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Bradburyisms

“[T]his is where I have belonged since I was ten. It took a long time and a very long way around from doing magic tricks then, and appearing in amateur theatricals, to a night like last night when you say to yourself, I really belong. This theatre is as much my body and my flesh as my own body and flesh are. How fortunate to be one of those who really knows his place, finds it, and tries to tend it well and make it vital.”
 –Ray Bradbury, letter to Don Congdon after The World of Ray Bradbury run at the Coronet Theater (February 15, 1965)
 
Bradbury was a theatre aficionado and adapted many of his stories for the stage. Beginning in the early 1960s, he produced shows at several theatres near his home in California, often at his own expense. Bradbury even formed his own acting company, The Pandemonium Players, and later the Pandemonium Production Company.
 
In an archived New York Times article announcing the formation of Pandemonium Production Company (August 1, 1964), Bradbury was quoted: “‘No one today is successfully dramatizing the dilemma of man amidst his mighty machines.’” Bradbury sought to remedy this with his own “Space Age Theater,” bringing audiences into the shadowy corners of the human psyche responding to a new era of rockets and robots.
 
By Sarah Whaley  

Upcoming Bradbury Community  Events 

In a dystopian future where the written word is forbidden, firemen are paid to burn books instead of fight fires. But when Montag starts to read the books he is supposed to burn, he begins to question the life he leads. Now he must choose between continuing his regimented existence or risking everything for the right to think. Published in 1953, this science fiction classic is even more relevant today.


Witness Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451
adapted by Tobias Andersen
January 26 – February 20, 2022
Indiana Repertory Theatre | One America Mainstage
Streaming on select days only

Visit irtlive.com for details

COMMUNITY CONVERSATION SPONSORED BY FAEGRE DRINKER: Ray Bradbury: The Man Behind the Sci-Fi Classics Saturday, February 12, 2022 | Following the 4 PM performance of Fahrenheit 451

Did you know that Indianapolis hosts the largest collection of Ray Bradbury archives? Jason Aukerman, Director for The Center for Ray Bradbury Studies at IUPUI, will share details on the man behind the creation of Sci-Fi classics including Fahrenheit 451, explore the history of the censorship of the novel, and share what it’s like to curate Bradbury content. IRT’s Resident Dramaturg Richard J Roberts will illuminate the conversation with production insight. This conversation will be moderated by Allison Barkel, Chair of IRT’s Offscript Young Professionals Group Advisory Council.

Stay tuned to our social media for updates on special collaborative events
with IRT and The Bradbury Center!

Golden Apple Picks

By Kylie Adkins

Hi! My name is Kylie Adkins and I am currently an English Literature Masters student at IUPUI. I came to The Bradbury Center last Fall when I started as a professional editing intern, helping out in the archive. My first brush with Bradbury was in ninth grade, reading Fahrenheit 451 in class, but I truly came to love his work after I heard Levar Burton reading The Great, Wide World Over There, which remains my favorite story. I love Bradbury’s ability to fuse the Gothic with sci-fi and I have thoroughly enjoyed diving into all of his work.

READ

Deserter by Junji Ito

This recent manga release from Junji Ito is the first American release of many of his earlier stories. Ito’s manga tend to veer towards horror and cosmic horror, and Deserter gives a taste of the variety that informs many of Ito’s later works like Uzumaki

WATCH

tick, tick…BOOM! on Netflix

Featuring Andrew Garfield and directed by Lin Manuel Miranda, this Netflix original is an adaptation of the musical by the same name written by Jonathan Larson. It is autobiographical and follows the story of Larson working to get his first musical on Broadway.

PLAY

Mass Effect: Legendary Edition from Bioware

This is an updated remaster of the classic RPG trilogy Mass Effect released on Xbox One, PS4 and PC. Play as Commander Shepard and work to assemble your crew and rescue the galaxy. Recently released on Xbox GamePass, this series is a sure hit for anyone who enjoys sci-fi shooters or RPGs with fun characters and choices that ripple through all three games.

