Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bradbury 13: There Was An Old Woman

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me.
The Carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality

–Emily Dickinson

This week's Bradbury 13 episode is an adaptation of There Was An Old Woman, which was published in 1944 and can be found in The Stories of Ray Bradbury. I'm including references to the stories for the bookworms out there :read:. The radio drama was produced at BYU and aired in the spring of 1984. It received a Peabody Award {for excellence in radio broadcasting} that year and featured some of the finest of the local talent. Ruth Hale, playwright, theater owner and actress, plays the lead role in There Was An Old Woman, and does a really amazing job. Her husband, Nathan Hale, also plays a part in this episode and their daughter, Janet Swenson, has parts in several of the other episodes.

There Was An Old Woman
It was the quiet and restful time of the day. Silence. Just the bone porcelain flowered clock on the mantle chiming three, ticking away, busy as termites in wood; just the old room smelling of polished mahogany and oiled leather in the Morris Chair, books, sitting stiff on the shelves. The dark young man smiled from the antique rocker. He listened patiently, politely, as Aunt Tildy chatted away, while four men dressed in black stood in the hall with the wicker basket, waiting.

My Rating: :surprised: :surprised: :surprised:
I'm beginning to wonder if I'm just being stingy with my ratings, because There Was An Old Woman is another 3 of 5 {which is technically a 13 out of 10}. Aunty Tildy and I happen to disagree about death. She just doesn't believe in it. I'm not sure why anyone would want to hang around forever. Don't get me wrong; I love life and I'm in no hurry to part with it. But when things start to wear out and quit working properly, I think I'll be ready to move on. I'm square with that, but Tildy never married because she couldn't bear the thought of a husband up and dying on her after 30 or 40 years. She is even hesitant to take in her niece when she needs her because her niece believes in death and she's not sure she wants to be around those kinds of beliefs. And when Death himself comes to call, she refuses to go with him. He tries to outwit her, but will she let a little thing like Death get the best of her?

Air Date:
April 23, 1984

{Morgan White, Ruth Hale and (probably) Tanya Neff.
Photo courtesy of Phil at Ray Bradbury & Media
©Mike McDonough}
Paul Frees

Ruth Hale
Nathan Hale
Kim Jensen
Tanya Neff
Bob Nelson
Duane Hyatt
Morgan White

Roger Hoffman
Greg Hansen

Production Assistant:
Patrick Mead

Associate Producer:
Jeff Raider

Created, Produced, Directed:
Mike McDonough

Executive Producer:
Dean Van Uitert

Audio Clip of There Was An Old Woman
Buy There Was An Old Woman mp3
Buy Bradbury 13 Audio CDs


Michelle said...

What fun!

Phil said...

Interesting to learn about Ruth Hale - I had no idea she had such a career as actor, thatre owner and writer.

Call me stupid, but how does 3 out of 5 equate to 13 out of 10?

- Phil

Elizabeth said...

This is such a great series. I think they are all 10's. The rating between 1 and 5 is my own personal preference, kind of a way to catalog my favorites.


Jill said...

You had a typo Elizabeth! You meant to say 10 out of 13, that's (in part) why Phil was confused!

I always liked the ultra fantasy of this story. It feels a bit more outlandish to me than some of this other stories. The ending is particularly interesting to me. (I love how her voice echoes!) But this is one that gives me pause, again. Do I share with my little ones? Or wait 5 more years?