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'Lord of the Flies' Opens at Footlighters

Students from the Intern Company of Footlighters put on the challenging play this week.

After nearly three months of rehearsal, the players of the Intern Company at Burlington County  in Cinnaminson opened their summer show Wednesday and it continues until Saturday.

The students bring Lord of the Flies to life with an elaborate set design, beautiful costumes and a cast and crew of nearly 40.

Eighteen-year old Evan Newlin plays Ralph, the main character in Lord of the Flies, in his first lead performance. It’s also his first time with the Intern Company.

“It’s an honor and a privilege,” said Newlin, of Mt. Laurel. “It’s my first real show and I got such a substantial part.”

Newlin is used to performing mostly comedy and improvisation, so this role has been a welcome challenge for him.

“I’m more excited than anything,” Newlin said. “We really did a lot of hard work and a lot of rehearsing. It’s the most talented group of people I’ve ever had the opportunity to work with.”

The Intern Company is a theater education program at Footlighters for students ages 15 to 20. What makes the Intern Company unique is the students run the entire show—from set design to publicity to acting.

“We really leave it up to them,” said Director Kevin Esmond, who’s been with the Intern Company for its entire 10 years. “Every year, they clear the bar.”

When Esmond first started, he said, he called the program “didactic.”

“’Here’s where you stand and here’s what you do,’” Esmond said of the style. “[But now], we are giving them more freedom. They are coming up with things we never would have thought of. It’s really rewarding.”

Lord of the Flies is a book, movie and play about a group of boys who try to govern themselves while stuck on an island.

“It’s up to them to create their own society,” Esmond said. “In a way, it’s a metaphor for the Intern Company and how difficult it can be.”

Esmond and the students tweaked the play a bit however to fit their needs.

“It’s written for boys ages 11 or 12,” Esmond said. “That was kind of neat to explore. What if they were a little older? What if it was co-ed? How would that change the dynamics?”

Esmond said that with each year, his group of players explore more.

“We always come up with ideas to knock the audeience’s socks off,” he said. “The biggest challenges are the ones we give ourselves.”

If you go:

  • Lord of the Flies opened Wednesday night and will have four more performances at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and a 2 p.m. matinee Saturday
  • Footlighters is located at 900 Pomona Rd. in Cinnaminson
  • Visit their website for ticket information.

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