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Local teens take on dark roles in ‘Lord of the Flies’ stage adaptation

Savagery, survival and anarchy will be the order of the day when the Pear Theatre in Mountain View stages its production of “Lord of the Flies.”
The story of a group of boys stranded on a tropical island plunging into anarchy and turning against each other is a stage version of William Golding’s classic novel. The show runs July 28-Aug. 5.
The all-male cast is of high school age, a few years removed from the novel’s preteen and early teen year characters.
Cast members say they found the story something they could easily relate to, even as older teens. Many of them have read the book in English classes and see their roles as a way to dig deep into the book’s many themes.
“I was drawn to this play before I read the script just because it was one of my favorite books in high school to read just because it was such a beautiful allegory, in my opinion,” says Campbell resident Johannes de Quant, 18, who plays Roger, the antagonist’s right-hand man. “You can relate to many different things. You can look at the story through so many lenses.”
The play will stay true to the novel and follows British schoolboys who try to survive cohesively after becoming stranded on an island. But things quickly fall apart without the guard rails of law and order.
Each character symbolizes part of Golding’s personal experience living in the World War II era. The boys represent good, evil, survival and society’s portrayal of manhood at the time, according to director Tony Kienitz.
Taking on the role of the protagonist Ralph is Palo Alto resident Jackson Wylder. He says the character tries to bring order to the group of boys and is focused on getting off the island.
“He is a character that has aspects of every part of society,” Wylder says, adding his character is able to give him a variety of emotions to explore as an actor. “He’s not perfect. He isn’t the nicest, but he also isn’t the meanest.”
Opposite Wylder is Raymond McCarthy, a Saratoga High School graduate, who plays Jack. As one of the older characters in the story, Jack quickly makes himself leader of the boys and is more focused on hunting animals and eventually some of the other boys, most notably Ralph.
Noah Crawford, 12, of Los Altos, is the youngest cast member and plays Percival, a character who starts out as an innocent boy and then quickly changes to fit in with the other boys, the hunters of the island.
“As Percival, I represent innocence, but there are parts during the dance around the pig when I really let savageness show,” Crawford says. “He keeps to himself in a lot of moments, but he also plays a big role in the plot at key moments.”
Each of the actors believes they could survive together after learning from the mistakes the boys made in “Lord of the Flies.”
“I was a Boy Scout, so I know how to build a fire and stuff,” says Campbell resident Antonio Rojas. Rojas plays Piggy, the confidant of Ralph, who tries to establish order on the island among the boys. “I would just listen and help whenever I could. If there was a dispute, I would try to stop it. I would call a meeting.”
When asked if girls would fare better or worse if they were stranded under similar circumstances, many cast members said female castaways would probably have a better chance of survival.
“I would think in this situation especially that when it comes to leadership and forming a group and sticking together, women would be a bit more civilized about it and much more levelheaded,” says Troy King, a Campbell resident who plays Bill, one of Jack’s followers. “I also think in this situation, they’d be more focused on survival and getting off the island than playing around and hunting.”
And no hypothetical “stranded on an island” scenario is complete without asking which item each cast member would bring if they ever found themselves in such a situation.
“Some form of defense, like a gun or steel sword in case any ‘Lord of the Flies’ kind of action happens on the island,” Crawford says. “I want to be prepared.”
“Lord of the Flies” runs July 28-Aug. 5 at the Pear Theatre, 1110 La Avenida St., Mountain View. Tickets are $20-25 at thepear.org .

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