Local theater-goers have two opportunities to see a production of a classic piece of literature in the same week in the same auditorium, starting Thursday, with the director of one urging people to see both versions.
The Havre High School drama department is producing a stage version of William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies, ” required reading for most high school students, with one all-girl cast and one all-boy cast.
“The idea behind it was, we wanted to see the difference between male aggression versus female aggression, ” said Havre High School English and drama teacher Jay Pyette, adding that the two productions, despite using the same script, have greatly different tones. “What we’re really hoping for is for people to watch them both. That’s the idea behind our entire experience. ”
The run starts with the female-cast production in the Havre High School Theatre Thursday at 7:30 p. m., the boy-cast production Friday at 7:30 p. m., then the boys at 2 p. m. Saturday and the girls at 7:30 that night.
The play uses a script, Pyette said, that closely follows Nobel-Prize laureate Sir William Golding’s 1954 novel.
“Lord of the Flies, ” a pessimistic view of people reverting to savagery when removed from the structures of society, tells the story of a group of British schoolboys who are the only survivors of an airplane crash on a tropical island.
“It gets pretty brutal in the end as their society breaks down, ” Pyette said.
Pyette said the script is a good representation of the book, and follows the novel more closely than movie productions have. While minor adjustments have been made for the girls’ cast to allow for gender changes, nothing was done to change the intent of the story, he added.
Pyette said the production of the play has been rather hectic.
To keep it entirely gender specific, he has directed the boys, while his wife, Dana, has directed the girls. At times, the rehearsals have been held at the same time, one upstairs and one in the theater downstairs.
It also has been quite a job producing the extensive set, a reproduction on the theater’s stage of a tropical island, done by Pyette’s stage production class.
The casts include a range from experienced actors to students in their first play.
“The kids have worked awfully hard, all the way around, ” Pyette said, adding, “The tech kids put forth incredible effort (building the set). ”
Admission to each production is $5 for adults, $4 for high school students and senior citizens, and $2 for children kindergarten through eighth-grade.
• The male-cast production will be 7:30 p. m., Friday and 2 p. m., Saturday.
• The female-cast production will be 7:30 p. m., Thursday. and 7:30 p. m. Saturday.
• Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for high school students and senior citizens, and $2 for children kindergarten through eighth grade.