Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom by Jennifer Haley

Directed by Gaye Poole

19 - 22 August 2009

The characters of 'Neighborhood 3' live in a subdivision where the appearance of control - of manicured lawns, identical houses and suburban serenity - belies a creeping sense of dread. It's the sort of place where families flock to move up a level, where parents can choose to believe they've given their kids everything they need. But a gnawing unease has taken hold of the neighbourhood: some teenagers have become alarmingly addicted to an online horror video game, so obsessed with killing zombies that they barely emerge from their rooms. But even more disturbing is the landscape of the the game itself, which sends kids running around a wormhole-ridden suburban neighborhood that looks just like their own. In tense encounters Haley deftly reveals her characters' dawning realization that the boundaries between the suburban world and its virtual mirror may be breaking down. But are there two neighborhoods here or just one? In this chilling and slyly genre-bending meditation on addiction, avoidance and the nature of fear, the split between the 'real' and the 'virtual' isn't so simple. Haley's interest in the pristine veneer and seething dysfunction of the suburbs was an inspiration for the piece, one that dovetailed with her fascination with the cultural phenomenon of online gaming. "I see both suburbia and the video-game as carefully constructed realities," explains Haley."In a game-playing environment it's easy to see how a reality is built - there are these steps, there are these rules. Suburban settings, I find, are a kind of 'virtual' environment too." The spectres of addiction and anxiety, roiling beneath a forced calm, haunts the residents of 'Neighborhood 3'. For Haley the notion of unaddressed fear is very powerful. Suspense is generated via ominous exchanges between parents and teens, siblings, and neighbours. Apprehension is enhanced by a sinister sense of humour and a cunning self-awareness about the conventions of horror as a genre. ("I'm dying to play Neighborhood 3" says a teenager pining for an Xbox.)

This Carving in Ice production is the first staging of this 2008 play outside the US. Gaye Poole first encountered the play when she worked at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, Kentucky, last year for the Humana Festival of New American Plays.

This production has a cast of 16 actors including Richard Homan, Zoe Vaile, Alex Tarrant-Keepa, Michael Forde, Keagan Fransch, Sara Young and Mandy Faulkner.

The playwright Jennfier Haley currently lives in Los Angeles, working on theatre and television projects. Her website is

Creative Team & Crew

Direction/Design: Gaye Poole
Production /Stage Management: Delwyn Dellow
Lighting Design/Operation: Michael Lamusse
Scene background stills/animation design: Grant Sherson
Data Projection Operation: Stuart Dunn/Michael Lamusse
Sound Design: Dan Howard
Sound Operation: Caleb Poutapu
Music: Mr Mukura
Costumes: Gaye Poole
Zombieldlrl4 Costume: Joss Robertson
Props: Delwyn Dellow/Gaye Poole
Publicity/Promotion: Delwyn Dellow/Gaye Poole
Poster/Postcard Design: Amrita Sahay
Programme Design: Delwyn Dellow
Games Consultant: Gareth Schott
PS Walkthroughs: Bill Rogers
NPC Wrangler: Ivan Timbrell
Crew: James Henderson/Kate Magazinovic
Front of House Co-ordination: Jacques Fourie


Walk throughs: Michael Gaastra
Makaela: Zoe Vaile
Trevor: Alex Tarrant-Keepa
Steve: Alistair Swale
Leslie: Sara Young
Vicki: Kathleen Christian
Kaitlyn: Louise Blackstock
Doug: Michael Forde
Ryan: Stuart Dunn
Jared: Jacques Fourie
Madison: Danielle Gray
Tobias: Richard Homan
Barbara: Mandy Faulkner
Chelsea: Keagan Fransch
Zombiekllrl4: Jason Tolley
Blake: Jason Tolley
Joy: Athene Jensen