A New Jersey high school has received viral attention for its recent stage production of 1979 science-fiction thriller Alien. The drama club of North Bergen High School presented "Alien: The Play" last weekend, starring eight students in the roles originally filled by Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt and Ian Holm.
Both the film and stage versions feature the chilling extraterrestrial creature designed by artist H.R. Giger. But unlike the original movie, which had a budget of approximately $10 million, "Alien: The Play" used props, set designs, and costumes from mostly recycled and donated materials.
The high school's production was the brainchild of English teacher and moderator of the drama club Perfecto Cuervo and art teacher Steven Defendini. “Do you think we can do ‘Alien’ as a play?” Cuervo recalled from their original conversation. A play adaptation appeared to require relatively few sets. “We have a spaceship. We have a planet. It could be handled.”
“I don’t know how to do that,” Defendini answered. “I don’t know if we can do that. But we’re going to do that.”
Cuervo said the adaptation took about a month and a half to create. Senior at the high school Gabriella Delacruz was casted as Ripley and expressed pride in playing the character. “She’s a female character who’s really portrayed as the hero at the end,” she said. “She isn’t the damsel in distress. She got to be a badass, if I’m allowed to say that.”