ASU-Beebe to Present Dystopiana 

Feb 23rd, 2012 | By admin | Category: Education

The Arkansas State University-Beebe and Centennial Bank 2012 Cultural Season will present Dystopiana: The Science Fiction Plays of Ray Bradbury, featuring “The Veldt” and “To the Chicago Abyss,” March 2 and 3 at 7:30 p.m. and March 4 at 2:30 p.m. in the Owen Center Theater on the Beebe campus.

“The Veldt” is about two doting parents, who provide their children with a fantasy playroom in which their dreams come true. Bradbury began this work by writing down a word around which he would build the play and the word was “nursery.” Then he decided it should be a nursery of the future and he tried to imagine what it would be like. Within a few hours he had devised the perfect playroom for future children of doting parents. In their special playroom whatever the children imagined became real, and in this case it turned into the veldt on which hungry lions searched for food. It may come as a shock when audiences discover what it is the children decide to feed to those lions.

“To the Chicago Abyss” is another play in which Bradbury explained his intentions as a protest against great thinkers with great ideas demanding absolute excellence. He sets it in the bleakness of the future as an old man remembers the little pleasures of yesterday. He suggests, “If we took all the junk out of life, our juices would dry up, the sap would go dead in the trees, and we’d occupy an intellectual graveyard where we’d read each other’s headstones.” In the play, in a place like a bombed-out city, an old man encounters a young punk whose hostility turns to tears as now-forbidden little enjoyments are remembered. Out of this, the old man is given his ticket “to the Chicago abyss” where such things can still be part of life.

Both presentations are appropriate for ages 13 and up.   Seating is unreserved / first come, and the theater will open 30 minutes prior to curtain. Attendees are asked to arrive early for tickets, which will be for sale at the door beginning an hour before show time.

Ticket prices are $10 for general admission; $5 for seniors, students, military and educators. ASU-Beebe students, faculty and staff are entitled to two free tickets to any performance with an ASU-Beebe ID card.

For more information, call (501) 882-8951 or view ASU-Beebe’s Web site at