Welcome Ray Bradbury Fans to PHASE THREE of our Crowd Funding Campaign!
WE NEED YOUR HELP!! This project has been years in the making. We're looking to raise $5000 to stage MARTIANS – AN EVENING WITH RAY BRADBURY , a new play about the wit and wisdom of the great author. Our goal is to open in September 2018 at The Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks, CA for ten performances. WE ARE MORE THAN HALFWAY TO OUR GOAL!
WHY THIS PLAY?
Ray Bradbury was a brilliant writer, but more than that his philosophies on how to live a life and his absolute "love of Man with a capital M" inspire us to be better human beings. His concerns are the play's concerns, that we go on, that our civilization survives, that it moves out to that starts, and that if we have lost our connection to each other as Earthlings maybe we can find it again -- as Martians!
HOW CAN YOU BE INVOLVED?
If you’re a Ray Bradbury fan we know you’ll enjoy this loving theatrical tribute his genius, his talent and his humanity. As a Backer you can help spread the word about Ray's legacy, and your name will go into our program. And check out a few of the cool REWARDS over to the right! Thank you all for your support! It means the world to us.
WHERE WILL THE MONEY GO?
With the monies already raised we have spent $500 for the rights Ray's short stories, $1500 to secure the Whitefire Theatre. That was PHASE ONE. During PHASE TWO we raised another five or six hundred to pay for some promotional materials like postcards, business cards, etc. We are now entering PHASE THREE where we are looking for pre-production funds:Designer fees, props and set pieces, costumes, etc. (Once the show opens Box Office receipts should pay for all the additional running costs like paying the actors.)
FOR HUMANITY TO SURVIVE WE MUST ALL BECOME MARTIANS!
Ray Bradbury brings his characters to life right before your eyes weaving Martian tales humorous and harrowing. Characters like Bob and Carrie, a young couple struggling to turn the cold, dead Mars into an Earthly garden. There’s Beck and Craig, two soliders of fortune searching for the legendary Blue Bottle of Mars! Father Niven’s religious faith traps a shapeshifting Martian in the form of Christ! Emil Barton is the alst man on Mars with only recordings of his younger self to keep him company, or drive him mad! In the end you come to know the heart and mind of the great writer who believes that humanity can only survive by carrying our culture out into the Universe!
Most of the text is taken from Ray’s own words, from interviews and books he’s written on the art of writing, as well as adaptations of his Martian stories The Strawberry Window, The Blue Bottle, The Messiah and Night Call, Collect.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
An Evening With Ray Bradbury
Created by Charlie Mount and Jeff G. Rack
Based on the short stories THE STRAWBERRY WINDOW, THE BLUE BOTTLE, THE MESSIAH and NIGHT CALL, COLLECT by Ray Bradbury. Performed and adapted by permission of Don Congdon Associates, Inc. Also based on Ray’s wit and wisdom.
Presented at The Whitefire Theatre
Friday Nights Sept 7 - Nov 2 at 8pm
Sat Nov 10 at 8pm
Directed by Jeff G. Rack
Charlie Mount as Ray Bradbury
With John T. Cogan ▪ Paul Gunning ▪ Eric Keitel ▪ Melissa Lugo ▪ Michael Perl ▪ Richard Mooney ▪ Don Moss ▪ Robert Paterno ▪ Joe Seely
Sound Design by Joseph "Sloe" Slawinski
Video Design by Gabrieal Griego
Publicity: Phil Sokoloff
Ray Bradbury is played by co-creater Charlie Mount who played him in a production of The October Country and produced Ray’s Irish play Falling Upward with Pat Harrington, Jr, both staged at Theatre West in association with Ray’s Pandemonium Theatre Company. Also a playwright Charlie’s plays include The Leather Apron Club (100% on Bitter Lemons), Against The Wall (Los Angeles Times Critic’s Pick) and Trumpets and Table-Tipping. His directing credits include Acting: The First Six Lessons (with Beau and Emily Bridges), Waiting in the Wings (with Betty Garrett, receiving an Ovation Award nomination), Seascape, Waiting for Lefty (Ovation nominated for outstanding production), Gaslight, and The Fantasticks (with Lee Meriwether). A professional illusionist and Magic Castle member, Charlie has performed at The Sands Casino in Atlantic City, featured on TV’s Magic’s Greatest Illusions and his magic show Abracadabra was an L.A. Weekly Pick of the Week.
