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Hays in running for hometown showdown -2/26/2015, 1:39 PM

Local forum set for March 24 -2/26/2015, 10:29 AM

Sharma advancing MIS surgery for HaysMed -2/26/2015, 9:23 AM

Lenten retreat March 14 in Hays -2/25/2015, 11:50 AM

Spring 2015 continues enrollment growth at FHSU -2/25/2015, 10:57 AM

Rose Garden hosting special event March 9 -2/24/2015, 11:32 AM

Gloria 'Daniel-izes' dessert -2/24/2015, 8:14 AM

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Clubs and meetings (Feb. 22, 2015) -2/22/2015, 3:17 PM

Birthday -2/19/2015, 8:59 AM

Extension offers advice for passing down farm or ranch -2/19/2015, 8:59 AM

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Kochia control in early spring for fields in wheat -2/15/2015, 2:37 PM

Business Briefcase (Feb. 15, 2015) -2/15/2015, 2:37 PM

Clubs and meetings (Feb. 15, 2015) -2/15/2015, 2:27 PM

A mother-in-law's example of faith shows transformation -2/13/2015, 9:26 AM

Birthday -2/12/2015, 9:08 AM

Elevate your marriage during National Marriage Week -2/12/2015, 9:08 AM

Taking time to have a little laugh during life's busyness -2/11/2015, 8:51 AM

Lions Club convention March 7 in Hays -2/10/2015, 4:10 PM

HaysMed welcomes new pulmonologist -2/10/2015, 1:35 PM

'SpongeBob Movie' is what you make it out to be -2/10/2015, 9:01 AM

Remembering Valentine's Days from years ago -2/9/2015, 10:07 AM

Signs can be revealing while recognizing depression -2/9/2015, 10:06 AM

Clubs and meetings (Feb. 8, 2015) -2/8/2015, 4:26 PM

Business Briefcase (Feb. 8, 2015) -2/8/2015, 3:32 PM

County Extension has farm bill information available -2/8/2015, 3:31 PM

Kansas 4-H Foundation names new president/CEO -2/5/2015, 3:32 PM

Freezer-ready slow-cooker meals can be safe and delicious -2/5/2015, 9:36 AM

Community Bulletin Board (Feb. 5, 2015) -2/5/2015, 8:15 AM

Youngsters look back through generations on KS Day -2/4/2015, 8:15 AM

Dealing with illness, vaccines through the years -2/4/2015, 8:15 AM

'Project Almanac' misallocates its resources -2/3/2015, 9:48 AM

Church services a busy time -2/3/2015, 9:47 AM

Many things can cause post-holiday depression -2/2/2015, 9:13 AM

Business Briefcase (Feb. 1, 2015) -2/1/2015, 4:32 PM

Nex-Tech names a studio space in Hammond Hall on FHSU campus -1/30/2015, 3:47 PM

Castle Rock Casiono Resort submits application for project -1/30/2015, 3:47 PM

Dreiling/Schmidt radiation oncology receives accreditation -1/30/2015, 10:13 AM

Moran gains seat on Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee -1/30/2015, 9:54 AM

Bible is playbook to super life, not Super Bowl, victory -1/30/2015, 8:23 AM

Moran gains seat on Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee -1/29/2015, 2:02 PM

Extension offers regional estate planning workshops -1/29/2015, 9:36 AM

DeBakey Heart Institute sponsoring CPR training -1/28/2015, 1:46 PM

Hays Academy of Hair Designs sweeps competition -1/28/2015, 12:06 PM

Hospital restrictions in place at HaysMed -1/28/2015, 10:25 AM

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Comedian, author Rainn Wilson coming to FHSU -1/27/2015, 1:37 PM

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DeBakey Heart Institute sponsors coffee, conversation -1/26/2015, 11:04 AM

Many can suffer from seasonal disorders -1/26/2015, 9:50 AM

Clubs and meetings (Jan. 25, 2015) -1/25/2015, 3:05 PM

Winter, spring options for winter annual weed control in wheat -1/25/2015, 3:05 PM

