Canadian High School Pays Tribute to Arcade Fire With Stage Production

May 26, 2010  |  5:00pm

Move over, Zac Efron. Watch your back, Vanessa Hudgens.

A group of ambitious students in an Ottawa high school’s theater department have developed a stage play production inspired by the Arcade Fire, whose new 12” single “The Suburbs/Month of May” hit the internet about an hour ago. The senior drama class of Canterbury High School opens their take on the Montreal band’s second album, Neon Bible, tonight.

According to the Orleans Star, the play, entitled The Neon Bible Project, is not the sappy jock/nerd love tale you might expect from a bunch of teenage artists on hormonal overdrive. It’s set in a collapsing, technology-obsessed utopia and tells the survival stories of the fictional realm’s sub-human citizens. Performers communicate using very few words and rely heavily on interpretive movement set to Neon Bible’s 11 tracks.

Director Paul Griffin reportedly contacted Arcade Fire member (and former Canterbury student) Richard Reed Parry for permission to move forward with the project, which Parry and his bandmates granted. No surprise there, as a secret show in the school’s cafeteria was the band’s first stop on their tour in support of Neon Bible.

Once they had the official go-ahead, the students wrote a plot, developed characters, created sets and conceptualized costumes for the project themselves. Their work has paid off, with the performance gaining international media attention and their class receiving an invitation to perform at the distinguished Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer.

And once they’ve conquered the stage, perhaps Hollywood will come a knocking. Picture the marquee: High School Musical 4: Revenge of the Techno-topia Degenerate Outcasts. Oh yeah, it’ll sell.

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