CLU stages dark comedy on teen gaming

Lines between virtual, real blur in award-winning play

Melanie Parson as Barbara and Ben Michaels as Zombiekillr14 face off in CLU's production of "Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom."

Photo: Ally Crocker

(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – April 5, 2013) The California Lutheran University Theatre Arts Department will present “Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom” from April 25 through May 5.

The award-winning play by Jennifer Haley will be staged at 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, April 25, 26, 27 and May 2, 3 and 4, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 5, in the Black Box Studio Theatre.

In a typical suburbia neighborhood, teenagers are addicted to a new online video game featuring houses identical to the ones in which they live. The gamers must smash through an army of zombies to escape. As the line between virtual and real begins to blur, the players and their parents realize that fear has a life of its own.

The dark comedy deals with absentee parents using video games as a babysitter and kids becoming addicted to a violent game in which they cannot distinguish reality from the virtual world. With mature themes, some profanity and sexual innuendo, the play is not recommended for children younger than 13.

The teenagers are played by Jessie Black, a psychology major from Temecula; Matthew Case, a theatre arts major from Thousand Oaks; Lara Emery, a biology major from Austin, Texas; Graham Jameson, a communication major from Rancho Cucamonga; Karly Loberg, a psychology major from Oceanside; Ben Michaels, a theatre arts major from Redlands; Nolan Monsibay, a music major from Burbank; Cooper Smith, an English major from Trabuco Canyon; and Samantha Winters, a theatre arts and history major from Ventura.

The parents are played by Sarah DeLaGarrigue, a theatre arts major from Agoura Hills; Kelsey Goeres, a communication major from Santa Maria; Jeremy Hanna, a theatre arts major from Thousand Oaks; Aubrey Kaye, a computer science major from Camarillo; Chris Malison, a theatre arts major from Visalia; Melanie Parson, a theatre arts major from Valencia; and Tommy Schofield, a theatre arts and communication major from Edmunds, Wash.

Department chair and veteran drama professor Ken Gardner directs.

“Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom” is the winner of the 2009 Primus Citations Award from the American Theatre Critics Association. Haley, of Los Angeles, is the winner of the 2012 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for her play, “The Nether.”

The Mainstage Production is part of CLU’s Seventh Annual Festival of Scholars.

Tickets are $10. The Black Box Studio Theatre is located in the Theatre Arts Building on Memorial Parkway near Pioneer Avenue on the Thousand Oaks campus. For information, call the Theatre Arts Department at 805-493-3415.