Arts Live Takes Trip To 1980s


When she first read Joshua Mikel’s play “The Monster Hunters,” Arts Live teaching artist and director Natalie Lane felt like she was taking a time machine back to the 1980s. The story of an adventurous band of misfit monster experts brought to mind popular cult classic movies like “The Goonies” and “Stand By Me.”

“I am totally, unabashedly reliving my childhood,” says Lane with a laugh. “The 1980s, for me, was from about age 5 to 15, so that’s a good chunk of my childhood. I really relate to these characters, because when I was their age, I kind of secretly wanted to know what it was like to be in the cool girls’ circle. But I was more comfortable in the clubhouse talking about how I saw ‘Return of the Jedi’ for the seventh time and, ‘Here’s another reason it was awesome.’”

The play pits the Monster Hunters against a rival group, The Girls Who Like to Make Bracelets Club. Those girls, says Lane, “aren’t very nice.” When they decide to prank the Monster Hunters, chaos reigns — funny, wacky chaos with maybe a hint of scariness here and there.

“There’s also the very 1980s movie element of the kind of geeky guy falling for the beautiful, popular girl that doesn’t want to give him the time of day — very ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ ,” adds Lane.

The show includes 13 young actors — a relatively small cast for Arts Live.

“I think that’s why I, personally, have put a lot more into costumes and sets and music for this show, because I have such a vision for it, and I have more time that I can take with a smaller cast,” Lane notes. She’s carefully curated a playlist of over 30 classics by acts like Duran Duran, Michael Jackson, DEVO and The Clash and has collected authentic period clothing to use as costumes — sometimes from the closets of her actors’ parents.

“It’s a very nostalgic show. I’m hoping that people like us see certain details and think, ‘Ah, that’s so on point!’ It’s all the stuff, for me, that I think of as fun, and things that I was so fond of, from the 1980s.”



‘The Monster Hunters’

WHEN — 7 p.m. Sept. 26-28; 2 p.m. Sept. 28-29

WHERE — Arts Live Theatre in Fayetteville

COST — $7-$9

INFO — 521-4932

Categories: Family Friendly