The Flea presents this suspenseful tale about a quiet cul-de-sac where no one can control the growing addiction to a new online game, and real life and virtual reality blur dangerously. More…
In a suburban subdivision with identical houses, parents find their teenagers addicted to an online horror video game. The game setting: a subdivision with identical houses. The goal: smash through an army of zombies to escape the neighborhood for good. Using a GPS map, the game allows teenagers to battle zombies in their own neighborhood. But as the line blurs between virtual and reality, both parents and players realize that fear has a life of its own. The live action game will be played around TriBeCa and the city in conjunction with the run as a part of The Flea’s continued effort to promote new types of engagement with their audience and community.
"'Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom' is a play that unsettles...The situation is something of a cliché; the game serves as an allegory for everything that separates the two generations...The performances are tight and the entire play is suffused with an air of increasing menace. The anxiety is often quite palpable. The violence is theatrical and effective. The staging is elegant, uncluttered and focused...There was menace and tension in 'Neighborhood 3,' but little to ponder beyond the obvi... Full Review
"'Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom' is brutal, relentless, eerie, and thought-provoking. It’s anti-climactic…the ending is a foregone conclusion if you’re keeping track. Even if you’re keeping track of the recurring plot points and symbols that slowly tie all the pieces of the puzzle together, you can’t help but gape at the brutality and the horror before you as the scenes play out...It leaves the audience with more questions than answers, but in a good way." Full Review
"Jennifer Haley’s 'Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom' makes a morbid and exciting impact in its New York premiere...The players are for the most part quite good, but not exceptional...'Neighborhood 3' is a fun, terrifying experience that no doubt gave pause to the parents in the audience. Though the tension flags in one or two under-acted scenes, the production as a whole is an extremely entertaining." Full Review
"Jennifer Haley’s genuinely frightening script is toying with dark ideas about adolescent rage, virtual realities, and American conformity, which only grow more disquieting as the play lingers in the mind. (It’s hard not to make the grim connection between the play’s young killers and the real world’s Internet-indoctrinated teen-age mass murderers.) Joel Schumacher, directs the Flea’s house ensemble with black humor and a bare-bones aesthetic. The performances vary, but the horror is real." Full Review
"Schumacher has directed suspense movies and action movies, but whatever he has brought, it isn’t a Hollywood budget...Schumacher has cast the play with the Flea’s resident acting company and this is something of a problem...The play indicates a significant gulf between teenagers and their parents. Here they are all played by twentysomethings, which flattens some of the play’s critique." Full Review
"I attended 'Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom' with trepidation and left feeling that once again this wonderful theater has a presence and a mission that never fails to, at the very least, shake its audience...The issues raised by the play seemed terrifying to me as the mother to grown children attempting to tether them back to real life and away from screens of all sizes and ilks. However the very young audience thought that there were moments of grand hilarity." Full Review
"As the lines between real life and the game start to blur, the logistics of how things can happen in both realities start to feel muddled...Strong direction might have helped smooth over the weaker elements, but Joel Schumacher isn't up to the task in his New York directing debut. He does seem like a smart choice for this suspenseful and cinematic piece, but it's unclear whether the tone he is going for is campy or serious. Like many of his movies, it could go either way." Full Review
"The sum of the 70-minute evening is a double-edged sword: While Haley's text can be applauded for its ambition (even if it doesn't completely work), Schumacher's greenness stands in the way of its success...'Neighborhood 3' is also very obviously a early play in the career of a still-developing writer...Schumacher's direction gives the show a disjointed, low-stakes feeling...He guides the young cast members to performances that are merely fine." Full Review
"'Neighborhood 3,' never convincingly inhabits either of its principal settings — the green grassy world of the all-American suburbs or its creepy computer-rendered counterpart…This work still appears to take place on that flat, in-between zone of creativity commonly known as the drawing board…Ms. Haley pursues the idea through a series of vignettes that reiterate this central concept without ever truly developing it." Full Review
"It’s unfortunate that 'Neighborhood 3' plays closer to an op-ed than an actual play. You could hear Haley’s thesis but it was transparent and didn’t aid in furthering her characters...It’s ambitious to produce a play like this but 'Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom' is problematic. Jennifer Haley offers some interesting points but in the end, without a clear and captivating story, 'Neighborhood 3' was doomed." Full Review
"I appreciate that it can be difficult finding suitable scripts for The Bats, the Flea's resident troupe, especially since large-cast shows are needed to give everybody a chance to show their stuff. But it's still hard to understand why the company chose a play that is more or less indistinguishable from one of those cheapie teen-horror films...it isn't lively or funny enough for satire, and, taken on its own terms, is pretty trashy stuff. " Full Review
"A thought-provoking piece undercut by its amateurish presentation...The play's provocative premise is clumsily handled in both the writing and staging. The profusion of characters and short, tenuously connected scenes makes it confusing to follow. What should have been a tautly horrific exercise is instead a rambling affair...Schumacher reveals his theatrical inexperience with this amateurish staging." Full Review
"It sounded like a good match: 'Batman' movie director Joel Schumacher, versatile master of action and suspense, in his New York stage debut directing a play by Jennifer Haley, a writer I’ve called the first major playwright of the digital age...But 'Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom' for all its promise, doesn’t have the requisite dread and is doomed to disappoint." Full Review
"'Neighborhood 3' is cheap-and-cheerful postcollege community theater; Jennifer Haley's script is a bagatelle, a brief and uncomplicated guignol about a video game gone wrong. It also feels long at 70 minutes...Basically, everybody here is learning, which I'd normally celebrate. But then that ticket price sticks in my craw. I guess it comes down to one question: Would you pay big money to watch a noob play Fallout 4? If so, boy, I've got the show for you." Full Review
"All the actors did a fine job in their respective roles, but there were too many actors and characters to keep track of so the audience never had an opportunity to identify with any of them...Then there were plenty of unexplained story lines...The underlying point of this play is too simplistic. There is no direct link between playing violent video games and engaging in violent behavior in the real world." Full Review
"Such a scenario seems ripe for a production that will take full advantage of modern stage technology, but The Flea's mounting is low-budget affair played on a colorful, but static, unit set. Hollywood director Joel Schumacher, who has no theatre credits in his bio, helms a company of fifteen young non-union actors...Lackluster staging makes the actors seem crammed into the play, and the evening comes off looking like a college-level acting showcase." Full Review
See it if You're scared of the future, you're scared of millennials, you're scared of change in the world. (There are some great actors in this!)
Don't see it if You're hoping to see a play about how technology is beginning to change out society. You care about good direction and staging.
See it if sci-fi theatre appeals to you, if video game culture is interesting to you, or you enjoy watching really strong ensembles of young actors.
Don't see it if you have Gnomophobia (yes, that is the fear of garden gnomes!)
See it if You like challenging plays that make you question the line between realty and the virtual world.
Don't see it if you dislike ensemble shows that look in on many lives rather than following a single path.
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