Radio Play by Howard Koch
Based on the novel by HG Wells
Directed by Anne Bogart & Darron L West
Performed by SITI Company
THE CAST (in alphabetical order)
Stephen Duff Webber
Running time is approximately 1 hour with no intermission.
Production Stage Manager
Brian H. Scott*
Darron L West*
Ellen M. Lavaia
Megan E Carter
All actors and stage managers are Members of Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers of the United States.
*Member of the United Scenic Artists Union (USA).
Anne Bogart is a member of SDC, the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, an independent national labor union.
War of the Worlds is performed with permission of Anne Koch.
Premiered October 30, 1999 at The West Bank Café in New York City.
Special Thanks to J.Ed Araiza, Will Bond, Susan Hightower, Megan Wanlass, and Tiffani Swalley.
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in Partnership with the City Council. SITI Company’s 30th Anniversary Season and Legacy Plan were funded, in part, by Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and New York Community Trust.
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 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 that 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 Halloween Eve in 1938, and no one has forgotten the chilling fear and awesome force of radio’s single most famous broadcast.
Now, 84 years after the original broadcast, this radio classic comes to life as performed by the SITI Company, who first created the play 23 years ago.
We hope you will enjoy this evening as much as we have enjoyed the preparation of it for you.
ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM
Anne Bogart (Co-Director) is Co-Artistic Director of SITI Company, which she founded with Tadashi Suzuki in 1992. She is a Professor at Columbia University where she runs the Graduate Directing Program. Works with SITI include FALLING & LOVING, The Bacchae, Chess Match No. 5; A Rite; Café Variations; Trojan Women (After Euripides); Antigone; Under Construction; Freshwater; Radio Macbeth; Hotel Cassiopeia; Death and the Ploughman; La Dispute; Score; Cabin Pressure; bobrauschenbergamerica; Room; War of the Worlds–the Radio Play; Alice’s Adventures; Culture of Desire; Bob; Going, Going, Gone; Small Lives/Big Dreams; The Medium. She is the author of six books: The Art of Resonance, A Director Prepares; The Viewpoints Book; And Then, You Act; Conversations with Anne; and What’s the Story.
Darron L West (Co-Director & Soundscape) has been a SITI Company member since 1993. He is a TONY and OBIE award-winning sound designer whose 30-year career spans theater and dance, Broadway and Off-Broadway. His work has been heard in over 600 productions all over the United States and internationally in 14 countries. Additional honors include the Drama Desk, Lortel, Audelco and Princess Grace Foundation Statue Awards, among others.
James Schuette (Costume Designer) James has designed scenery and/or costumes for over 17 SITI productions. His work has been seen at A.R.T., A.C.T., Actors Theatre of Louisville, Arena Stage, BAM, Berkeley Rep, Classic Stage, Court Theatre, Goodman Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Long Wharf Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Manhattan Theatre Club, McCarter Theatre, NY Live Arts, New York Theatre Workshop, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Playwrights Horizons, Public Theatre, Seattle Rep, Steppenwolf, Signature Theatre, Trinity Rep, Vineyard Theatre, Wexner Center, Yale Rep, Boston Lyric Opera, Chicago Opera Theatre, Glimmerglass Opera, Houston Grand Opera, LA Opera, New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera Seattle Opera, and internationally.
Brian H Scott (Lighting Designer) has designed lighting with SITI for Bacchae, Trojan Women; Persians; American Document; Under Construction; Who Do You Think You Are; Hotel Cassiopeia; Death and the Ploughman; bobrauschenbergamerica (Henry Hewes Design Award 2004). With Rude Mechs: Stop Hitting Yourself; Now Now, Oh Now; Method Gun; I’ve Never Been So Happy; How Late It Was, How Late; Lipstick Traces; Requiem for Tesla; and Matchplay. He designed light for Ann Hamilton’s event of a thread and the theatre is a blank page. With Park Avenue Armory, he has created lighting for tears become… streams become… with Douglas Gordon, The Let Go for Nick Cave and for Laurie Anderson and Kronos Quartet’s Landfall.