Bishop from Ghana visits area -1/23/2015, 7:47 AM

Eating well while spending less actually is possible -1/22/2015, 9:55 AM

One of 5 finalists for FHSU provost position withdraws -1/21/2015, 11:36 AM

Away from home, and longing to be back in Kansas -1/21/2015, 8:44 AM

New Year babies abound at Rooks County Health -1/20/2015, 1:37 PM

'American Sniper' hits its mark in U.S. theaters -1/20/2015, 9:31 AM

HaysMed leads patient safety program -1/20/2015, 9:22 AM

HaysMed joins trend, expands Point of Service collections -1/19/2015, 1:46 PM

Couture-Lovelady assigned to House Rules Committee -1/19/2015, 11:22 AM

Watch out for effects of post-holiday depression -1/19/2015, 8:38 AM

Save some trouble, get agriculture leases in writing -1/18/2015, 3:14 PM

Clubs and meetings (Jan. 18, 2015) -1/18/2015, 3:13 PM

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Hays to host Western region farmers market conference -1/17/2015, 3:23 PM

Community Bulletin Board (Jan. 17, 2015) -1/17/2015, 3:14 PM

Going crazy with a series of new projects -1/16/2015, 2:09 PM

Nex-Tech acquires Computer Solutions -1/15/2015, 2:01 PM

Senior Companion honored -1/14/2015, 2:49 PM

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For Your Information (Jan. 13, 2015) -1/13/2015, 1:37 PM

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Community Bulletin Board (Jan. 12, 2015) -1/12/2015, 8:47 AM

Clubs and meetings (Jan. 11, 2015) -1/11/2015, 4:00 PM

Calling all precision agriculture geeks -1/11/2015, 3:51 PM

1st film in series on water to feature Cheyenne Bottoms, KWEC -1/9/2015, 4:27 PM

Female farmers shift production trends -1/9/2015, 4:09 PM

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Hays Recreation Commission calendar -1/9/2015, 4:00 PM

Regional farmers market vendor workshop Jan. 30 in Hays -1/8/2015, 9:18 AM

Community Bulletin Board (Jan. 8, 2015) -1/8/2015, 9:18 AM

'Into the Woods' strays from the path -1/6/2015, 9:48 AM

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Make New Year's resolutions that stick -1/2/2015, 9:44 AM

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Holiday activities for family bonding -12/25/2014, 1:21 PM

'Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb' is surprisingly passable -12/23/2014, 9:43 AM

Using tips can help stepfamilies during holidays -12/22/2014, 9:17 AM

2014 Farm Bill decision making steps upcoming for consumers -12/21/2014, 4:27 PM

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SPOTLIGHT
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Bradbury's dystopian classic succeeds on Encore Series stage

Published on -10/31/2013, 9:44 AM

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The searing lines from "Fahrenheit 451" depict a fiery, dystopian world as imagined by Ray Bradbury in 1953. Tuesday night, the Aquila Theatre brought that world to the stage of the Beach-Schmidt Performing Arts Center.

The Encore Series show opened with lighting that cast creepy, nightmarish flames on shredded gauzy backdrops. Discordant music accompanied the firemen as they responded to an alarm, performing their book-burning duties in a world where reading books not only has fallen out of favor, but has become a crime.

"If you don't want a man unhappy politically, don't give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none," Capt. Beatty (James Lavender) tells fireman Guy Montag (Norman Murray) in a monologue that slices through their bizarre world with prophetic logic.

In this gripping speech, Captain Beatty points out that reading books hasn't always been a crime. However, the "tyranny of the majority" popularized anti-intellectualism, which eventually gave way to the practice of book-burning.

The Aquila cast was compelling, working through vast emotions, with ironic humor scattered throughout. As Montag, whose livelihood has been that of a book-burning fireman, develops a relationship with a strange young book-loving girl, he opens up to the world of ideas. Torn between the unfamiliar draw of literature and the reality show world of his wife, Mildred (Kali Hughes), Montag discovers unsettling truths. Sullen and shallow, Hughes sets an eerie tone as she portrays a woman too entrenched in her own ego to get a grip on reality.

"Fahrenheit 451" is powerful fiction that holds a mirror up to our world. There's drone technology in the story's electric hound that mercilessly pursues those who are thought to be a threat to the status quo. Although the electric hound never is actually seen in the stage production, his relentless presence pervades act two.

It was surreal to see the pages of Fahrenheit 451 brought to life on the stage, having first read the book as a teenager.

Throughout the years, I've found movies based on Bradbury's works have only dismally represented his lyrical prose. But the interactive nature of theater seemed a fitting vehicle for Bradbury, drawing the audience more deeply into the drama.

While I know "Fahrenheit 451" was hardly a walk in the park for many audience members, it's my hope it provoked a few uncomfortable moments of unintended thought.

Sometimes truth can best be viewed through fiction.

Dawne Leiker is a frequent contributor to The Hays Daily News.

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