Bill Oberst Jr. to Bring RAY BRADBURY'S PILLAR OF FIRE to United Solo
In 1952 the sci-fi author wrote of a time traveler who goes to the Cretaceous Period after Americans reject a brash, authoritarian "anti-intellectual, anti- everything" candidate for President, steps on a butterfly, and returns home to find society altered and the election results reversed. It's just one example of how Bradbury's fiction is seeming more relevant than ever.
Bill Oberst Jr. brings his award-winning solo performance, "Ray Bradbury's Pillar Of Fire," one of Bradbury's darkest tales, to Theatre Row on Sunday, Sept. 17 at 6:00pm. The NYC debut is part of the United Solo Theatre Festival.
"Ray Bradbury has something to say to us at this exact moment in time;" said Oberst, "that we are citizens of the cosmos first, that the way we imagine our future determines our future, and that the most dangerous minds are those which cannot imagine themselves to be wrong."
Oberst's one-act adaptation uses Ray Bradbury's poetic prose to tell the story of William Lantry, a 400-year-old corpse who rises from the grave in the year 2349 to find himself the last dead man on Earth. Filled with hatred for a future world where superstition, gothic literature and human burials are all banned, Lantry decides to create an army of the dead. Bradbury later called the novella "a rehearsal for Fahrenheit 451." He also famously said, "I don't predict the future, I try to prevent it."
Oberst's presentation of "Pillar of Fire," comes at a time of a bit of a Bradbury resurgence, with "Fahrenheit 451" currently in production at HBO. August 22 would have been Bradbury's 97th birthday.
The show had two sold-out runs in Bradbury's native Los Angeles and was named Best LA Solo Show of the 2015 Hollywood Fringe Festival. Oberst, who is something of a cult figure among indie horror fans for his roles on TV ("Criminal Minds," "Scream Queens") and in over 100 films, is also developing an authorized solo stage portrayal of Bradbury.