High School Play Adapting 'Alien' Goes Viral
When you think of high school plays, there are some common ones that come to mind. Our Town, The Music Man, Bye Bye Birdie, even a little Shakespeare in the form of Macbeth or A Midsummer Night's Dream all come to mind as common high school theater fare. But for the drama club kids of North Bergen High School in New Jersey, it's a different production taking the stage -- and the internet -- by storm.
For two nights only, the high school put on a production of Alien: The Play, an adaptation from the school's drama teacher, Perfecto Cuervo. The production, which took the students eight months of planning and preparation, is based on Ridley Scott's 1979 sci-fi horror masterpiece and just because Alien: The Play is a high school production, don't think for a moment it skipped out on any of the good stuff. Not only did they create a cool trailer for the play (which you can check out above), but the performance features both an impressive student-made Xenomorph and incredible Facehugger that will straight up have you wondering why this isn't already on Broadway. Don't believe me? Check out this clip of the Facehugger scene as filmed by a parent and shared to Twitter below.
A parent filmed the facehugger scene. pic.twitter.com/oamxaxikM2— Paul Owens (@oh_pollo) March 23, 2019
According to a Reddit thread detailing the play, the production follows along with the original film exactly, save for a couple of additional scenes added in to allow for set changes. Of course, Cuervo's adaptation makes excellent use of those extra scenes, too. The student behind the Reddit thread explained that, in one of them, the alien actually walks around in the audience, just killing time.
Cuervo explained to Entertainment Weekly that his inspiration for the play was simply his love of the movie while the school's art instructor Steven Defendini said that bringing it all to life was a collaboration of three teachers and 16 students.
"We're a real small drama program, so we're used to doing small plays for the local community," he said.
Being a small program also led the production to have to get pretty creative with their props, sets, and costumes. Much of the material that went into putting the show together came from clever recycling or reimagining of ordinary items -- especially that homemade Xenomorph, which apparently you, too, could make with some clearance items found at Target.
"We shaved down the foam and bought a plastic skeleton head at Target on clearance and painted it black," Defendini said.
The impressive production -- which is even more impressive when you consider that he school doesn't have an actual drama program -- has gotten quite a bit of attention online and not just from those who saw it live. MythBusters' Adam Savage, Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood, and others have all tweeted about the production. Even the official Twitter account for the Alien franchise shared that they were impressed by the production, bringing a lot of new attention which could see Alien: The Play get a longer run than just the two performances. Of course, if that does happen, it may require a change in location. The school only has a small venue that multitasks for band and Study Hall as well.
"It would definitely need to be a bigger venue," Cuervo said.
What do you think about Alien: The Play? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.