Directed by co-creator Jeff G. Rack whose work as an Art Director for films and commercials, and as an EFX artist, can be seen in many films, including: Armageddon, Con-Air, Flubber, Mighty Joe Young, Kundun, and Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes. Probably best known to Los Angeles theater patrons for his award-winning set designs, Jeff has designed and built over 150 productions from Santa Barbara to Edinburgh, Scotland, and received an L.A. Weekly Award for his work on Frank Zappa’s Joe’s Garage. Shows he has adapted and directed for Unbound Production’s Wicked Lit include: H. P. Lovecraft’s The Unnamable, and The Lurking Fear, Sleepy Hollow, The Dead Smile, The Yellow Wallpaper, Dracula’s Guest and Robert E. Howard’s Pigeons From Hell. Other shows Jeff has directed are Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Birds, PEN, and The Mystery Plays.
Presented by The Whitefire Theatre and Arcane Theatre works this is a World Premiere event! Don't miss it! Opening September 7th, 2018 at The Whitefire Theatre, playing Fridays at 8pm through Nov 2nd with one Saturday night performance on November 10
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Charlie Mount served as the Artistic Director for the critically acclaimed Chestnuts Theatre Program at Theatre West where he produced the LA Premier of "Requiem for a Heavyweight", and "The Lion in Winter" with Jim Beaver, as well as directing Betty Garrett in "Waiting in the Wings" and earning an Ovation nomination for his staging of "Waiting For Lefty". Charlie directed Beau Bridges in the original production of "Acting - The First Six Lessons", his own plays "The Leather Apron Club", "The Spirits of Walpurgisnacht" and "Against The Wall". He co-produced with Ray Bradbury and his Pandemonium Theatre a production of "Falling Upward" with Pat Harrington, Jim Beaver’s play "Verdigris" and Lee Meriwether in "The Women of Spoon River". Other plays written by Charlie include "Trumpets and Table-Tipping" (about Harry Houdini) produced at Theatre 40 in Beverly Hills and "The Junto" at The Road Theatre. Originally from New York Charlie Mount developed his comedy/magic act at Manhattan’s famed Magic Towne House and became a regular at the world famous Comedy Cellar working with other newcomers like Jon Stewart, Ray Romano, Dennis Miller Colin Quinn and Chris Rock and was featured on the TV special "Magic’s Greatest Illusions" re-creating Houdini’s famous East Indian Needle Mystery. Charlie is a member of Hollywood’s famed Magic Castle.
(Charlie on "Magic's Greatest Illusions")
Charlie: “My first Ray Bradbury book was 'Long After Midnight' which I still own 45 years later, torn and dogearred and worn out but still so vital and alive. Ray instilled in me a lifelong love of books and I have lugged hundreds of paperbacks and hardcover volumes with me every time I move. I first met Ray when I was cast to play him in a stage adapatation of 'The Banshee' as part of an 'October Country' directed by Ray's long time friend Charles Rome Smith. What a thrill it was to meet a literary hero! I remember how Ray would greet me at every rehearsal by calling out 'Hello, Young Ray!' Although I did not intentionally set out to do a straight-forward imitation of Ray I was surprised by how many of his friends felt that I had captured his essence. It was then that I started thinking about playing Ray in a larger show. A couple of years later I co-produced Ray's wonderful Irish drama 'Falling Upward' with Pat Harrington and I got to know him better. I’d often visit him in his office (his “magician’s toyshop”) and discuss theatre, movies and books surrounded by all his toy robots and comic books, some 50s sci-fi B-movie always playing on the large screen TV nearby (very loudly as Ray had grown hard of hearing). Just before Ray’s passing I showed him an early version of MARTIANS and told him about our idea to adapt several of his Martian stories. And now, after several years of reworking and workshopping the script we are ready to bring this tribute to the stage. And opening night, in my back pocket, I'll be carrying my treasured copy of 'Long After Midnight'."