Ellen M. Lavaia (Production Stage Manager) Broadway: The Lion King, Annie, Les Misérables, and Matilda. Select New York Credits: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Macbeth, and A Man’s a Man. With SITI Company: Steel Hammer, Persians, Cafe Variations, Radio Macbeth, the theater is a blank page, bob, Chess Match No. 5, Hanjo, The Bacchae, and The Medium. Lavaia has toured internationally through China, Republic of Georgia, Hong Kong, Italy, Romania, Slovenia, Switzerland, Japan and UAE. Additional credits: NBC’s The Sound of Music Live! and the 2013 Tony Awards. Education: MFA, Columbia University. BA, Gonzaga University. She is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and Local 764.
Megan E. Carter (Producing Director) Before joining SITI Company, Megan was the Producing Director of CalArts Center for New Performance, where she worked on international collaborations from Poland to China. She has developed and produced devised ensemble work and new plays with Ripe Time, Lear deBessonet, SITI Company, Palissimo, the Rude Mechs, Liz Duffy Adams, Sheila Callaghan, and Virginia Grise, among others. Megan served as dramaturg on the American Premiere of Jackie by Elfriede Jelinek and has edited the English translations of a number of Jelinek’s plays. She developed a lot of new works as the Associate Artistic Director of WP Theater from 2006-2013. Education: MFA in Dramaturgy, Brooklyn College.
ABOUT THE CAST
Jeffrey Fracé (Ensemble) is a former Associate Artist of SITI Company. With SITI: Hay Fever, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Culture of Desire, and War of the Worlds – Radio Play. Recent credits include Father Comes Home from the Wars (Jones Playhouse), Home (Meany Center, with Doug Varone), 11 Comets (Meany Center, with Rachael Lincoln), and The Life Model (On the Boards). Venues include the Kennedy Center, New York Shakespeare Festival, American Repertory Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Nashville Shakespeare Festival, Stonington Opera House, Cleveland Public Theatre, Chopin Theatre (Chicago), and ACT Theatre (Seattle). He is a founding member of Conni’s Avant Garde Restaurant, writing for and performing in their original shows in New York and nationally. Currently based in Seattle, he is Head of Acting at University of Washington. MFA, Columbia University.
Gian-Murray Gianino (Ensemble) has created and performed in SITI productions of The Bacchae, Steel Hammer, Trojan Women, bobrauschenbergamerica, theatre is a blank page, Hanjo, Radio Macbeth, systems/layers, and Freshwater. He has worked at BAM, Second Stage, Signature Theatre, The Public Theater, Japan Society, WP Theater, SoHo Rep, and HERE Arts, as well as Yale Rep, Arena Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Arts and Ideas Festival, Getty Villa, The Court (Chicago), Krannert Center, Walker Art Center, Wexner Center, MC93 Bobigny (Paris), Bonn Biennale (Germany), Dublin Theatre Festival, GIFT Festival (Tbilisi, Georgia), and the Theatre Olympics (Toga-mura, Japan). FILM: Abaddon, Inside Me, Hospitality, Dead Canaries. TV: The Affair, Limitless, White Collar, Law & Order, All My Children. B.A. Wesleyan.
Leon Ingulsrud (Ensemble) helped found SITI Company and currently serves as a co-artistic director. With SITI he has appeared in Orestes, bobrauschenbergamerica, Hotel Cassiopeia, Under Construction, Radio Macbeth, Antigone, War of the Worlds–Radio Play, Trojan Women, A Rite (with Bill T Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company), the theater is a blank page, The Bacchae, Falling & Loving (with STREB). Leon was a member of the Suzuki Company of Toga for seven years and also served as a resident director at the ATM Arts Center in Mito, Japan. Leon has taught around the world and holds an MFA in directing from Columbia University. He translates Japanese contemporary plays and has been featured in games and television.
Ellen Lauren (Ensemble) SITI Company Founding Member & Co-Artistic Director – credits include: Three Sisters, FALLING & LOVING (with STREB), The Bacchae, Room, Chess Match #5, Trojan Women, Under Construction, bobrauschenbergamerica, Radio Macbeth, Death and the Ploughman, A Rite (with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company), Hotel Cassiopeia, Cabin Pressure, Going Going Gone, and Orestes. Associate Artist Suzuki Company of Toga (SCOT) under the direction of Tadashi Suzuki – credits include Electra, Dionysus, King Lear, Oedipus, and Waiting for Romeo. Festivals and venues: SIFA, Iberoamericano Bogotá, Humana Festival, Bobigny94 Paris, Theatre Olympics, Krannert Center, BAM, NY Theatre Workshop, CSC, WP Theater, Beijing Center for the Arts, Kitchijoji Theater Tokyo, Moscow Art Theatre, Teatro Olympico Vicenza, Toga International Festival, Olympic Arts Shizuoka, Buenos Aires Festival, Festival Mundial Chile. Faculty: Juilliard.
