A radio play performance based on the novel by H.G. Wells, written by Howard E. Koch
Now available until December 18th; watch it while it's still available!!
*Some content might not be suitable for children
Produced by special arrangement with Playscripts, Inc.
Check out our radio commercials below :)
|Announcer 2||McKensie Innes|
|Professor Pierson||Mary Carlstedt|
|Carl(a) Phillips||Joridan Ward|
|Mrs. Wilmith||Carey Garone|
|General Montgomery Smith||Chase Blackwood|
|Mrs. McDonald||Alyssa Bugarin|
|Captain Lansing||Alyssa Bugarin|
|Secretary of the Interior||Carey Garone|
|Operator 1||Joridan Ward|
|Operator 2||Alyssa Bugarin|
|Operator 3||Carey Garone|
|Operator 4||McKensie Innes|
|Operator 5||Mary Carlstedt|
|Production Manager||Meghan Holbrook|
|Assistant Production Manager||McKenna Bone, Zachary Bowen|
Sound Design Consultant
Assistant Commercial Producer
|Brendon Williams Ransdell|
|Marketing||Maya McQuigg, Meghan Holbook, McKenna Bone|
|Dramaturg||Meghan Holbrook, McKenna Bone|
Special thanks to: Sarah Robinson, Will Ross, Lisa LeFevre, Jay Lee, Celeste Delgado-Pelton
Probably the most iconic radio plays of all time, War of the Worlds continues to shine in imaginations of audiences long after its fateful 1938 broadcast. Thank you for joining our celebration of this play by being one of our virtual audience members.
We thought it fitting to choose a production that allowed us to social distance if needed (it was) and to possibly rehearse and record remotely if there was another stay at home order (there was one). Additionally, 2020 seemed like an apocalyptic year anyway so why not send it off with a bang or in our case, an alien heat-ray.
All members of the cast and crew worked very hard on this production. I am so very proud of their efforts as they tackled this out-of-the-box version of a theatre production. These talented students maintained full-time class loads while pursuing their passion for theatre in our production meetings and rehearsals. Cast and crew met several times a week to not only work on performance but to write 1930's radio commercials, conduct dramaturgy research, design image and sound cues, and much more.
Though we prefer to perform our beloved craft on our beautiful Dorthy J. Corsberg Theater, we had an absolute blast exploring other avenues of theatre magic. So please, feel free to share this production with others. Theatre has been perpetually dying for hundreds of years but has staved off extinction because of passionate artists and patrons like you.
Assistant Professor and Director of Theatre
Northeastern Junior College
Orson Welles and the Fateful 1938 Broadcast
By Meghan Holbrook and McKenna Bone
Orson Welles was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on May 6th, 1915, as George Orson Welles. He died on October 10, 1985, and was an American film actor, director, producer, and writer. Welles was also known for his radio productions. Early in 1934, his radio career began which was a show dedicated to retelling dramas adapted from popular novels. In 1938, Mercury studios presented The War of the Worlds by Orson Wells. They gained national popularity with a program based on H.G. Wells’ story by the same name. The performance, which premiered Oct. 30th, was done as a news broadcast; and was narrated by Welles. The morning after the broadcast, Orson Welles woke up to find himself the most talked about man in America. He had turned a 40-year-old novel into fake news bulletins describing a Martian invasion of New Jersey, and the news was describing the panic that the U.S had gone in during the broadcast. Supposedly, listeners mistook those bulletins for the real thing, and their anxious phone calls to police, newspaper offices, and radio stations convinced many journalists that the show had caused nationwide hysteria. Orson Welles was on the front pages of newspapers coast-to-coast, along with headlines about the mass panic his CBS broadcast had caused.
Radio listeners across the United States had heard reports of mysterious creatures and horrifying war machines that were moving towards New York City. But the broadcast was not real, it was Orson Welles’ remake of the H.G Welles classic ‘The War of the Worlds.’ Brad Schwartz confidently retells the story of Welles’ famed radio play and its impact. He states that the truth can only be found among long-forgotten script drafts and the memories of Welles’s colleagues, which captured the chaotic behind-the-scenes saga of the broadcast: no one involved with War of the Worlds expected to fool any listeners, because they found the story too silly and doubtful to be taken seriously.
