The Lord of the Flies Review: Both Moving and Timely

Allyn Matheson

Every year, AVPA Theatre and The Blurred Vision Theatre Company give the Culver City community breathtaking performances. They showcase the talent that is present in our students at Culver High. This year, they did an adaption of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies.
In this dystopian future, World War Three has caused chaos throughout the world and a group of British school children find themselves on a deserted island after their evacuation plane crashed. They are forced to create their own way of life, while they doubtingly hope to be rescued. Both disturbing and timely, the story brings to light the most dangerous parts of human instinct, and immerses you in its dystopia.
In most plays you sit in the audience, and enjoy the play from the outside. This time, however, the cast and crew wanted to fully immerse you in their play. When you enter the Robert Frost Auditorium, the atmosphere immediately transports you to the deserted island where the story takes place. Eerie music like Lorde’s cover of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”, by Tears for Fears, quickens your heart rate in anticipation.
Menawhile, the bright blue lighting illuminating the stage hints at the irony of how such terrible events could happen on such a beautiful island. Scattered across the stage, boxes and cloth cover the floor as if they have been washed up onto the sand by the ocean. However, the most surprising object on stage was not the props, but the bleachers on the sides. Guiding the people to seats was the crew who highly encouraged us to sit at the onstage bleachers. This was an amazing experience for me because I felt like I was a part of the play, and quickly became immersed in it.
Out of fear, the students create a cult and turn against each other resulting in deadly bloodshed. Ryanne Biernat, who plays Jack (the choir leader), puts on a moving performance that exemplifies how fear and hate can lead to a tyrannical leadership. Every expression and movement made helped to build a character that used people’s fear to create hate. This sinister leader is the embodiment of our world’s biggest problems; fear, hate, abusive leadership, and a lack of respect for each other. In today’s world we fear innocent people because we refuse to try and understand them. Our fear of people we are not like leads to them being hated and alienated.
This play is very timely because it exemplifies the fact that our world is not completely unlike the dystopian future in the book. The superstitious fear of an unknown being leads to the cult expelling several other school children and developing a hatred for them. In our own country, people that deserve a better life are being shut out because we refuse to understand them and their struggles. We have a president that is using the country’s fear to create more hate and fear of minorities, and to further alienate.
Rue, played by Kacey Oschack, is the original leader of the group and is eventually one of the outcasts. Kacey Oschack does a magnificent job at portraying the struggles of a leader that wishes to solve problems, not cause them. Rue tries to create understanding and calm against the tide of hate and fear that Jack is causing. Rue represents the people in our world who are willing to stand up and fight against tyranny and hate; the people in this world that still believe that beauty resides within all of us, no matter who you are.
Jaylen Rosado, who plays Piggy, embodies the character of this boy who is constantly being bullied and oppressed just for being himself. His opinions are being undermined just because he is an easy target to be picked on. His character represents the victims of today’s world, the people who are being oppressed just because they seem different from “normal” people. The people who are being shut down and turning away, the ones most in need of love and acceptance. The people who are not all that different from you and I. Their differences are what make them unique and special, and should be prized instead of feared.
I find it extraordinary how the students in Culver High’s AVPA Theatre and Blurred Vision Theatre Company can turn such a disturbing story into a moving, emotional piece of art that is so relevant to today’s world. It causes you to look within yourself and see if you are Jack, the hater; Rue, the resister; or Piggy, the survivor. Many are likely a combination of the three, and this play compels you to think about whether you are satisfied with who you are, and what you have done.