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LORDS AND LADIES: OCU’s latest production of Lord of the Flies offers up a unique twist

Photo courtesy of Oklahoma City University School of Theatre
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OKLAHOMA CITY — In 1954, author William Golding unleashed his classic novel of savagery and survival, Lord of the Flies, to an unsuspecting public. Still as controversial as ever, the novel finds an airplane full of school-age boys crashing onto a desert island during what is intimated as being a war of some sort. As the boys try to build their own society, the lust for power and resources rears its ugly head and all-out war breaks out between these teen factions.

While the book has been adapted for television, film and the stage, the Oklahoma City University School of Theater and Oklahoma Children’s Theater have teamed up to bring a unique variation of the novel, adapted by Nigel Williams for the stage, to the Burg Theater.

“Wanting to serve the interests of our undergraduate population which has a lot of really talented young women, they’ve made this adaptation of Lord of the Flies with an all-female cast instead of a male cast and that’s really provided a lot of awesome opportunities for the young women in our program,” Kate Brennan, director of Lord of the Flies, said.

In light of many recent events, from the social to the political, Brennan believes this stage production will carry a lot more “resonance” with audiences, perhaps more so in the light of increasing warring tensions, both at home and abroad.

“The book was written in 1954 and then this adaptation was done in 1996 and there are mentions of war and bombings,” Brenna said. “When everything started going on with North Korea, it suddenly became extremely resonant as a production for our whole cast. Some of the things that we’re doing in the world of the play will reveal a very interesting point of view on what all this could mean for us today.”                                                                                                                                             

In this version, the cast of schoolboys is replaced by a plane full of beauty pageant contestants that crash on the uncharted island and have to find a way to survive. In a world of pop culture that typically only allows women to fight over men, Brennan feels that this play depicts the whole idea of feminine anger in a way most pieces of art are unwilling to go.

“Women aren’t allowed to be angry—they aren’t allowed to be a lot of things—in the public eye, and there are definitely facets of every human emotion in our production and what’s really interesting about the choices that our cast is making is that they’re not playing women playing young men in a production,” Brennan said. “They’re playing how they would play it. Their instincts are very much informing the trajectory of the show even though it’s the same script that’s been done with boys forever. We’re starting to see some different outcomes come to light; some nuances of the human experience are coming light as a result of their nuance choices.”

William Golding’s Lord of the Flies opens in the Burg Theatre at Oklahoma City University with a special “formal pageant event” on Friday, October 20th, with additional performances on Thursday, October 26 at 11 a.m., Friday, October 27 at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. and Saturday, October 28 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets are available at

“I think people will come in with a lot of expectations or perceptions about beauty queens or pageantry or all-female productions or women on stage or women in power, in general,” Brennan added. “And I hope that, after watching, they leave questioning every single one of those expectations they came in with.”

William Golding's Lord of the Flies
Thursday, October 26th, 2017 11:00am to Saturday, October 28th, 2017 8:00pm
Oklahoma City University School of Theatre and Oklahoma Children's Theatre
2501 N Blackwelder Ave
Oklahoma City, OK 73106
(405) 208-5227

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Louis Fowler

Güicho. Gadfly. Chicano. Choctaw. Cristero. Freelancer. Leftist. Activist. Vilified. PKD....

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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