Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes

Sep 16 – Nov 12
Gilliam Stage at Barter Theatre

A play by Ray Bradbury

“Shades of Mark Twain with a touch of Stephen King, as if Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer had found themselves lost in a sinister fairground full of supernatural characters.”

Step inside. The show is about to begin. The carnival rolls in to town sometime after midnight, ushering in Halloween a week early. For Jim and Will, two almost 14-year-old boys, the lure of the carnival is irresistible. They soon discover that a sinister secret lies behind the smoke and mirrors; the carnival holds a dark desire to destroy the whole town. A spine-tingling battle between good and evil, in which only Jim, Will and Will’s mild-mannered father can save the day. This deliciously scary adventure is about friendship, innocence and perfectly captures the wondrous belief we all possess when we are 14-years-old. A tale for the whole family to enjoy together.

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Director's Notes

Reflections on Ray Bradbury’s SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES

Even as we approach autumn and the trees slowly begin to shed their leaves – a leaf here, a leaf there – as they begin to walk that glorious trail to an explosion of color and then temporary death as they hibernate for the winter, only to, ultimately, be born again in the spring (or not, if they do not make it to the spring), I am reminded of my youth.

October has always been, for me, a both glorious and frightening time of year. The trees turn their most beautiful colors and a true sense of mystery clings to the air as the winds get colder and all of the animals, including us humans, prepare for the unknown winter ahead. And some of us, people, animals and trees, won’t make it through the winter.

This explosion of color, where pumpkins turned their brightest orange and leaves turned their most vibrant shades of flame including red, was the epitome of death: A final flame and then gone. Growing up Catholic, it was not lost on me that this beauty was capped by All Hallows’ Eve, which reminded us of evil in the world right before we celebrated All Saints’ Day. We remembered those before us who made the world a better place through their good actions. Next came All Souls Day, when we recalled those we knew who had since departed and during which we prayed for our own souls and the souls of others around us.

Frightening in every way to a young boy and to adults; this was an annual recognition of this mystery that we call life.

No one has ever captured this fright, this mystery, and this hope like Ray Bradbury. Through the symbolism of the autumn leaves, the cold breeze, the coming of winter and the potential death of the impending storms that would ultimately bring a harsh and maybe life ending cold and snows, Ray Bradbury sums up in Something Wicked This Way Comes everything that ran through my imagination as a boy – fear and hope – and still today that stirs in me as autumn moves into winter and we all are
reminded of our tentative existence on this earth.

Bradbury reminds us that good and evil exist simultaneously outside of us and within us and is not so easily discerned as we might hope each to be. Inside of us, our imaginations can trap us either within the good around us, or the evil of our desires.

The Flint Journal wrote, “Bradbury crosses over the lines that divide....His true vocation is that of spinning yarns, some fanciful, others morbid, and yet others laced with an undeniable sense of hope.”

Upon the death of Ray Bradbury in 2012, the San Antonio Express-News wrote, “Ray Bradbury can still stir and stretch the imagination....Time has not dimmed his eloquent and elegant voice or his lively imagination that asks ‘what if’ and then answers.”

Something Wicked This Way Comes unleashes that imagination in us and asks the question of ‘what is our great fear’ and then answers it.

Richard Rose, Director

Cast & Credits


Mr. Halloway: Rick McVey
Jim Nightshade: Barrett Guyton
Will Halloway: Joseph Matthew Veale
Lightning Rod Salesman: Sean Maximo Campos
Mr. Tetley: Andrew Hampton Livingston
Mr. Cosetti: Josh Levinson
Mr. Dark: Nick Koesters
Miss Foley: Ashley Campos
Mrs. Halloway: Hannah Ingram
Jim’s Mom: Ashley Campos
The Dust Witch/Ice Woman: Hannah Ingram
Cooger/Electrico: Andrew Hampton Livingston
Robert/Young Cooger: Emmitt George Breeding
Policemen: Josh Levinson, Rick McVey
Girl: Olivia Stevens

Cooger and Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show:
The Freak Clown: Emmitt George Breeding
The Two-Headed Lady: Brandy Drzymkowski
Mr. Pinhead: Angie Fisher
The Snake Woman: Jenna Haimes
The Devil Man: Jenny Judd
World’s Tiniest Woman: Olivia Stevens
Half Pig, Half Man: Sarah Van Deusen

Dark and Cooger’s Carousel:
Carousel Horses: Sean Maximo Campos, Jenna Haimes, Josh Levinson
Carousel Characters: Angie Fisher, Jenny Judd, Sarah Van Deusen
Townsfolk: Angie Fisher, Hannah Ingram, Olivia Stevens, Emmitt George Breeding, Jenna Haimes, Brandy Drzymkowski

Rehearsal Assistant Stage Manager: Victoria L. Sutton


Director: Richard Rose
Original Music: Matt Martin
Set & Projection Designer: Derek Smith
Costume Designer: Amanda Aldridge & Lee Alexander Martin
Wig & Makeup Designer: Whitney Kaibel
Lighting Designer: Andrew Morehouse
Sound Designer: Tony Angelini
Stage Manager: Kristy Goebel

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