Kelly Maurer (Assistant Director) has been a member of SITI since its inception. SITI credits include Orestes, bobrauschenbergamerica, American Document, Radio Macbeth, La Dispute, Hayfever, The Medium, Small Lives/Big Dreams, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Culture of Desire and Cabin Pressure, at theatres including The Joyce, NYTW, P.S. 122, Walker Arts Center, Wexner Arts Center, the Irish Life Theater Festival, Public Theater, Bobigny (Paris) and the Edinburgh Festival. Regional credits include And What of the Night at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Hamlet at StageWest, and Miss Julie at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Internationally, she has toured with Tadashi Suzuki in the Suzuki Company of Toga’s Dionysus and director Robert Wilson in Persephone. Faculty: Atlantic Theater Acting School at NYU.
Barney O’Hanlon (Ensemble) has appeared in SITI Company’s productions of Three Sisters, The Bacchae, War of the Worlds, bobrauschenbergamerica, Hotel Cassiopeia, Trojan Women, A Rite (with Bill T. Jones/ Arnie Zane Dance Company), and Steel Hammer with the Bang on a Can All-Stars. Barney choreographed the world premiere of Anne Washburn and Dave Malloy’s musical Little Bunny Foo Foo, directed by Les Waters at Actors Theatre of Louisville; Anne Washburn’s 10 out of 12 at Soho Rep, directed by Les Waters; Charles L. Mee’s The Glory of The World at BAM, directed by Les Waters; and Sarah Ruhl’s The Oldest Boy, directed by Rebecca Taichman at Lincoln Center Theater.
Stephen Duff Webber (Ensemble) SITI: FALLING & LOVING (with STREB), The Bacchae, Hanjo, A Rite (with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company), Steel Hammer, American Document (with Martha Graham Dance Co.), Antigone, Hotel Cassiopeia, Under Construction, Freshwater, Death and the Ploughman, bobrauschenbergamerica, systems/layers (with Rachel’s), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cabin Pressure, Going Going Gone, Culture of Desire, The Medium, War of the Worlds – Radio Play. In NYC, he has performed at PlayCo, CSC, BAM, NYTW, En Garde Arts, WP Theater, The Joyce, New York Live Arts, and The Public. Regional: A.R.T., Actors Theater of Louisville, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, San Jose Repertory Theater, Magic Theater, Kennedy Center, Portland Stage Company, Court Theatre, Stage West.
Violeta Picayo (Ensemble) is a bilingual Cuban-American actor, director, and choreographer. Selected credits – New York Theatre: The Medium (SITI Company, BAM), Sense and Sensibility (Bedlam), Julius Caesar (Pocket Universe), Taming of the Shrew (Tale Told). On-Camera: Shallow Water (Sheila Negheg), A Despicable Woman (Kostov España), Bedlam: The Series (Bedlam), Fernanda (AFI). Violeta has worked regionally at the American Repertory Theater, Portland Center Stage, Bristol Riverside Theatre, The Fisher Center, and City Theatre. Internationally, she has worked in Argentina, Greece, India, Scotland, and England. Violeta is a proud graduate of SITI’s InauguralConservatory, the National Theater Institute, and Vassar College. She is an associate artist of SITI Company and a company member at Bedlam.
SITI Company is an ensemble-based theater company whose three ongoing components are the creation of new work, the training of theater artists, and the promotion of international cultural exchange. SITI Company is committed to providing a space where the interaction of art, artists, audiences, and ideas inspire the possibility for change, optimism, and hope. Built on the bedrock of ensemble, we believe that through the practice of collaboration, a group of artists working together over time can have a significant impact on both contemporary theater and the world at large.
