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Reporting on movies, film festivals, film production, premieres, movie events, industry trends and plays from around the world

The Global Film Village: Ray Bradbury’s Wisdom 2116


by Marc Halperin

We went to see the new play written and produced by Ray Bradbury it has been many years since the play was first conceived for his friends Charles Laughton and Elsa Lanchester. We were very lucky and Ray was at the theatre to introduce the play. (video attached below)

Times have changed, but people are still the same. We all grow up, the lucky ones fall in love and get old. It is a simple story and the reason Ray calls it Wisdom 2116 is to denote that. Ray’s latest play is about an elderly couple that is still in love after 40 years of marriage. Each wants to ensure that the other is cared for after they pass on so they each purchase a robot of themselves at an earlier age to be a companion for the other. Of course neither knows that the other is doing this. Their gifts don’t end up having the anticipated effect but they both gain a new understanding of love and life as a result.

I have been a Bradbury fan almost since I first learned to read. I first met Ray at a World Science Fiction Convention back in the 1970s. Marla and I were privileged to be invited to his 80th birthday party which included a radio style reading of several of his plays. We have spent much time with him over the years at the Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference that he has addressed every year and at many other events.

Ray Bradbury signs a copy of Futuria Fantasy for the widow of the founder of his first writing group. photo by Marc Halperin (c) 2010

The secret to Ray’s longevity both in life and his work is that he always faces it with a sense of wonder. He loves books and is always willing to talk to young people about literacy.  He says you should never watch the evening news before you go to to bed because it fills your head with negativity. He always advises that to be a writer you should fill your mind with the wonders of our world, poetry and metaphors.

I asked him what he was working on now and he said he would like to revive the musical version of Dandelion Wine that was first performed on Broadway. Ray said there has been three versions of the music created over the years but he prefers the first version. He said he would like to produce it here in Los Angeles and was working on that.

Ray proudly told me that his Something Wicked This Way Comes is playing all over Europe and very successfully  in Ireland.

It is truly amazing to see an 89 year old with this much drive. Ray reminds me of our old friend Dorothy Hart who managed the Lorenz Hart estate almost right up to the moment she passed at 96. There is something truly inspirational to these members of what has been called “the greatest generation”. They saw two world wars and the Great Depression but to the last many of them retained their conviction that anything was possible if you set your mind to it.

It is always a pleasure to see Ray and to see one of his plays performed. I look forward to seeing what he has in store for us next. The accompanying video gives you a wonderful sense of the man.

Fremont Centre Theatre, 1000 Fremont Ave. (at El Centro), South Pasadena, CA 91030. Ample free parking behind theatre.


Now through Saturday, February 27. Fri. & Sat. at 8 p.m., Sun. at 3 p.m.

ADMISSION: $20. Seniors, $15. Students, $10.

RESERVATIONS: (323) 960-4451.


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About MarlaLewinGFV

Lewin Marla
(Global Film Village)

Marla is a producer, playwright, screenwriter, publicist and now a journalist. She attends 12 to 20 film festivals per year. She has spoken on filmmaking at many festivals including Cannes and SXSW.


Los Angeles

United States

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