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It Was a Pleasure to Watch: ‘Fahrenheit 451’ Burns its Name into HTC history

Hannon Theatre Company’s Fall production, ‘Fahrenheit 451,’ is based on the classic American novel by Ray Bradbury. In a tale from the future, firemen don’t extinguish fires – they burn books. Reading is banned in the interest of maintaining homeland security.

There were six performances from Nov. 11-19. Rehearsals were held three to four times a week, and the crew worked behind the scenes to build the set.

Sophomore Jack Saade, member of the stage crew, expressed a few reasons for why he joined HTC.

“Theater is such a great place of genuine talent for people who aren’t athletes. Everyone there does everything to put on the show for others; I think that’s just amazing. I like seeing how things work and being on crew is nothing but that.”

Director of ‘Fahrenheit 451′ Walter Wolfe worked with the actors in the weeks leading up to the performance. “I was worried that our ideas were kind of out there, but luckily our initial concept came through, and people really responded to it. It ended up being more than I had ever hoped for,” Wolfe said.

The music accompanying the play is the work of Steven Speciale, who composed each song himself.

“We used two violins, a cello, a toy piano, two different synthesizers, an upright piano and a computer to make all the music,” Speciale said. “This play needed music to move the story along. Part of the story is about technology run amok and its impact on people and humanity, so we wanted to create a technological world completely out of analog sounds. It was a challenge I accepted readily.”

Senior James Crisafulli, who played Guy Montag, commented on his experience with HTC throughout his years at Loyola. “’Fahrenheit 451’ was an amazing show to be a part of, and, as it marked the end of my time in the Hannon Theatre Company, it was a very special experience for me,” Crisafulli said. “It was the most fun I’ve had during a rehearsal process, as everyone was so passionate about the show.”

Senior Eleanor Hammond, student at Episcopal School of Los Angeles and the actress behind Mildred, said that performing in ‘Fahrenheit 451’ offered unique social commentary still pertinent to today.

“I continued to see an increase in the show’s poignancy and relevance to today’s current political climate in America,” Hammond said. “As a performer, this show was nothing like I’d ever done with it’s abstract and sci-fi like characteristics, and I am so glad that I got such a unique and thrilling experience at Hannon Theatre.”

From imitating cars to making up the mechanical hound, the ensemble created the backbone of the play. Freshman Steven Townsend was one of the members of the ensemble.

“It was a very interesting and intriguing production. It was as if something was beckoning to me in the theater. The play went super well .I really enjoyed being in it,” Townsend said.

The next production by Hannon Theatre is the spring musical, ‘Once Upon a Mattress,’  which will run from Apr. 27-May 6.


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