Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-09-02
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Lord of the Flies
THEATER REVIEW
by Steven Chaitman
2013-10-30

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


By: William Golding, adapted by Nigel Williams. At: Steppenwolf for Young Adults at Steppenwolf Upstairs Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted Ave. Tickets: 312-335-1650; www.steppenwolf.org; $20. Runs through: Nov. 15

Given the recent trends in books and movies aimed at young adults, few ( if any ) classic novels could be more relevant right now than William Golding's Lord of the Flies. It's the original tale of adolescent ultra-violence, which we see in contemporary genre fiction—The Hunger Games and Divergent being two of the many examples. Steppenwolf for Young Adults has even gone so far as to adopt the marketing strategy used by promoters of the Twilight films in encouraging dialogue about its production of Golding's harrowing portrait of human nature. They are asked to consider whether they would be on "Team Ralph" or "Team Jack."

It sounds silly, but Lord of the Flies should get teens and adults talking, and that's the whole point of young adult theater. Director Halena Keys' has crafted an immersive, multi-sensory, emotionally charged production of this tale of English school boys trying to organize and survive after being stranded on an island that leads to discord and half the group descending into savagery.

Although the play suggests comparisons between men and boys, this ensemble is full of outstanding young men, as far as talent is concerned. Although for a handful of cast members the stage direction calls for little else than roughhousing, howling and stick-pounding, the featured actors—including Spencer Curnutt and Ty Olwin as rival leaders Ralph ( the compassionate, practical one ) and Jack ( the forceful, instinctual one ) in addition to Dan Smeriglio as Piggy, the sacrificial lamb—expertly harness the intensity of their roles.

The gradual transformation of these civilized boys to boys making a game of their situation to wild animals blind to their wrongdoing lacks some clarity in terms of motivation in an utterly agitating way, but any emotions of frustration and confusion ultimately add fuel to the conversation that should be had around Golding's themes. Jack's lust for power and willingness to use fear to control the other boys has little to no grounding in his character, but yet he keeps succeeding. Some will find this absolutely maddening, while others won't like it but at least acknowledge why Jack was a successful leader. Understanding that there's nothing pleasant or optimistic about Golding's story, Keys is unafraid to elicit these emotions in the name of art as a fire starter.

With rhythmic pounding, dancing, shouting and a variety of special effects, this production might be one of the scariest, most intense incarnations of Lord of the Flies, regardless of age. The intensity builds and builds and there's no emotional conclusion—only a thought-provoking one. Even at 90 minutes straight through, it's far from easy, yet our teens are ready and capable of handling and discussing the consequences.


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

THEATER REVIEW Conjoined anew 2015-09-02
THEATER REVIEW The Jacksonian 2015-09-02
THEATER REVIEW After Miss Julie 2015-09-02
THEATER REVIEW The Price 2015-09-02
THEATER REVIEW October Sky 2015-09-02
Theater Spotlight and Critics' Picks 2015-09-02
Play to mark 10th anniv. of Katrina 2015-09-02
Chicago Opera Theater gets largest single gift 2015-09-02
Theater, now on stage and soon to come 2015-09-01
Broadway in Chicago turns 15 in the park 2015-08-28
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT Fringe options 2015-08-26
THEATER REVIEW Patchwork Drifter 2015-08-26
THEATER REVIEW Chicago's Role in the Crime of the Century 2015-08-26
Upcoming: Fashion Fest; 'Downton' exhibit; Jeff Awards; Haymarket reading 2015-08-26
Upcoming: Sondheim honored; Play marks 10th Katrina anniversary 2015-08-26
Celebrate with caution 2015-08-25
Bryan Safi has it made in the 'Shade' 2015-08-25
Theater Spotlight on Bad Jews; Critics' Picks 2015-08-25
THEATER REVIEW The Rise and Fall of Little Voice 2015-08-25
THEATER REVIEW Things You Shouldn't Say Past Midnight 2015-08-25
Theater in Chicago: Opening soon and now on stage 2015-08-25
Poet Kit Yan performs Queer Heartache at Chicago Fringe 2015-08-21
Jeff Awards Equity nominations honor 2014-2015 productions 2015-08-21
The Chicago Fringe Festival announce times, places 2015-08-19
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT SNL dreams 2015-08-19
THEATER REVIEW Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities 2015-08-19
THEATER REVIEW The Dueling Gentlemen 2015-08-19
THEATER REVIEW The History of Alcohol in Chicago: A Drinker's Guide 2015-08-19
Theater Spotlight, Critics' Picks 2015-08-19
Upcoming: Cho to marry couples; Chicago Fashion Fest; Horror-film fest 2015-08-18
THEATER REVIEW Art 2015-08-18
Theater in Chicago: Now on stage and opening soon 2015-08-18
Nightspots calendar: The Big To Do 2015-08-12
Shakespeare in the Parks thru Aug. 16 2015-08-12
THEATER REVIEW Stanley in the Name of Love 2015-08-12
THEATER REVIEW We Gotta Bingo! 2015-08-12
THEATER REVIEW Zelda at the Oasis 2015-08-12
OUTspoken! marks one year with rousing stories 2015-08-12
THEATER REVIEW The Boy from Oz 2015-08-12
Theater spotlight and Critics' Picks 2015-08-12
 



Copyright © 2015 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.