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Former Obama press secretary launches Sebelius Lecture Series -10/1/2014, 2:18 PM

Photographs of rural life in China on exhibit in FHSU's Memorial Union -10/1/2014, 10:32 AM

Encore Series to show Julie Fowlis -10/1/2014, 10:32 AM

The power of hedge apples stands strong through years -10/1/2014, 9:36 AM

Library to premiere short film about Hays Arts Council -9/30/2014, 12:11 PM

'The Equalizer' ends up in the green -9/30/2014, 9:18 AM

Fondue the perfect treat for party -9/30/2014, 9:08 AM

Clubs and meetings (Sept. 28, 2014) -9/28/2014, 3:37 PM

As winter wheat insurance deadline approaches, consider SCO -9/28/2014, 3:37 PM

Business Briefcase (Sept. 28, 2014) -9/28/2014, 3:37 PM

Huelskamp to host additional October town halls -9/26/2014, 4:32 PM

FHSU Theatre season premiers in October with 'Hello, Dolly!' -9/26/2014, 4:23 PM

American Democracy Project presents Ukraine series -9/26/2014, 3:46 PM

Black Madonna replica coming to Hays in October -9/26/2014, 10:10 AM

For 3rd year, FHSU makes national grouping of Lead Initiative civic engagement institutions -9/25/2014, 4:45 PM

Robots developed in France will enter curriculum for teaching, research -9/25/2014, 4:44 PM

FHSU Hispanic American Leadership Organization presents Antonio Neves -9/25/2014, 4:44 PM

Be aware to build an emergency fund -9/25/2014, 8:32 AM

Downs grad named RA at Cloud County -9/24/2014, 2:07 PM

Road project meeting planned in Norton -9/24/2014, 4:55 PM

Girl Scouts hosting free community event -9/24/2014, 4:01 PM

Hays Symphony Orchestra to open 2014-15 music season -9/24/2014, 4:01 PM

Students assemble for the 6th annual Poetry Slam -9/24/2014, 4:01 PM

FHSU to host annual majors and graduate programs fair -9/24/2014, 4:01 PM

Nation's largest taxpayer group honors Huelskamp -9/24/2014, 10:51 AM

Teach Ag Day celebrates opportunities -9/24/2014, 10:24 AM

HaysMed co-hosts summit on human trafficking -9/24/2014, 2:15 PM

American Farm Bureau Federation names Kansas lawmakers 'Friends of Farm Bureau' -9/24/2014, 10:24 AM

Looking to the past in dealing with the present, future -9/24/2014, 9:55 AM

Fun at the fair -- once again -9/24/2014, 9:55 AM

Nex-Tech Wireless to offer iPhone 6, iPhone6 Plus -9/23/2014, 11:11 AM

'This is Where I Leave You' leaves room for improvement -9/23/2014, 9:02 AM

Birthdays and gluten-free goodies -9/23/2014, 9:02 AM

Kansas Originals market plans Spirit of Kansas Festival -9/22/2014, 8:01 PM

Electric cars to test their endurance at the High Plains ElectroRally -9/22/2014, 12:06 PM

FHSU students can now earn a sustainability certificate -9/22/2014, 11:20 AM

Local students among 39 awarded for Hunter Scholarships at FHSU -9/22/2014, 11:19 AM

Peer pressure can play role in raising adolescents -9/22/2014, 8:45 AM

Business Briefcase (Sept. 21, 2014) -9/21/2014, 2:33 PM

FHSU one of 25 schools across the nation selected for 'hackathon' -9/19/2014, 3:55 PM

