The Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank Café
October 27-Nov 5
“The Radio Play is an electrifying experience, one that grips the imagination beyond the original.” —The Times, Edinburgh
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, War of the Worlds was presented as a Halloween thriller, or as Welles put it: “The Mercury Theatre’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 by 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 that Earth was the target of a full-scale invasion by aliens!! A staged dramatization of the original Orson Welles & Mercury Theater on the Air broadcast, SITI’s War of the Worlds’ original U.S. tour began weeks after September 11, 2001 and became a touchstone for audiences (and the company) to talk about events reshaping the country.