A US high school’s crafty production of “Alien” is going viral

High school students staged a play of Ridley Scotts
High school students staged a play of Ridley Scotts
Image: Perfecto Cuervo/North Bergen High School
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A high-school drama club in the US state of New Jersey is getting attention from Hollywood elite like Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood after staging an impressive rendition of Ridley Scott’s Alien, complete with a xenomorph costume made from discounted and donated materials and the classic face-hugger scene.

The 1979 sci-fi film was adapted into a stage production, “Alien: The Play,” by drama students and teachers at North Bergen High School. A student playing a xenomorph expertly creeped about on stage and in the audience in the style of the titular alien. The student wore a costume made from donated foam, a plastic skeleton from the clearance aisle, and other materials, Entertainment Weekly reported. Other characters were photographed wearing spacesuits. And the sets were reportedly crafted from donated and recycled items, including old egg-carton boxes to create a computer lab.

A Reddit thread started by North Bergen High School student Justin Pierson, 17, who was part of the sound crew, said the play flows almost exactly like the film. But these students put together their production on a relatively shoestring budget.

“Alien: The Play,” which sold tickets for $5 at the high school, was a collaboration between 16 or so students and three teachers, including English teacher Perfecto Cuervo, who adapted the script from the film’s screenplay and directed; art instructor Steve Defendini, who led the set designs and costumes; and music teacher Brian Bonacci.

New Bergen High School reportedly doesn’t have an official drama department. The new attention from folks like MythBusters’ Adam Savage and actor Paul Scheer could change that—or at least set up some of the hardworking students behind the play for promising futures in theater or production.

The play was held for two nights, concluding on March 22 in the school’s auditorium. Cuervo, the director, is compiling footage from the performances and plans to release a video, said Pierson.