Cities to receive funding for road improvement projects -9/19/2014, 2:24 PM

Kansas Farm Bureau celebrates Farm Safety Week -9/19/2014, 2:15 PM

McDonald’s of WaKeeney invests in library -9/18/2014, 5:45 PM

State receives $3.5 million grant to reduce infant mortality -9/18/2014, 3:00 PM

Kansas highway system ranked 5th in national report -9/18/2014, 11:51 AM

Dixon joins FHSU with social media marketing as her mission -9/18/2014, 11:15 AM

In case of emergency, prepare a grab-and-go kit -9/18/2014, 9:08 AM

Birthday -9/18/2014, 9:07 AM

Association donates 105 car seats to KHP -9/18/2014, 4:50 PM

Kansas receives CDC funding to gather data -9/17/2014, 4:14 PM

Brownback orders flags lowered -9/17/2014, 11:08 AM

Life during retirement is still plenty busy -9/17/2014, 8:51 AM

Generations briefs (Sept. 17, 2014) -9/17/2014, 8:50 AM

Military marquee -9/17/2014, 12:00 PM

'No Good Deed?' More like, 'No good, dude' -9/16/2014, 9:38 PM

Delta Zeta Turtle Tug: Tug your heart out -9/16/2014, 4:19 PM

Moss-Thorns Gallery of Art hosts exhibitions throughout the year -9/16/2014, 4:19 PM

Moran names service academy selection board -9/16/2014, 4:19 PM

Department of Informatics offers a new concentration in health informatics -9/16/2014, 4:19 PM

Magician on this season's 'America's Got Talent' will perform on the FHSU campus -9/16/2014, 4:19 PM

Parenting adolescents takes many twists, turns -9/15/2014, 9:20 AM

-9/14/2014, 1:57 PM

Capital investments for cow-calf enterprises in profitable times -9/14/2014, 1:57 PM

Business briefcase (Sept. 14, 2014) -9/14/2014, 1:57 PM

Stork club -9/14/2014, 1:57 PM

Hays Recreation Commission calendar -9/14/2014, 1:57 PM

The Paradox of the cross -9/12/2014, 10:10 AM

Halls of ivy -9/11/2014, 2:16 PM

Local celebs to get behind wheels of race cars -9/11/2014, 8:50 AM

Make and take a pizza for family meal -9/11/2014, 8:50 AM

Children's center hosting events in October -9/9/2014, 5:03 PM

NKAVI meeting Saturday -9/8/2014, 2:34 PM

During September, pay it forward by giving blood -9/8/2014, 4:54 PM

Ribbon cut on K-23 project north of Hoxie -9/8/2014, 11:46 AM

AG Schmidt to visit western Kansas -9/8/2014, 11:37 AM

Kansans invited to come to statewide transportation meetings -9/8/2014, 11:37 AM

Pilot projects to launch Kanstarter -9/8/2014, 11:28 AM

Parenting adolescents starts when they are younger -9/8/2014, 9:11 AM

Clubs and meetings -9/7/2014, 3:59 PM

NSP elects officers -9/7/2014, 3:23 PM

Busting myths about ticks in the U.S. -- Part II -9/7/2014, 3:23 PM

Business Briefcase (Sept. 7, 2014) -9/7/2014, 3:23 PM

Kansas Lottery launches new 'Frogger' game -9/5/2014, 10:26 AM

Dealing with mental illness -9/5/2014, 8:52 AM

Schodorf points to discrepancy in U.S. Senate ruling -9/4/2014, 4:58 PM

Kansas Emergency Preparedness Day is Monday -9/4/2014, 2:59 PM

Guidebook, videos offer convenient information for travel planning -9/4/2014, 12:24 PM

State treasurer announces $1K giveaway at state fair -9/4/2014, 12:23 PM

Extension series brings knowledge -9/4/2014, 12:24 PM

FHSU's Career Services hosts its 27th annual Career-Internship Day -9/3/2014, 4:28 PM

Discuss watering tips for the drought during Science Cafe -9/3/2014, 4:28 PM

Tigers in Service, Hays Rotary Club host 4th annual Paint-A-Thon -9/3/2014, 4:28 PM

FHSU's online degree program earns national recognition -9/3/2014, 4:27 PM

Massage therapy training now offered through Department of Health and Human Performance -9/3/2014, 4:27 PM

5th-graders will take a field trip to Forsyth Library -9/3/2014, 4:27 PM

Local grocery store partners with FHSU to donate food items -9/3/2014, 4:27 PM

FHSU alumnus accepted into the 2015 NCECA exhibition -9/3/2014, 2:56 PM

Dedication ceremony for K-161 in Bird City planned -9/3/2014, 2:56 PM

Local students awarded degrees from FHSU -9/3/2014, 1:44 PM

Estes brings unclaimed property to state fair -9/3/2014, 11:01 AM

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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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