Fun Facts from the Archives
The 1979 playbill (left) and published script (right) atop Ray Bradbury's office desk, on view in the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies

The exciting news that the Indiana Repertory Theatre (IRT) will be performing Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 provides the perfect incentive to delve into the archives for a look at a donation made by Tobias Andersen, the adapter of this IRT production.
 
Terrence Shank, the founding director of the Colony Theatre in Burbank, CA, staged three Bradbury-inspired productions between 1977 and 1980. The first was Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles (1977). The Los Angeles Times praised the challenging adaptation: “Shank’s achievement is stunning. He has created a luminous, antiseptic world in the Studio Playhouse (white nylon dome, gleaming plexiglass floor) where golden Martian with strange eyes (slanted, or round and hollow) stare at a landscape decidedly foreign to anything we know."1
 
In 1979, Shank staged the world premiere of Bradbury’s adaptation of Fahrenheit 451. After Francois Truffaut’s 1966 screen adaptation of the novel, Brad)bury was motivated to revisit his story for stage. At the center of this adaptation was a reimagining of Captain Beatty, the book’s villain. Bradbury recalled, “Captain Beatty came to me and said, ‘Ray! Don’t you want to know why I burn those books?’” This same Captain Beatty would be played at the Colony Theatre by Tobias Andersen, initiating a long-standing professional relationship between Andersen and Bradbury.
 
Soon after, Shank staged a musical production of Dandelion Wine (1980), with music and lyrics penned by Jeffrey Rockwell. Bradbury was guided by fans who demonstrated their interest in his work by writing music or reader's theater versions of his novel, according to an account featured on the official website of the Colony Theatre. He recalled: “I learned from both groups. What? That I was an unintentional dramatist, and that my dramas leaned and fell gently over into musical forms.”
 
Andersen’s relationship with Fahrenheit 451 did not end with the Colony Theatre. Andersen would reprise this performance in productions on three additional stages: Theatre/Theatre in Portland, OR, The Rubicon in Ventura, CA, and the Fremont Center in Pasadena, CA. Andersen’s professional relationship with Bradbury also continued beyond Fahrenheit 451. when he proposed a one-man show to Bradbury called The Illustrated Man. In 2007, the show premiered at the Clackamas Repertory Theatre at the Osterman Theatre in Oregon City, but under the new title, The Illustrated Bradbury. This retitling was necessary for multiple reasons: Warner Brothers held rights to the title; and the new title was more accurate for what Andersen and Bradbury were doing. It featured nine stories and an epilogue, which was later published by Dramatic Publishing. Bradbury rewrote the first five stories of the play: The Murderer, The Foghorn, The Inspired Chicken Motel, The Anthem Sprinters, and There Was an Old Woman. The other four—A Graveyard for Lunatics, The Parrot Who Met Papa, Fahrenheit 451, and The Toynbee Convector—were edited by Andersen.
 
Bradbury underscored his admiration for Andersen’s stage work when he wrote in a (now archived) letter about the show: “I hasten to write you a short time after our conversation to reaffirm my admiration for your performance in Fahrenheit 451.” This and other materials can be viewed from Tobias Andersen’s personal donation to the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies. Included in the material are two volumes of correspondence, scripts, photos, cartoons, newspaper articles, playbills, and poetry.

By Max Goller

1. Quote from Los Angeles Times review reprinted by permission at  https://colonytheatre.org/shows/reviews/TheMartianChroniclesReview.html 

 
Director’s Note
The Bradbury Center works hard to preserve and advance Ray Bradbury’s legacy. We do this by helping people cultivate their imaginations, foster robust reading lives, and pursue the things they love. But we cannot do this alone. We cannot do it without your support. Your gift means more to us than I can adequately express in just a few short lines. By giving to the Bradbury Center, you become part of the team, part of our work, part of the legacy, and we are beyond grateful. Thank you so much!
 
-Jason Aukerman
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