Stage Manager – Jessica de Regnier
- Asst. Stage Manager – Mackenzie Watson
- Production Stage Manager – Shelby Burgus
- Set Design – Jay Jagim
- Lighting Design – Jim Trenberth
- Costumes Design – Mell Ziegenfuss
- Property Design – Kelsi Tedesco
- Projection Design – Chris Williams
- Sound Design – Josh Jepson
- Hair / Make up Design – Cindy Hummel
- Master Carpenter – Paul Mostrom
- Dramaturge – Nancy Evans
Zombies, Families, Light and Magic
By John Domini, Cityveiw, 11/12/2014
For the people who put together “Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom,” the show must feel like going home. For those who watch it, home may never feel the same.
“Neighborhood 3” at StageWest brings together the same crew that mounted the show a couple of years ago for the Social Club. For that production, director Zachary Mannheimer worked in his club’s temporary lodgings on Fourth Street. He had help from two seasoned actors — James Serpento and Alissa Tschetter-Siedschlaw — playing an assortment of anxious parents. Now they’ve got a better venue, and Mannheimer has also coaxed back Nick Cornelison, who handles the “Son Type,” four troubled adolescents. The lone newcomer is Glori Dei Filippone, a teenager in multiple roles as the “daughter-type.”
To squeeze so many different people into a single foursome might seem strange, but, in this play, it goes with the territory. Theatergoers enter a gated community. Jay Jagim’s smart reconfiguration of the theater is all candy colors with a glistening pool and a manicured lawn. As the drama unfolds, though, they reveal a gray sickness of soul.
Families are breaking down. Every “son type” and “daughter type” sits glued to the same multi-player game. The game’s goal seems ordinary: kill zombies and escape their domain. That domain, however, grows eerie; its “final level” takes a player to his or her own house. As for the zombies within, who are they?
Jennifer Haley’s script doesn’t answer the question, exactly — the stage blacks out at key moments — but the game is only a symptom, not the disease. “Neighborhood 3” frames a timeless struggle — adolescents against parents — in a cutting-edge way.
As the parents, Serpento and Tschetter-Siedschlaw both find different sore points for each of their four roles. One “mother type” falls into a dead-eyed stare over another bottle of wine. One father, speaking with a neighbor he hardly knows, erupts with need, pawing at the air. These two performers have been away from theater for a few years, and it’s been a loss. They remain flexible as ever.
But these walking dead include the young. Cornelison starts most scenes by holding back, then rallies, outdoing whoever has taunted him. In most cases that foil is Filippone, and she holds her own. Now seductive, now nerdy, now menacing, she’s the discovery of the night.
The greatest performance, though, could be that of the tech crew. Chris Williams and Josh Jepson work with flat-screens at either end of the stage, playing hard-edged game-scapes while sirens and voiceovers rip away any notion of suburban bliss. Des Moines does Industrial Light and Magic.
Overheard in the Lobby: This weekend, the Civic Center hosts the national tour of “Joseph & the Technicolor Dream Coat.” CV
StageWest presents dystopian ‘Neighborhood 3’
Michael Morain, Des Moines Register, firstname.lastname@example.org November 10, 2014
So what happens when the teenagers playing their zombie-slashing video game get confused and start slashing up stuff in real life?
That’s the basic question in Jennifer Haley’s dystopian “Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom,” which StageWest rebooted this weekend at the Des Moines Social Club just two years after the Social Club’s own company staged it at the old Kirkwood Hotel.
Zachary Mannheimer directed both productions, but the new one is slicker and more immersive, with special effects that blur the lines between reality and virtual reality as soon as you step in the door. The blippy music from “Mario Brothers” and “Tetris” plays on a loop while you take your seat on either side of a stylized suburban landscape with stepping stones, lawn ornaments and a swimming pool. As the show starts, video projections lead you through a tidy digital neighborhood that could be in Ankeny or Waukee. (Jay Jagim designed the set. Chris Williams and Josh Jepson teamed up to create the sound and video elements.)
Three of the four fully committed actors from two years ago (James Serpento, Alissa Tschetter-Siedschlaw and Nick Cornelison) and a gutsy newcomer (Glori Dei Filippone) cover all of the roles – a handful of disengaged parents and their sullen, profanity-spewing kids. And although the 75-minute drama doesn’t allow us to really know the characters – or care much about them – it builds a credible case that something like this could really happen. All it takes to mistake someone for an avatar is a little imagination.
That’s even more true now than when the play premiered in 2008. In an overstimulated era of “interactivity” and “audience engagement,” programmers are inventing countless new ways to make games more realistic and addictive than ever. Just think of the virtual currencies (like Bitcoin) and wrap-around imagery (in Google Glass) and GPS navigation (for geocaching). This summer the Register produced a virtual 3D tour of a real Iowa farm with a new program called Oculus Rift.
Those innovations, by themselves, are harmless — but so was Pandora’s box. So just as the Cold War gave us spy movies, and 9/11 inspired “Homeland” and “Zero Dark Thirty,” the new age of technology has given us new worries, which “Neighborhood 3” effectively exploits.
Are we more plugged in to our virtual lives than our real ones? And how much longer will we be able to tell the difference?