For sometime now I've been flirting with the idea of directing Ray Bradbury's MARTIAN CHRONICLES. There are things about it I like, but more that I don't. A setting on another planet really appeals to me. Does anyone else of know of other science fiction titles?
I saw a production of Don Elwell's "Cyberpunk Opera" in Baltimore several years ago, and it's a nice piece. It's part of a trilogy he has out called The Coyote Trilogy. Very simple staging, but includes a soundtrack. Baltimore citypaper reviewed it here : http://www2.citypaper.com/arts/story.asp?id=12205
I haven't been to the forum in a long time. I just discovered this post I put up in 2008, flirting with the idea of THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES. (I have been here since then, I just didn't remember asking about this so long ago.)
Anyway, I finally did THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES in Spring 2013. I also used slide projections, which was another of my inquiries a while back.
It was my last show before retiring from teaching. I had wanted to do it for a long time.
I was happy with the production, but I'm still not crazy about a lot of the script.
Script is published by Dramatic Publishing. It was adapted by Bradbury himself. One can't argue with Bradbury's immense success as a writer, but the script isn't a very good adaptation. Parts of it work well for the stage, other parts don't. Personally, I think there is a lot in the book that could have worked better than some of the stories he chose.
As I indicated, I had flirted with this work for a long time. Finally, I let the challenge of staging a play on Mars outweigh my reservations about the script.
Overall, I was please with the result, but I would hope the Bradbury estate would allow another adaptation.
The Martian Chronicles was one of my favorite books when I was younger. I'm also the proud owner of an early edition that has a extra chapter/story that has been cut from modern ones. I want to know a little more about the script/production.
How was it received? What parts, in particular, worked and didn't? Was the story There Will Come Soft Rains included - I'm curious how that particular chapter would be done on stage. Also did you have the bonfire at the end where the father is burning all the encyclopedias and atlases? How was that handled? Or did the script end The Martian Chronicles in some other way? What sort of changes in general from the original were made to suit the stage?
I also know that there was a TV series, back in the 1980s, I believe, called TheRay Bradbury Theater, that did adaptations of Bradbury's work, including many from The Martian Chronicles. Bradbury personally worked with the show. I wonder if this script you have, of which you said "parts of it don't work on stage", are quick rewrites of television scripts from that series.
Sorry I have taken so long to reply. The production was well-received, but this was a high school production in a relatively small community. The best scenes were those that adhered to the short story format--a complete story in one scene. The renegade Spender episode went on for three or four scenes. It was much too long, as was the Usher II scene. I did a lot of cutting to tighten up the script. My favorite story SOFT RAINS is not included. I understand why, but I think a skilled dramatist and director can make it work.
Script is available from Dramatic Publishing, if you wish to compare. As I say, I'd like to see the Bradbury estate commission a new version.