Imagine a world where reading books was a crime. Fireman didn’t put out fires, but burned your books AND your house if you had a secret library. Ray Bradbury, author of the classic novel and play Fahrenheit 451 (the temperature at which paper burns) details such a future. People are tuned in to their televisions and ear pieces and sleep and wake by medical means. Geauga Lyric Theater brings this “future” to life.
Although set in the future, actress Janna Klein sees comparisons to today’s societies. “The book is full of unfeeling and reckless people. Everyone is self-centered, always thrill-seeking and obsessed with their televisions. They always want to be entertained, but bore easily, and this leaves them empty. I don’t want our generation to become like this, but I can see the beginning.” Both Janna (Mildred) and Connor Brennan (Guy Montaug) found a challenge playing emotionally distant, yet feeling characters. “The most challenging part of acting in this show is convincingly switching from a mindless drone to a person who is newly awakened to the truth, “says Connor, who plays a fireman in this society.
Director Angela Miloro-Hansen has turned the stage into a background of stacked and burning books. The striking design frames a screen featuring projections which provide different backdrops for the action. A small cast acts out characters, from bored housewives, a free-spirited teenager, firemen on their mission, and a group of people determined to keep the books alive in their hearts.
Fahrenheit 451 will only be performed three times; May 20,21 at 7:30pm and May 22 at 2pm. Tickets are $6 and $8 and can be purchased online at www.geaugatheater.org or by calling the box office at 440-286-2255.
Geauga Lyric Theater is located on the beautiful Chardon square at 101 Water Street.