Joel Schumacher to Direct Off-Broadway Play

16 STY HEADSHOTS Joel Schumacher
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In a change of pace from film and TV, Schumacher will stage Jennifer Haley's 'Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom,' about the collision of virtual and real worlds.

The title, Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom, sounds like a Hollywood threequel, and the director, Joel Schumacher, has his share of studio credits. But the project is actually an off-Broadway play being staged next month at the tiny Flea Theater in Tribeca.

Schumacher will make his New York stage directing debut with the play by Jennifer Haley about a quiet cul-de-sac community gripped by rapidly spreading addiction to an online zombie-killing game that blurs the boundaries between the real and virtual worlds, reflecting a growing divide between distracted parents and alienated teens in suburban America.

The production begins performances Nov. 9, with opening night set for Nov. 16. It will feature members of the Flea Theater's resident acting company, The Bats.

"Jennifer Haley's insightful play exposes the chasms within a community consumed by violent video games," said Niegel Smith, the recently appointed new artistic director of the Flea. "It's particularly exciting that The Bats will be guided in this production by the singular vision of Joel Schumacher."

Haley's fascination with cyber technology was evident in her 2012 award-winning drama The Nether. Neighborhood 3 was first produced in 2008 at the Humana Festival in Louisville, Kentucky.

Schumacher's varied screen directing credits include Batman Forever and Batman & Robin, the John Grisham adaptations The Client and A Time to Kill, 8MM, Flawless and The Phantom of the Opera. More recently, he directed two episodes of the debut season of Netflix's House of Cards.

Neighborhood 3 runs at the Flea through Dec. 20.