there will come soft rains: Go see it.

I was having a conversation with someone about why there aren’t more SF plays. And lo! One appears. there will come soft rains contains adaptations of three short stories by Ray Bradbury, Stanislaw Lem, Bill Pronzini and Barry N. Malzberg. Using puppetry, minimal staging, dance and actors this created some of the most compelling theater I’ve seen in a long time.

What’s really exciting to me about the show is that the staging itself pushes the boundaries the way that the best SF does. I’ve often said that the thing that attracts me to both puppetry and speculative fiction is that they are both places where anything is possible. There Will Come Soft Rains took full advantage of that juxtaposition.

There Will Come Soft Rains is the sort of thing I want to see on the nominations list for Dramatic Short Form, but never do.

Seriously. Go see it. There’s only one show left. Saturday at 7:30.

Did you know you can support Mary Robinette on Patreon!

9 Responses

    1. Mary Robinette Kowal

      Honestly, I would not have thought any of the stories they picked, except the Stanislaw Lem one, would have worked well on stage. I’m rethinking my position on what kinds of stories would adapt well based on how they approached the plays.

  1. yeff (Jeff Soesbe)

    If I weren’t all the way across the country, I’d definitely go see it! Funny, there’s not much SF/F theatre in San Francisco.

    I have a BA in Drama, and a MS in Computer Science, and write spec fic, and like puppetry, and am a big nerd, so SF/F plays (with multi-media aspects, and puppets) sounds like it would totally push tons of my “cool” buttons.

    Back in March, when I was in San Antonio, Texas for my grandmother’s funeral, I went to see a multi-media SF/noir play called “The Case of the Neon Twins”. It was really interesting and even though I saw some flaws, I rather enjoyed it (my LJ on it here: http://jeffsoesbe.livejournal.com/150037.html).

    I’ve toyed on and off with the idea of writing plays based on SF/F stories and concepts. I’ve long thought that a character-driven drama based on the “spaceship of men arrives at planet settled by women” concept (eg, “When It Changed” or Moles’s “Planet of the Amazon Women”) could be really good. Not sure I could pull it off, though…

    – yeff

  2. Mike F

    That looks interesting. Maybe it will come here, Bradbury is from Illinois. Of course, the company putting on the show isn’t. My logic may be flawed.

    On a similar note, I took my son to see Walking with Dinosaurs here in Chicago. While it is more science than science fiction, it was very neat. I recommend it to anyone, young or old. 🙂

  3. David Loftus

    I suppose it’s not such a huge coincidence, since the story is so famous and beloved, but I read “There Will Come Soft Rains” last month in my Story Time for Grownups series at Grendel’s Coffee House here in Portland, along with two other of my favorite Bradburys, “There Was an Old Woman” and “The Utterly Perfect Murder.”

  4. Chris Billett

    Grr, Mary. Not only am I mad that I missed this show, but I am now going to have to read some Bradbury before I go to bed tonight! Actually, that’s not grr at all.

    Cool new (?) hat photo up there, by the way!

      1. Chris Billett

        On Tuesday I was telling Al which short stories from The Small Assassin to read that day (I’d leant him it) and it ended up being nearly all of them. Haha. We were talking about The Smiling People, for some reason.