THE FIRST RAY BRADBURY FESTIVAL
Five on 5: Time Out's top five picks for fun this week
[ festival premiere ]
2. Sci-fi on the stage
The inaugural Ray Bradbury Theater Festival at the Rubicon Theatre, featuring stage adaptations of the famed science-fiction author's works, opens today. Productions include "The Illustrated Man," starring Tobias Anderson; "Machines, Beyond Shylock," a multimedia presentation with music by Jonathan McEuen and taped narration by Malcolm McDowell; "The Pedestrian," a short film by Chard Hayward; and "The Halloween Tree" by the Peachtree Theater Company. Bradbury will sign books at noon Sunday. Tickets cost $30-$50, with a 50 percent discount for students. 1006 E. Main St., Ventura. 667-2900; www.rubicontheatre.org.
Bradbury Festival this way comes
Four-day event starts tonight in Ventura
The spirit, fantasy and magic that are longtime co-stars in the prolific life of Ray Bradbury arrive in Ventura today and stay through Sunday, when the Pulitzer Prize-winning author himself will this way come.
A year in the planning, the inaugural Ray Bradbury Theatre Festival will commence tonight at the Rubicon Theatre in midtown, with a one-man performance of "The Illustrated Man," starring Tobias Andersen. Showtime is 8 p.m.
Subsequent performances of "The Illustrated Man" are at 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday. The final performance will wrap up the four-day event.
Sunday will be a big day, beginning at noon with the 87-year-old Bradbury — in frail health but strong of mind — arriving at the Rubicon to speak and sign books. His appearance is being sponsored by John Anthony Miller and his Phantom Book Shop in Ventura, which has hosted signings by Bradbury regularly in the past.
Also scheduled is a variety of other theater presentations throughout the day, including appearances by local performing arts icons Jonathan McEuen, a composer, and actor Malcolm McDowell.
Produced by Michael Kelly, the Bradbury festival is designed to grow in the coming years, Kelly said.
"This is relatively modest right now," Kelly said Tuesday. But his hopes are high.
"Ventura doesn't know how lucky it is yet to have this," said Kelly, who is a friend of Bradbury. "It seems to be the beginning of Sundance or something. That's where it's headed."
Warming up its award presentation chops, the inaugural event will feature a sort of mock Oscar ceremony on Sunday, with Kelly's 12-year-old son, Devin, presenting "the Bradbury" to McEuen and McDowell.
The ceremony will accompany the 2:30 p.m. showing of "Machines, Beyond Shylock," a multimedia presentation with music by McEuen and taped narration by McDowell, a longtime resident of Ojai.
"We're really looking forward to this presentation," Kelly said. "It'll be a lot of fun."
Bradbury himself is excited about the event. "The whole festival is wonderful," he said in a statement, "and I am looking forward to having my plays produced in Ventura."
Aside from the appearance by Bradbury, the central element of the four-day festival will be the California premiere of "The Illustrated Man," the one-man play adapted for the stage by Bradbury and Andersen, from Bradbury's 1951 book of the same name and from other stories.
Directed by David Smith-English, the play features Andersen portraying living tattooed visions from Bradbury's imagination. A veteran actor and Bradbury's friend for more than 30 years, Andersen takes a selection of the master's short stories and turns them into this one-man show.
More Bradbury tales
Also on Sunday, at 3, will be a showing of "The Pedestrian," a short film adapted from Bradbury's short story, directed by Chard Hayward, with cinematography by Harry Frith.
Born and raised in Swansea, South Wales, Hayward has been an actor and singer for more than 35 years. Originally trained in opera, he lived for many years in Australia, where he was a TV star. He moved 11 years ago to Ventura, where he now lives with his 16-year-old son.
Next up at 4 p.m. on Sunday will be a seasonal treat, "The Halloween Tree," an adaptation of Bradbury's story about trick-or-treaters who investigate the disappearance of their friend. Peachtree Theater Company founder Demitri Corbin directs an ensemble of local sixth-graders in the stage presentation.
All events of the Ray Bradbury Theatre Festival will take place at the Rubicon, at 1006 E. Main St.
Single tickets for "The Illustrated Man" are $30.
Single passes for all Sunday afternoon events (excluding "The Illustrated Man") are $30. Festival passes for "The Illustrated Man" and all Sunday festival events are $50. Full-time students with ID pay half price.
Sponsorship through art
California Pottery and Tile Works will sponsor the festival by designing and manufacturing a fine-art glazed ceramic commemorative plaque. The collectible includes a drawing by Ray Bradbury.
Each plaque can be signed and numbered for the purchaser. The $250 cost is tax-deductible to the amount allowed by law.
Brian de Staic Jewelry USA will sponsor the event by designing and manufacturing a silver commemorative Riasc pendant.
Each collectible silver pendant will be signed and numbered on the back. The $125 cost is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Riasc stone comes from the monastic site of Riasc, Ireland, to the east of Ballyferriter. It was the site of an early Irish monastery during the sixth and seventh centuries.
Bradbury was given a Riasc pendant in 2006 by de Staic Jewelry for his achievements in writing.
Ray Bradbury Festival this weekend!
The first-ever Ray Bradbury Festival begins Thursday night and continues through Sunday. The four-day event, a co-production of Rubicon Theatre Company and Ventura-based artist and entrepreneur Michael Kelly, will feature the California premiere of a new theatre piece: The Illustrated Man. It will be performed at 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday.
Tobias Andersen, who played famed attorney Clarence Darrow at Rubicon in 1999, stars in this one-man show. Adapting short stories from throughout the writer’s remarkable career, Andersen brings to life some of Bradbury’s most vivid characters, including a lighthouse keeper who has an encounter with a sea monster and an old woman who refuses to go quietly when death comes calling.
Bradbury will be on hand for the opening-night performance on Thursday. He will return to Rubicon for a book-signing beginning at noon Sunday which will kick off an afternoon of Bradbury-based entertainment.
The Sunday schedule includes a short film, a multimedia presentation of a Bradbury poem, and a stage adaptation of one of his short stories performed by area sixth-graders.A prolific novelist, essayist, screenwriter, poet and playwright, Bradbury is best-known as a writer of science fiction and fantasy, although his output extends far beyond those genres. His most popular works include “The Martian Chronicles” and “Fahrenheit 451.” Earlier this year, the Pulitzer board presented him a special distinguished-career citation.
to The Illustrated Man are $30.
For more information, call (805) 667-2900, or go to www.rubicontheatre.org!
Book Signing Details
Sponsorship through Art
California Pottery and Tile Works will sponsor the first Ray Bradbury Festival by designing and manufacturing a fine-art glazed ceramic commemorative plaque.
This collectible includes a drawing by Bradbury. Each plaque can be signed and numbered for the purchaser. The $250 cost is tax-deductible to the amount allowed by law.
Brian de Staic Jewelry USA will sponsor the first Ray Bradbury Festival by designing and manufacturing a silver commemorative Riasc Pendant. Each collectible silver pendant will be signed and numbered on the back. The $125 cost is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Riasc Stone comes from the monastic site of Riasc, Ireland, to the east of Ballyferriter. It was the site of an early Irish monastery during the 6th and 7th centuries. This thin, tall slab of local sandstone is inscribed with an enriched Maltese cross, from which flows spiral designs.
Both the plaque and pendant will be on sale during intermission of all performances of The Illustrated Man, as well as during the Sunday afternoon festival activities. Proceeds will benefit the festival.
For more information or to purchase tickets, please call Rubicon’s