High School Production of Alien Is Getting an Encore, Thanks to Ridley Scott
By Emily Petsko
The New Jersey students who got Ridley Scott’s attention with their high school drama club production of Alien: The Play will be resurrecting their performance one more time. The students at North Bergen High School will reprise their roles as Ripley, the Nostromo crew, and the titular alien at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 26 to mark the fourth annual Alien Day—an international celebration of all things related to the sci-fi movie franchise.
Scott, who directed the original 1979 film, pledged funding for an encore performance after news of the play’s debut on March 19 went viral. Sigourney Weaver also took notice, praising the students’ hard work in a video.
“I saw a bit of your production of Alien and I just want to say it looked incredible,” Weaver said. “You put so much heart and soul into that—and the alien, I must say, looked very real to me.”
In addition to building a lifelike Xenomorph shell, students also recreated the famous facehugger scene, which a parent managed to capture on film.
Perhaps most impressively, it’s a low-budget (and eco-friendly) production: Under the guidance of their art teacher, Steven Defendini, students used recycled materials to create many of the costumes and props. As for the alien costume, it was constructed from a hodgepodge of goods as well.
"In addition to foam and cardboard, we used rope, glue, and an old Power Rangers costume as the base—also some old pool noodles that were spray painted," English teacher and play director Perfecto Cuervo tells Mental Floss.
“It felt great being able to recreate something that happened 40 years ago and became such a big part of culture,” Xavier Perez, a sophomore who plays the alien, told NJ.com. “But it was hot [in the costume] as well."
Gabriella Delacruz, the 17-year-old who plays the lead role of Ripley, told News 12 New Jersey, “This year we made something out of little-to-nothing and it really showed that all you need is inspiration and hard work to get something done.”
The bulk of tickets will be sold to residents of North Bergen, which is located about 40 minutes from New York City. However, 104 general admission tickets will be available online via Eventbrite beginning tomorrow (April 16) at 10 a.m.