Oscar-Winning Production Designers Call High School ‘Alien’ Play ‘Deeply Visionary’

IndieWire | 3/25/2019 | Staff
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The 40th anniversary of Ridley Scott’s iconic “Alien” received a stunning homage Friday night: A student production from a New Jersey high school drama club went viral. Twitter was abuzz with video footage and industry praise, including a shout out from Adam Savage of “MythBusters” (“OMFSM i need to see this. Wow”).

On March 19th and 22nd, North Bergen High staged a faithful adaption titled, “Alien: The Play,” replete with hand-made Xenomorph costume and re-enactment of the Facehugger scene. While crude, they still bear the unmistakable look of H.R. Giger’s legendary designs.

Drama - Instructors - Perfecto - Cuervo - Trailer

Overseen by drama and art instructors Perfecto Cuervo (who even made a trailer) and Steven Defendini, the production boasted a rare combination of outside-the-box ingenuity and improvised craftsmanship from a half dozen students. A standard Xenomorph costume was purchased on clearance and enhanced with a plastic skeleton from Target and foam donated by a local scenery company (which also provided material for the sets, including egg cartons for the computer lab).

“We really took nothing then made something that didn’t exist because we wanted to see what it looked like,” said Defendini. It’s a grander, more “surreal” step-up from last year’s production of “Night of the Living Dead.”

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Oscar-winning production designers Rick Carter and Rick Heinrichs were suitably impressed: “The can-do imagination on display just in the viral online video of this production of Ridley Scott’s ‘Alien’ shows how deeply visionary both the original film and these young students are,” said Carter, who earned Academy Awards...
(Excerpt) Read more at: IndieWire
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