Main menu


Fahrenheit 451 Debuts at Hippodrome

Red-tinted light bulbs illuminate the Hippodrome Theater, igniting buzz of excitement on preview night. The open book sculpture sits on a white podium in the building’s Art He gallery.

“Oh, the words were there, but they flowed like hot oil into my eyes and meant nothing,” read the burnt-yellow page. It offers no peace, no harbor, no true love, no bed, no light.”

Novelist Ray Bradbury’s words will ring throughout the Hippodrome over the next two weeks as the Playhouse presents Fahrenheit 451, the first collaboration in its 50th season. The show, which has a cast of nine, runs from September 2nd to he’s September 18th. Book clubs, panel discussions, and after-parties accompany the play, along with an art exhibition inside the theater.

Set in a futuristic dystopia, Fahrenheit 451 is a highly grim and technologically advanced world where firefighters are ordered to burn a collection of books. Since its publication in 1953, the novel has faced numerous attempts at editing and banning due to its alleged vulgarity and themes of state-sponsored censorship.


The Hippodrome Theater art exhibition for the play Fahrenheit 451 is located in the building.

Inside the Hippodrome art gallery are 13 works created by local artist and art supply store owner Celino Dimitroff, 63. Combining sculpture and painting, Dimitrov’s craft was the result of three weeks of work.

Five of the sculptures in the art exhibition contain elements of the book, including the front cover, back cover, and inner pages. Each piece sets the tone of the play. Director Ralph Lemschael said there was no better time.

“There are many parent organizations and school boards, both in Florida and in this country, that have banned everything from Toni Morrison to Fahrenheit 451 itself,” Remshert said.

In April, the American Library Association reported that there were 729 complaints against materials in libraries, schools and colleges nationwide in 2021. This is the highest number in at least 20 years.

“We are blessed to live in America. We know we have freedom,” Dimitrov said. “But are we really?”

The Hippodrome’s artistic director, Stephanie Linge, said she chose “Fahrenheit 451” as one of the theater’s productions about a year ago. When she came back, she said Ray Bradbury wrote the book. Linde believes the meaning of the book was as important then as it is today. It’s all about ‘Beyond Limits’, the theme of the Hippodrome’s 50th season.

“The point of theater is to tell a story,” said Lindsey. “It’s how we connect as a community, as a culture. It’s how we experience things outside of ourselves. I’m excited to present this piece at this time.”

Are you enjoying what you are reading? Deliver The Alligator content to your inbox

To celebrate the start of the season, there will be a ‘Don’t Read ‘Fahrenheit 451” book club on September 9th, and an immersive event on September 15th where guests are encouraged to wear their own costumes. A type under the stage experience will be held. burning book. Gainesville locals are also invited to submit poems about the text until Sept. 18.

“Fahrenheit 451” is a co-production between the Hippodrome and the UF Theater and Dance School, which means that selected students (three in this case) can perform alongside experts in the field.

Alexandra Horton, a 25-year-old acting senior, plays Clarice McClellan, a curious and free-spirited teen.

“[With] One of my favorite lines in my character is, ‘You’re never going to feel good if you don’t feel silly,'” Horton said. “It’s this idea that you don’t have to adapt to live your life.”

Houghton expressed concern over recent attempts to ban books in his hometown of Lakeland. I objected to the allegations of pornography. These included titles such as Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” and David Levithan’s “Two Boys Kissing”.

“They seem to be books dealing with specific LGBTQ+ issues, specific races and important race theories,” Horton said.

Aware of the popularity of “Fahrenheit 451”, she said she hopes newcomers to the Hippodrome will embrace the text’s core message.

“It’s very powerful when people hear this story, remember the value of the book, feel it, realize the value of the knowledge it holds,” Horton said. “A tangible thing that can turn pages.”

Please contact Lauren at Follow her on Twitter @LaurenBrensel.

The Independent Florida Alligator has been independent from the University since 1971. Donating today helps #SaveStudentNewsrooms. Please consider handing over on the day.