Jeff G. Rack
Jeff G. Rack has worked in many different areas of the film and entertainment industry over the last twenty-five years, but whether he’s writing, designing, or directing, Jeff approaches all his work as a storyteller. As an Art Director for films and commercials, and as an EFX artist, Jeff’s work can be seen in many films, including: "Armageddon", "Con-Air", "Flubber", "Mighty Joe Young", "Kundun", and Tim Burton’s "Planet of the Apes". Probably best known to Los Angeles theater patrons for his award-winning set designs, Jeff has designed and built over 150 productions from Santa Barbara to Edinburgh, Scotland, and recently received an L.A. Weekly Award for his work on Frank Zappa’s "Joe’s Garage". Jeff also served as one of the Artistic Directors and Producers of Unbound Productions; its very successful flagship production, Wicked Lit, takes classic horror literature and presents it theatrically in alternative venues. Shows he has adapted and directed for Unbound include: H. P. Lovecraft’s "The Unnamable", and "The Lurking Fear", "Sleepy Hollow", "The Dead Smile", "The Yellow Wallpaper", "Dracula’s Guest" and Robert E. Howard’s "Pigeons From Hell". Jeff also directed a very unique production of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", which used the very effective theatrical device of having four actors (3 men and 1 woman) portray the elusive and metaphysical Mr. Hyde. Other shows Jeff has directed are "PEN", and "The Mystery Plays". He was thrilled to direct two of Rod Serling’s original "Twilight Zone "episodes for Theatre West in Hollywood, which are still talked about and even received high praise from Carol Serling. Jeff was also a finalist in The 2008 Rod Serling Short Feature Scriptwriting Competition with his entry, "No Totos".
Jeff: "Like many fans, I first fell in love with Ray on the page. His short stories such as 'A Sound of Thunder', 'The Veldt’ and 'The Lake', took me to other worlds -- Ray’s worlds. They affected me deeply and made me want to create wondrous and magical worlds of my own.
I can still remember where I was when I first devoured and delighted in reading 'Something Wicked This Way Comes' and 'The Martian Chronicles'. I was enthralled and overwhelmed to hear Ray speak about going to Mars and why we needed to travel and populate other worlds. He was always hopeful and inspiring, and I wanted to emulate that. When I first moved to LA, I was a driver for a film company. Well it was my first day, and I was on Wilshire Blvd, in the wrong building – and lost. I went up in a rickety elevator with no door before I realized that this wasn’t the building I was supposed to be at. I entered the hallway and was about to go back down when I saw a door covered with all of my favorite things: King Kong, Robby the Robot and Martian spaceships among them. I had stumbled upon Ray’s office. The sign on the door said, 'Ring the bell. I’d love to see you'. Well, I did of course, but Ray wasn’t there - and yet he was. Ray was there for me that day, because after that I didn’t feel lost anymore, or afraid. I knew everything was going to work out – and it did – and now I’m here doing a play about Ray. I’ve had many more encounters with Ray over the years, from getting a hand written cease and desist note because I had wanted to make my own little film of 'A Sound of Thunder', to designing and building the set for his play, 'Falling Upward', to directing a flash mob performance of a scene from 'Fahrenheit 451' at the West Hollywood Library, which he said he loved (watch it on YouTube), but it all started with 'accidentally' finding his office that first day on the job in LA. It was a sign from Ray to keep going – you’re on the right path – don’t run back home – you can make it here. We’ll I’m still here - and Ray is still by my side. Thanks, Ray. "
(The Art of Designing A Set with Jeff G. Rack)
(Sets By Jeff Rack)
What an amazing ride this has been. Stellar reviews for an experimental show that has just performed so beautifully. And none of it would have been possible without your support and generosity. We can't thank you enough.
We are talking to a possible publisher for the play and we'll be speaking with someone from the Ray Bradbury Experience Museum opening in Ray's hometown in Illinois in 2020 and who knows what opportunities that will bring? So is this the end, or just the beginning?
Thanks to you all once again!
Many of you have already come to the show! For the rest of you I wanted to let you know that there are only FOUR PERFORMANCES LEFT! And there has been a date change! The Whitefire Theatre recently let us know of a scheduling conflict so we've had to cancel the November 10th performance. Since that was the only Saturday show they have replaced it with a November 3rd date.
So, to be clear, the remaining shows are on the following dates: Oct 19 and 26, Nov 2 and 3. Hope to see you there! For those of you who are due tickets remember to contact me directly with what night you'd like to come. Seating may become limited very quickly so make those reservations early!