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War of the Worlds - Radio Play (1999-2003)

Directed by: Anne Bogart and Darron L West

Performed by:

Akiko Aizawa
J. Ed Araiza
Shawn Fagan
Jeffrey Fracé
Susan Hightower
Barney O'Hanlon
Stephen Duff Webber

Lighting Design: Brian Scott
Sound Design: Darron L West
Company Stage Manager: Megan Wanlass Szalla
Production Manager: Anne B. Gellert
Managing Director: Megan Wanlass Szalla

Premiered October 30, 1999 at The West Bank Cafe in New York City
Joe's Pub The Public Theater January 2000
The Kennedy Center, Washington DC February 2000
Edinburgh International Festival August 2000
Utah State University Morgan Theater January 2001

Director's Note:

On the foggy fall evening of October 30, 1938, America went to war with Mars!!! Adapted for radio by Howard Koch and starring Orson Welles and his Mercury Theater on the Air. War of the Worlds was presented as a Halloween thriller, or as Welles put it: "The Mercury Theater's own radio version of dressing up in a sheet and jumping out of a bush and saying 'boo!!'"   But, for those who tuned in late, "normal" programming appeared to be interrupted with the startling news that there were "explosions occurring on Planet Mars" Reports followed stating that a huge flaming object had fallen to earth on a farm near Grover's Mill, New Jersey.   More landings were soon reported and an anxious radio audience came to the frightening conclusion the Earth was the target of a full scale invasion by aliens.

War of the Worlds is the program which terrified a nation.   Thousands fled their homes in panic. In New York City, swarms of curious and frightened citizens crowded the streets to catch a glimpse of a real space battle. In the town of Grover's Mill, the local water tower was pumped full of buckshot as frightened believers fired at what they thought was a giant Martian war machine. The true power of broadcast made itself known on that Halloween Eve in 1938, and no one has forgotten the chilling fear and awesome force of this, radio's single most famous broadcast.

Now, 64 years after the original broadcast this radio classic comes to life as performed by SITI Company.