2010-04-15 / Schools

Performing arts students set stage for unique thriller

EAST BRUNSWICK — The dangers of video game addiction will take center stage in a fantasy thriller coming to the township this week.

Students of the School of Performing Arts at the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools will present Jennifer Haley’s play, “Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom,” also known as “N3RD.” from April 15-17. The shows begin at 7 p.m. in the school’s theater at the east end of the Rues Lane campus.

Each performance will be followed by a round-table discussion with Dr. Tom Massarelli, a psychologist for the school district. The Saturday performance will feature a debate between Dr. Massarelli and Dr. David Rothenberg, a professor from NJIT.

To reserve tickets or for further information, call 732-407-4066 or email maladren@ gmail.com.

The story takes place in an orderly exurb, when parents realize that their teenage children are addicted to a horror video game, Neighborhood 3. Haley’s play explores video game addiction and the importance of teenparent communication by revealing the thin line between reality and virtual reality, and dramatizing the consequences of games gone too far.

Director Maria Aladren is the resident teacher for the School of Performing Arts theater program. Before coming to the program, she was the artistic director for Pegasus 51/Theatre in Austin, Texas. Professional set designer Lea Anello works alongside several student designers, including Scarlett Menendez (costumes), Matt Silvay (lights), and Casey Chartier and Javier Aladren (sound).

Students in the play are from Monroe, South River, Sayreville, Highland Park, Carteret, Milltown, East Brunswick, Edison, Metuchen, Old Bridge and Woodbridge.

The show features original music, composed and performed by students.

The play is not recommended for children under 14.

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