Theater, Film

The War of the Worlds (Radio Drama)

The Colligan Theater
Sat Nov 7 12:30am everyday

About The War of the Worlds (Radio Drama)

Virtual - Online Performance

The War of the Worlds was an episode of the American radio drama anthology series Mercury Theatre on the Air. It was performed as a Halloween episode of the series on October 30, 1938 and aired over the Columbia Broadcasting System radio network. Directed and narrated by actor and future filmmaker Orson Welles, the episode was an adaptation of H.G. Wells’ novel The War of the Worlds.
Howard Koch updated the story by changing the location and time from Victorian England to present day New England. These changes reinvigorated the story, making it more personal for the listeners.

Although Welles went on the air as himself and introduced the setting of the play, many people tuned into the program fifteen minutes after the start. This was partly because the Mercury Theatre ran opposite the popular Chase and Sanborn Hour on NBC. Once the comic sketches ended, people began tuning around the dial. The official sounding reports and interrupted bulletins apparently confused many listeners and added to the program’s quality of realism. When some people learned of the Martians' ferocious and seemingly unstoppable attack on Earth, they ran out of their homes screaming, while others packed up their cars and fled.

Free Event

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