I read Lord of the Flies, the literary classic by Nigel Williams, in high school – long enough ago that I had forgotten many of the details. Good versus evil, the biblical themes, the symbolism. But none of that really mattered as I watched Henley Street Theatre’s dramatic production of Lord of the Flies with my 13-year-old daughter over the weekend.
We were both amazed by the breadth of sheer talent on the stage. This wasn’t the first play we had seen at SPARC’s intimate venue, but it certainly was the most memorable. The cast of young performers ranged in age from middle school to college. Eric Evans as Ralph, the protagonist in the story, was particularly impressive. My daughter was blown away by Sean Wyland’s performance as Simon. Behind the scenes, a creative team comprised of high school interns who worked on sets, costumes, lighting, and videography, worked to bring Director Josh Chenard’s vision to life.
As serious as the themes are, having them portrayed so brilliantly by such a talented youthful cast, helped both my daughter and I connect with the subject matter even more profoundly. I highly recommend it for parents and kids, 13 and up, and for adults as well.
Henley Street Theatre’s Lord of the Flies, a Minds Wide Open: Children in the Arts production and part of Richmond’s renowned Acts of Faith Festival, runs through February 25 at SPARC’s new black box theater, 2106 N. Hamilton Street, Richmond. Reserved seating, tickets are $17.00 – $27.00. Plenty of off-street parking.