The Salem College Pierrettes’ Fall play was a staged reading and adaptation of Lord of the Flies by William Golding. The story, which took place on an island out of a tropical paradise, is a striking tale of the human condition and a commentary on British high society.
This story was turned on its head by the Pierrettes. The set was a minimalistic design primarily composed of black boxes, used to create depth and altitude on the island. Music stands were used to hold the actors’ binders for their dramatic readings. The Pierettes also chose to the leave the gender of each character as a decision for the actors. Many of the characters wore traditional girl’s school uniforms, while some wore a shirt with slacks.
As audience members entered the dark theater, there was the ambient sound of a classic airplane playing over the speakers, which created a foreboding atmosphere that prepared the viewer for the unsettling story about to unfold on stage.
The first act started off relatively tame; it told the tale of young private school kids roughhousing and bullying each other without the worry of adult supervision. However, the horror of the story set in as the groups began to form. A mob mentality began to ignite amongst Jack’s group and violence and intimidation was therefore used without restraint.
Lord of the Flies is a strong ensemble piece, emphasized by the cats portrayal. Each Pierrettes member shone as their individual character, both central and ensemble. The characters brought an entertaining facet of a young child’s personality into the story.
There was perpetual chaos on stage as the characters constantly burst into excited yelling and screaming in rage or fear at one another. You could look at any two characters on stage at any given moment and see an individual interaction between them; the action never stopped.
The use of the music stands as props was compelling, with all the characters facing the stands or facing the audience. This forced the audience to look at the despair, the anger, and the fear in their faces as the doom and paranoia of the island began to close in.
The play’s final act was full of tension, without a moment to rest until the very final scene. Hearts simply mourned the loss of innocence and the displacement from society that occurred within weeks amongst a group of twelve-year-olds.
The Pierrettes put on an entertaining and thoughtful piece that left the audience feeling emotionally drained and introspective for hours afterwards. Each actor gave a moving performance, and the minimalist set design made for an unique and riveting take on a tale individual to Salem College.