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New Fortune Theatre Company Stages Reading Of George Orwell’s Classic ‘1984’

Dystopian tale to be performed Monday at San Diego Central Library

Credit: New Fortune Theatre Company

Above: New Fortune Theatre Company performing a staged reading of "Troilus and Cressida" (July 25, 2015). They will be staging a reading of George Orwell's "1984" on March 20 at San Diego Central Library.

GUESTS:

Richard Baird, "1984" director

Beth Accomando, KPBS arts reporter

Transcript

George Orwell wrote his novel "1984" more than six decades ago. But his cautionary tale about Big Brother, Newspeak and historical revisionism is striking a fresh chord today and will be performed this Monday.

Companion viewing

"1984" (1984)

"Brazil" (1985)

"V For Vendetta" (2005)

George Orwell wrote his novel "1984" more than six decades ago. But his cautionary tale about Big Brother, Newspeak and historical revisionism is striking a fresh chord today and will be performed this Monday.

New Fortune Theatre Company warns that attending its staged reading of "1984" is committing a "ThoughtCrime." That's the term Orwell coined in 1949 to describe thoughts that Big Brother had deemed illegal.

If you haven't read "1984" since high school, here's a quick refresher. The novel is set in what was once Great Britain but now is known as Airstrip One, a province of the superstate Oceania. The world of the novel is one that is in perpetual war, under omnipresent government surveillance, and subject to constant public manipulation. Winston Smith, the protagonist, has the job of removing people from the public record when the government deems it necessary. But one day he starts to question the status quo and the government.

Richard Baird directs the reading of Orwell’s famous dystopian tale, which is set in a library and will be fittingly performed in one.

"I don’t think there’s a time when '1984' is not relevant. And that’s something that’s terrifying about '1984' actually," Baird said. "In a world where we are having quite a debate politically and where such a thing as alternative facts exist, this seemed a very relevant reading right now."

New Fortune’s performance of "1984" takes place at 7 p.m. Monday at the San Diego Central Library. As Baird urged — don't doublethink but rather think for yourself and come.

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