The Beast Within Us

A new take on “The Lord of the Flies” with realistic action, portraying a dark and entertaining story



LOTF Actors trying to make a fire.

By Kaitlyn Jung and Kasey Kim

“Maybe there is a beast maybe the beast is….just us?”

Ms. Mollie Lief and Van Nuys High School Actors in Action presented “Lord of the Flies” on Nov. 1, 2, 3, 8, 9 and 10 in the Donna Hubbard auditorium.

Based on the novel written by William Golding, the Van Nuys High School adaptation of “Lord of the Flies” takes place in present-day America and follows a group of school children who attempt to flee the country to escape a threat. However, the children are left stranded without any adults on an uninhabited island after a catastrophe sends their plane crashing down.

Compared to the novel that centers on British boys, the VNHS adaptation revolves around American children of all genders.

The play stars Perla Barajas as Ralph, Victoria Miteva as Jack, Drew Hokama as Piggy, Sarah Preimesberger as Roger, Joy Wyckoff as Simon, Natalie Chavez as Sam, Josie Hull as Eric, Darian Calderon as Maurice, Jakob Molder as Bill, Adam Ruckman as Henry, Edward Reyes as Percival and Zack Gentry as Roberts.

The ensemble includes Morgan Agee as Lila, Alexa Giraudon as Zoe, Morgan Hesen as Tyler, Joshua Levitt as Jason, Edward Malcolm as Danny, Ayleen Saquiche as Ellie, Anais Unanyan as Ava and Kaitlin Waltz as Maya.

After living in harmony on the island for a brief period of time, the children are hit with the reality of survival. Disagreements strain the children’s unity and a fight for power begins, causing them to choose sides between leaders Raf and Jack.

The growing evil in the supposedly “civil” children is clearly emphasized through the cast, especially the choir group who was led by Jack. He utilized his power and threatened others to get what he wanted, manipulating many to fulfill his true nature.

Raph displayed true order and civility by not forgetting the rules of modern civilization. While he and his group had an instinct to live by a set of rules, Jack’s group resorted to barbarism.

Far from a set of standards these young boys once lived in, the children and their clashing ideals merely formed an easily broken society.

Actors in Action showcased up-close action for audiences by setting their seats on the stage. This method provided more clarity for the performers’ actions and voices throughout the play.

The production was dramatically dark and sent a rush of fear and adrenaline down the spines, considering the play’s theme on the atrociousness of mankind when left without order and civility. The isolation from social rules merely manifests the brutal and inhumane instinct of the men.

“Lord of the Flies” is Ms. Lief’s first production as the new VNHS drama teacher. She will soon be working on the upcoming VNHS spring musical: “Bring It On.”