Imagine your plane crashes on a deserted island along with a group of scared teenagers left to fend for themselves.
Well you don’t have to do too much imagining if you attended “Lord of the Flies” which played out in the woods of the Calusa Nature Center.
The production has been completely reimagined under the direction of Kody C. Jones who brilliantly uses stops along the nature trail to act out a breakdown of civilized behavior.
The show is just under an hour and upon arrival guests are instructed to help search for the missing students as you will be quickly led into the woods.
There are two casts rotating the performance. I had the pleasure to watch the all girl cast battle it out.
As you enter the woods you can hear the girls frantically arguing and fighting about how to survive as the chaos ensues.
Alliances quickly form as the young women carve out their territory as Ellie Appelgren fiercely plays the tall thin Jack who is already in a position of authority until Ralph played brilliantly by Shennan Nelson.
The audience soon hears a wild animal in the woods (don’t be alarmed — it’s part of the show) a wild pig the girls eventually kill and put on display.
It isn’t long into the show before the girls start to break and lives are sacrificed and when civilized order breaks down the most vulnerable are among the first to go.
Gigi Lieze-Adams plays the mysterious Simon who does a convincing job in her emotional breakdown scene before she is eventually killed by Jack and is left to lay along the trail as theatergoers step over her body in a very sobering and gripping scene.
The mayhem continues as Macy Magas does a great job playing Piggy, the voice of reason who is the brains of the group until another student picks up a large rock and smashes Piggy in the head.
This show is ensemble based and all of the young women delivered and delivered the energy until the very end.
These ladies did not disappoint and made the show a real experience in William Goldberg’s iconic story of survival.
What’s it like to act so uncivilized and let your emotions go?
I talked to actors Michael Shelly and Ellie Appelgren who each played Jack in the performances.
The directing of an outdoor production also takes a lot of work and thought right down to the costumes and blood used in the production according to Associate Director Zeke Bocklage.