In October 2020, SITI Company announced its Legacy Plan, a comprehensive set of activities designed to celebrate the company and their achievement over the past 30 years before the organization sunsets at the end of 2022. The Legacy Plan includes a celebratory Finale season, the creation of the SITI Living Archive, information-sharing activities to the theater community, and transition grants to help the ensemble members move on to the next stage of their careers.
SITI Company is Akiko Aizawa, J. Ed Araiza, Anne Bogart, Will Bond, Gian-Murray Gianino, Leon Ingulsrud, Ellen Lauren, Ellen M. Lavaia, Kelly Maurer, Charles L. Mee, Jr., Barney O’Hanlon, Neil Patel, James Schuette, Brian H Scott, Samuel Stricklen, Stephen Duff Webber, and Darron L West.
SITI Company Board of Directors: Anne Bogart, Jennifer Greenfield, Jessica Hanna (Chair) Christopher L. Healy (Treasurer), Kim Ima, Leon Ingulsrud, Alexandra Kennedy Scott (Vice Chair), Kevin Kuhlke, Ellen Lauren, Ruth Nightengale, Diane Ragsdale (Secretary), and Samuel Stricklen.
SITI Company Staff: Michelle Preston, Executive Director; Megan E Carter, Producing Director; Megan Hanley, Community Engagement Manager; Jonathan Taylor, Associate Producer; Dominic Jordan-Grier, Processing Archivist. Consultants: Christopher L. Healy, Attorney; Sharon Lehner, Archivist; A. D. Hamingson & Associates, Development; Second Bolt, Events; John Wyszniewski, Everyman Agency, PR; Schall & Ashenfarb, CPAs, LLC.
For more information about SITI Company:
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SITI Company is deeply grateful to its generous supporters.
Actors’ Equity Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, Lucille Lortel Foundation, Mellon Foundation, the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York Community Trust, New York State Council on the Arts, and the Shubert Foundation.
Individual Donors $1,000+
Anonymous (2), Carolyn Anderson & Barbara Brenner, J. Ed Araiza, Anne Bogart* & Rena Fogel, William Cook & David Govaker, Barbara* & Jim* Cummings, Nicholas Di Venuto, Jeanne Donovan Fisher, Craig Evans, Jennifer Greenfield* & Nadia Saah, Michael Gordon, Ann Hamilton & Michael Mercil, Jessica Hanna*, Christopher* & Amy Healy, Mark Allison & Stephanie Holmquist, Miranda Hope, David Henry Hwang, Kim Ima*, Ali Kennedy Scott*, Brian Kim & Michelle Preston, Erica Marks & Daniel George, Lucy Martin-Gianino & Jack Gianino, Bella Meyer, Tom & Cindy Nelis, Diane Ragsdale*, Stage Directors & Choreographers Society, Ruth Sternberg & Liz Rosier, Catharine R. Stimpson, Elizabeth Streb & Laura Flanders, Triptyk Studios, Jaan Whitehead*, Debra Winger & Arliss “Speedy” Howard, Carol Yorke & Gerry Conn, and Francesca Zambello & Faith Gay.
Individual Donors $500-$999
Susan V. Berresford, Laurel Green, Joseph Haj, Anne Hamburger, Joel Ingulsrud, Kevin Kuhlke*, Frances Kumin, Eileen Lach, Gideon Lester, Maria McColl, Joseph V. Melillo, Michael Conard & Claude Anne Mellins, Ruth* & Eric Nightengale, Allison Prouty, and Ann Webber.
Individual Donors $250-$499
Matthew* & Caryn Bregman, Carolyn Casselman, Jennifer Chambers, Alexis Daran, Susan Feder, Jason Hein, Matthew Hoying & Maureen Wink, Sophia Hughes, Leon Ingulsrud* & Akiko Aizawa, Eric Latzky, Julia Martin, Tina Mitchell, Laura Penn, Frances A. Resheske, Meredith Robbins & Eric Bornemann, Sanford Robbins, Nancy Ruyter, Carol Hepper, Susan Stroman, and Trevor Tamashiro.
* Denotes SITI Board or Emeritus Board Member. To become a supporter of SITI Company or see our complete list of donors, please visit www.siti.org/support. Donors listed as of September 30, 2022.