The radio play was one of the most controversial moments in broadcasting history. According to Radiolab, about “12 million people were listening when Welles' broadcast came on the air”, and, "about 1 in every 12 people thought it was real”. Radio audiences had come to expect that fictional programs would be interrupted on the half-hour for station identification. Breaking news, on the other hand, failed to follow those rules. This explains that those who tuned in later in the broadcast may have thought it was real because CBS failed to alert them at 8:30 p.m. that night.
However, according to Slate news, far fewer people actually heard the broadcast and fewer panicked than most people believe today. The night the program aired, the C.E. Hooper ratings service asked viewers who they were listening to. Only 2% were listening to a radio play, while 98% of those surveyed were listening to something else, or nothing at all on Oct. 30, 1938. These ratings are not surprising, considering Welles' program was scheduled against one of the most popular national programs at the time, the comedy hour show.
So how did the story of the "panic" grow over the years? The media took advantage of the radio production and tried to ruin Welles career by advertising the panic across the U.S. Welles soon realized that this panic could ruin his career, and he went to dozens of reporters, photographers, and short news cameramen at a last-minute scheduled press conference in the CBS building, trying to clear his name of any accusations that he purposely created a panic for fame. The question of whether he did it on purpose followed Welles for the rest of his life, and he tended to change his answer over the years. There were interviews that hinted at the thought that he knew what he was doing all along.
by Meghan Holbrook
Production Note: be overly excited
MUSIC: UPBEAT PIANO MUSIC.
SFX- Kids running, door closing
TIMMY- Hey, look! Dad’s cigarettes are still on the counter.
JOHN- Those aren’t dad’s, they are candy!
TIMMY- Candy cigarettes? What will they do next? Make them out of metal?
JOHN- Be realistic, why would anyone want metal in their mouth?
TIMMY- Who cares, Let’s eat these cigs up, just like the cool kids.
ANNOUNCER- Candy Cigarettes, so good, Kids will want the real deal!
Announcer: Zach Bowen
Policeman: Zach Bowen
Timmy: Chase Blackwood
SFX: LEAVES RUSTLE THEN WE HEAR FOOT-STEPS AND A POLICE SIREN
POLICEMAN: Freeze! Or I’ll shoot!! Wait is that you, Timmy?
TIMMY: Aww shucks mister, I was just trying out my new x-ray glasses.
POLICEMAN: In Mrs. Patterson’s rose bushes? In the middle of the night?
TIMMY: Try them on mister, you’ll see why.
SFX: OFFICER TRIES THEM ON
POLICEMAN: Check out the gams on Mrs. Patterson!
TIMMY: What was that, mister?
POLICEMAN: I said, “you better let me hold on to these;
I have a doctor friend who could use these for, uh...doctor stuff.”
TIMMY: No sweat, officer. I’ll just go down to the Piggly Wiggly and get another tasty box of Cracker Jacks. Each box contains a pair of magic x-ray glasses.
ANNONCER: Cracker Jacks! Cause boys will be boys.
by McKenna Bone
James- Chase Blackwood
Betty- Carey Garone
Husband- Zach Bowen
MUSIC: SOFT CLASSICAL
SFX: A DOOR OPENING AND A MAN WALKING
JAMES: Ladies have you ever wondered if your spouse is being honest with you? Have you ever felt like your relationship is based on lies? Are you wanting to find out what is really going on? Well now you can with the new Hotsquat. This device is disguised as a pillow cushion that you can put on your husband’s lazy boy; just get him nice and relaxed and when it’s time to ask him about the lipstick on his collar, you can shock the truth out of him with your space-age Truth Remote!
SFX: ELECTRIC SHOCK
HUSBAND: AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!! OKAY OKAY! IT WAS MY SECRETARY!
BETTY: I knew it!
Thank you, Hotsquat!
JAMES: Our pleasure! ! If you call in now and order, we will give you 20% off on your first purchase!
SFX: RELIEVED VOICES, SHOCK GASP, SOMETHING SMASHING
BETTY: I am going to call right now!
SFX: ELECTRIC SHOCK
HUSBAND: AAAAHHHHH!!!, Okay, okay!!! And also the babysitter!
