A theater review: ‘Fahrenheit 451′
By Ethan C. Brogan
INDIANA – Writer Ray Bradbury’s 1953 dystopian story “Fahrenheit 451” opened last week on Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Waller Hall stage two days after American voters told a similar unsettling tale in the Nov. 4 midterm elections. TV pundits diagnosed the returns as an expression of fear and loathing amid a profoundly unsettling period.
Bradbury, who died in 2012 at age 91, would have appreciated the timing of the IUP stage adaptation. He wrote his most popular story – about book-burners (the title is a reference to the temperature at which paper combusts) – a half century ago at the height of the 20th century’s second Red Scare. The experience contributed to American historian Richard J. Hofstadter’s famous 1964 essay “The Paranoid Style in American Politics.”