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Venture Theatre's "Neighborhood 3"

Clockwise from top left, Shawn Bettise and Wanda Morales plays the parents and Michael McCallum, and Kennedee Burk play the kids in Venture Theatre’s production of “Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom.”

Venture Theatre and the Producer’s Club are presenting “Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom,” starting Friday night in the Black Box theater.

The four-person play was written by American playwright Jennifer Haley. Venture’s production is directed by Patrick Wilson.

Haley used real-life events to create her ghoulish script. As suburban teens are drawn more into a multiplayer Internet video game, parents are afraid to ask about the changes in their kids’ behaviors. The split between parent and child turns deadly when the virtual world collides with the real one, unleashing malevolent forces upon an unassuming suburb and turning it into an all-American nightmare.

The play features four actors each playing multiple parts. Shawn Bettise and Wanda Morales play the parents, and Kennedee Burk and Michael McCallum play the teens.

Wilson has led the cast on a new adventure, where actors must play both honest humans and zombie-killing avatars in the same act.

“This play is off-kilter and disturbing, but what is wonderful is that it is based in truth,” Venture’s artistic director Robert Brian Wood said. “Though it’s set in a twisted suburbia and in an ‘American Beauty’-meets-zombie video-game, Jennifer Haley’s work still rings through with great reality, drama and comedy. It touches the fertile, volatile relationships of parents and children in our modern world. This show has the great themes of American drama at its core. It’s both tragic and funny.”

A graduate of Brown University’s MFA playwriting program, Haley has had her plays performed throughout the United States, including The Actors Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival of New American Plays, Contemporary American Theater Festival, and New York’s Summer Play Festival. She was awarded a citation for the 2009 American Theatre Critic’s Association Francesca Primus Prize, and 2008 fellowships from the MacDowell and Millay artist colonies.

The show runs through Feb. 4. Tickets are $15. They may be purchased at the Venture Theatre box office by calling 591-9535 or online at www.venturetheatre.org.

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Contact Jaci Webb at 657-1359 or jwebb@billingsgazette.com

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