Written by: Ember Quick, McKensie Innes and Mary Carlstedt
Announcer- Mary Carlstedt
MUSIC: CHEERFUL, HOPEFUL.
Announcer- Does your wife stare at women too long? Has she hired a maid but nothing seems to get cleaned except the sheets? Are you finding yourself having to give commands twice? Well I have a solution for you. Peneherst Sanitorium, Where struggling individuals come clean.
ANNOUNCER: Try our brand new state of the art treatments. We have electroshock therapy
SFX- CARTOON BUZZING SOUND
ANNOUNCER- We offer life changing lobotomies
SFX- CARTOON SCREWDRIVER
ANNOUNCER- We have new and improved pharmaceuticals that will help with any condition, you’ll feel like your floating on air.
SFX- CARTOON SOUND BUBBLES
ANNOUNCER- I guarantee that your wife will receive the greatest care possible. If she doesn't have that glazing look in her eye, you get your money back guaranteed.
SFX: MOSQUITO SOUND IS HEARD THEN A BIG SLAP
SUZY: Ow, Jimmy!! That hurt!!
JIMMY: Sorry, Suzy but I’m hunting mosquitoes!
SFX: ANOTHER MOSQUITO IS HEARD THEN SUZY SLAPS JIMMY
JIMMY: Gee wiz Suzy, why’d you have to slap me so hard?
SUZY: Well I’m hunting boys named Jimmy!
JIMMY: I’m telling Ma!
POLICEMAN: Children, Children, Children! Calm down and listen to me before anyone else gets hurt.
SUZY AND JIMMY: Yes sir, Mr. Policeman.
POLICEMAN: Pretty soon this neighborhood will be mosquito free because of a miracle chemical called DDT!
SUZY AND JIMMY: DDT!?!?!
POLICEMAN: That’s right! DDT is a DEADLY chemical for mosquitos but completely SAFE for men, women, children and pets!
SUZY AND JIMMY: Wow!!!!
POLICEMAN: So be looking out for a truck rolling through your neighborhoods spraying this miracle fog while you play outside. Don’t worry if you cough; like I always say, DDT is as safe as your father’s cigarette smoke!
By Ember Quick
MUSIC DIRECTION: Bright flowy, possibly heavily violin.
ANNOUNCER: Ladies, has your complexion become more rundown over the past couple years?
WOMAN: Why, yes it has!
ANNOUNCER: Has your skin begun to spot despite your skin care?
WOMAN: All my hardwork, all for not!
ANNOUNCER: Good news! Maybelline has just released its newest innovation in women's beauty! Compact powder for your beautiful skin!
WOMAN: It really works! My skin is flawless!
ANNOUNCER: Maybelline skin! Now arsenic free!
Farmer’s wife: Carey G.
Announcer: Alyssa B.
SFX: WIND BLOWING ON THE HIGH PLAINS OF AMERICA
FARMER’S WIFE: Cletus, I’m eating dirt day-in and day-out and I can hardly breathe!
FARMER: Now mother, we can hardly afford to stop working our farm because of a dirty mouth. Let’s just pray that “The Dirty 30’s” pass quickly so we can someday harvest our crops without the entire dust bowl falling on us.
ANNOUNCER: These are hard times in America; our economic depression coupled with dust and wind has made every man, woman, and child suffer under this crisis. And nobody has suffered more than America’s farmers.
FARMER’S WIFE: If only we had protection for our faces.
FARMER: Yeah, I’d like to get some sugar from my honey without getting a mouth full of sand in return!
ANNOUNCER: Well thanks to reserve stock-piles of masks from the 1918 flu pandemic, farmers no longer have to suffer breathing in dust as they try to feed the world and kiss their wives. That’s right, a national treasure trove of unused masks is now available to America’s dusty dirt farmers!
FARMER’S WIFE: I ain’t no mask slacker! Give me one of those!
FARMER: Me too, mister! Maybe now we can farm and kiss without a face full of dirt!
FARMER’S WIFE: Oh Cletus, you sure are romantic. Pull that mask up and pucker-up, pumpkin!
SFX: KISSING SOUND
ANNONCER: Don’t be a mask slacker! Reserve your miracle mask today! Who knows, you might also help prevent the next pandemic.