Friday, December 15, 2017
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Jobsite presents Bradbury's stage version of 'Fahrenheit 451'

By Marty Clear

Times Correspondent

It's a 59-year-old work whose time has come.

Ray Bradbury published Fahrenheit 451 in 1953, and with a strong boost from Francois Truffaut's 1966 film adaptation, it became one of the most renowned dystopian novels ever written.

Now, as the political season comes to its climax, Jobsite Theater is offering the stage version, penned in the 1970s by Bradbury himself.

"We kind of chose this play because of the election coming up, and the Republican National Convention is coming to town," said Katrina Stevenson, who's directing.

Bradbury's work about a near future in which firemen are charged with the duty of burning any book that anyone finds offensive — which of course eventually includes every book — is usually seen as a statement about government totalitarianism and censorship.

But Bradbury himself has said that wasn't his intent. Fahrenheit 451, he once said, is about the nefarious anti-intellectual effects of television — a prescient bit of wisdom for 1953. The villain, Bradbury said, isn't the government, but the people.

Stevenson directs a large cast — many of whom take several small roles — including Ned Averill-Snell, Giles Davies and Nicole Smith. Stevenson said designer Brian Smalheer has created a wonderfully dreamlike look, while keeping with Bradbury dictum that the set remain simple.

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