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Play takes on games vs reality - and zombies

“The line between virtual reality and reality as we know it begins to blur” during the course of “Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom,” said director James Eikrem, of the upcoming Mainstage production of Clackamas Community College’s Theatre Arts Department.

The play takes place in a suburban neighborhood, and parents soon begin to realize their teenagers are obsessed with a computer game called Neighborhood 3.

by: PHOTO BY JENNIFER WHITTEN - Hailey Houser, as Chelsea, and Nate Walker, as Steve, get perhaps a bit too involved in playing 'Neighborhood of Doom,' CCC's winter play, opening Feb. 27. “The game maps out the actual neighborhoods of the players by satellite, so there are interesting parallels between what is happening in real life and the game,” Eikrem said.

“There are interesting scenes where we don’t know if we are in the game or not, and neither do the characters, and the play ends with a confrontation between the parents and the teens,” he added.

And, he further noted, “This is a suspenseful play, as the purpose of the game is to defeat the zombies and escape the neighborhood, and we begin to wonder who the zombies are.”

Strong language, violence

Publicity materials for the play warn that it is rated for mature audiences and that it contains strong language and violence.

It will be interesting to see how audiences react to that, Eikrem said, noting that the language in the play is “an accurate representation of the way a lot of people talk, and we see it reflected in our entertainment and culture.”

This is Eikrem’s fifth production at CCC since he replaced David Smith-English nearly two years ago, and he said all his previous productions had been lighter, so he felt it was time to do something darker.

“A theater program needs to explore a variety of what is going on, and as an educational institution, we can’t shy away from things that might not be pleasant.”

Collaboration

“Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom” also reflects a collaboration among cast members and other CCC departments, Eikrem noted.

Student cast members have provided insight and knowledge about the computer game world and Christopher Wilcox, a music student, is writing original music for the production.

In addition, Clayton Hiatt, a student cast member, is collaborating with Thomas Wasson, digital multimedia communications instructor, to produce the “sophisticated visual projections we are using to simulate the game,” Eikrem said.

Eikrem also commended instructors Alva Bradford, costume designer, and Christopher D. Whitten, resident designer/technical director, for their work on the set, lighting and costumes.

Eikrem chose to produce “Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom” because he felt that “the play is a clever way for playwright Jennifer Haley to present some pretty astute social observations about how parents and teens relate.”

He was taken with the developing relationships between parents and children, set in the world of popular entertainment, and hopes some interesting discussions come out of it.

His favorite moment in the play is the ending, since “that is where we see all the strands coming together — we see the payoff” and he hopes the audience will also be affected by the ending, and also expects them to enjoy the suspense and production values.

Details

CCC’s performances of “Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom,” directed by Jim Eikrem, are Feb. 27-March 9, Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. in the Osterman Theater. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for youth, students and seniors. Seats are assigned.

For ticket information and reservations visit http://www.TheatreCCC.org or call Kelly at 503-594-3153.




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