Actor Bill Oberst Jr. is starting a live performance tour of horror, sci-fi and comic conventions with his award-winning Ray Bradbury solo show, Ray Bradbury’s Pillar of Fire. Oberst’s theatrical reading of Bradbury’s creepy tale debuted to sold-out houses in LA last summer and it is already touring colleges. The actor says he was driven to take the show to conventions by his passion for classic horror literature. “The roots of the genre are in gothic literature,” he says, “this is something different than the usual sit-behind-a-table convention drill, but Vincent Price toured with live performances of Poe and brought them to new generations of fans. I’d like to do the same with Ray Bradbury.”
Oberst also says “Pillar of Fire is the original zombie story; the hero is a walking dead man who hates the living. It’s also the most eloquent defense of Halloween and horror ever written.” When Bradbury published the tale in 1948, Americans were burning horror comics like Tales from the Crypt on the advice of a popular psychologist, who said they corrupted the morals of youth. Bradbury’s story is set in a world where dark literature and human burials are banned; a society cleansed of fear. Oberst’s performance of the piece at the 2015 Hollywood Fringe Festival in Los Angeles, directed by Ezra Buzzington, won rave reviews from critics and an Ernest Kearney Platinum Medal.
Ray Bradbury’s Pillar of Fire was just announced as part of the schedule for Avalon Expo 2016 in St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada. Oberst encourages conventions that have an interest in this performance to get in touch with him. “I can guarantee you that anyone who loves classic horror will love this show,” he says “not because of me – because of Ray Bradbury. I’m just the messenger.” Show info and contact details are at www.billoberst.com/ray-bradbury/