Flathead High School Theatre explores the morose consequences of the loss of innocence and the decline of civilization in the haunting classic “Lord of the Flies.”
When a plane crashes on a deserted island, leaving a group of school boys as the only survivors, the boys celebrate. Being free from adults and the rules and responsibilities at home, the boys form tribes and start to play games, but fearing bullying, peer pressure and gang rivalries, their innocent games descend into a frightening, primitive world where the boys’ fragile sense of order begins to collapse.
With no parents and no rules to obey, the boys must choose between order and chaos, reason and impulse. Before long, this well-mannered assembly turns into a bloodthirsty and deadly tribe.
“This is a story of freedom. Free of rules. Free of structure. Free of the mind,” said director Blake Sherman. “These kids are entirely free to do what they wish. But with complete freedom comes the need to explore what they will inevitably lose because of it.”
William Golding’s novel, a potent allegory of human nature, is brought to life in this production through Nigel Williams’ adaptation for the stage.
“The script has been on my mind for a few years. There are great themes to the story, and there is a rhythm to the way it’s told. It excited me to lead actors to find the beat of the play,” Sherman said.
“It’s an excellent ensemble storytelling opportunity. I also liked the idea of taking a classic novel and bringing an abstract vision to it. There’s a lot of expectation when you perform a classic story that is read in schools across the world. Because of the amount of expectation, I chose to pursue opportunities for the unexpected.
“I hope the audience walks away appreciating our unique presentation of such a notorious story.”
Flathead High’s theater department has created this production of “Lord of the Flies” with a unique, abstract approach.
“I wanted to concentrate on the mysticism of this island and how it manipulates these young boys’ minds,” Sherman said.
“For example, since much of this story is about figuring things out, instead of using a sea shell to create order, I have them using a Rubik’s cube, which they play with as the story moves along. They build fire pits with alphabet blocks, and the pig will have Slinkies for legs. We’ve been trying to pursue toys as props to correlate with childhood themes.”
To add to the abstract presentation of the classic story, original music will be performed by several students branded as Band of Savages. This group of musicians acts as menacing spirits of the island that move the story with sound and presence.
The play runs Thursday, Friday and Saturday in the David M. Hashley Theatre. Show time is 7 p.m. nightly.
Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for children, students and senior citizens. Tickets are available at the school’s main office, Photo Video Plus and, if still available, at the door.
The cast of “Lord of the Flies” includes Tristin Hennessey, Zachariah Timm, Justin Mielke, Jaben Wood, Micah Moore, Alex Robinson, John Martiny, James Early, Keston Hemsley, Noah Bodenhamer, Kane Keefer and Brock Reiner.
Jhalen Salazar, Kayman Henderson, Troy Hadley and Tyler Schenck support the story through their music in the on-stage band.
Behind the scenes, Sarah Carbajal-Jepsen, Mackenzie Williams, Katie Keller, Beki Hafemeyer, Catie Henderson, Alaya Wood, Pascale Yacavone, Cassidy Brown, Kassara Hansen, Kaitlin Williams, Heather Fantino, Caitlynn Ackroyd, Brittany Kretske, Elena Ploot, Alexandra Zografos, Brooke Wahlert, Brenna Harding, Mikayla Cardin, Metta Hansen and Ellisa Kim make up the stage, lighting, publicity, props and sound crew.
Jaben Wood, who plays Simon, is surrounded during a recent rehearsal for "Lord of the Flies" at Flathead High School.
Micah Moore plays Roger in Flathead High School's production of "Lord of the Flies."
Director Blake Sherman gives lighting cues during a recent rehearsal of "Lord of the Flies" at Flathead High School.
A Rubik's cube replaces the conch shell in Flathead High School's abstract approach to "Lord of the Flies."
Tristin Hennessey, center, performs during a recent rehearsal for "Lord of the Flies" at Flathead High School. In the masks are members of the Band of Savages, students who will perform original music throughout the play and act as menacing spirits on the island.
Zachariah Timm, left, jokes around with Micah Moore during a recent rehearsal for "Lord of the Flies" at Flathead High School.