The War of the Worlds

The War of the Worlds

Since 2013 Re-Imagined Radio has celebrated World Audio Drama Day with our adaptation of The War of the Worlds inspired by the 1898 H. G. Wells novel The War of the Worlds and the 30 October 1938 radio dramatization by Orson Welles and The Mercury Theatre on the Air. The War of the Worlds has been often called the most (in)famous radio broadcast of all time. LEARN more.

The story is about an invasion of Earth by beings from the planet Mars. Earth survives, and is thankful for this reprieve, all the while knowing that the Martians are watching, cooly calculating their next invasion.

The use of "break in" news announcements, then relatively new, was key in convincing many people that the fictional program was actually reporting live events unfolding around the country. Believable dialogue, realistic sound effects created, and listeners' imaginations added to the believability.

2020 Performance

30 October 2020

Postponed by COVID-19. The aliens won this battle as we stayed at home. Watch for our rescheduled performance.

2018 Performance

The War of the Worlds (2018)
30 October 2018

Re-Imagined Radio presented a live performance by Metropolitan Performing Arts actors and other community volunteers at Kiggins Theatre in downtown Vancouver, Washington. Produced by Re-Imagined Radio. Audience count: 336. We celebrated World Audio Drama Day and the 80th anniversary of the original broadcast of this classic radio drama. Streamed live on KXRW-FM, Vancouver's community radio.

Listen

This performance was recorded live.

Credits

Cast
Program Announcer = Barbara Richardson
Studio Announcer = John Barber
Weather Announcer = Calvin Lieurance
Meridan Announcer = Kristin Heller
Carl Phillips (radio reporter) = Greg Shilling
Professor Rowena Pierson (female astronomer, retired) = Rebecca Kramer
Policeman = Nick D'ettorre
MR. Grover Wilmuth (farmer) = Ian Hanley
Montgomery Smith (Brigadier General, State Militia) = Brett Allred
Harry McDonald (Vice President, Operations) = Joe Clemmons
Captain Lansing (Signal Corp) = Nick D'ettorre
Secretary (of the Interior) = Steve Becker
Artillery Officer = Ian Hanley
Artillery Gunner = Calvin Lieurance
Artillery Observer = Arianna Dorenbosch
Lieutenant Voght = Kristin Heller
Radio Operator #1 = Joe Clemonos
Radio Operator #2 = Barbara Richardson
Radio Operator #3 = Brett Allred
Radio Operator #4 = Nick D'ettorre
Radio Operator #5 = Greg Shilling
Roof Top Announcer = Arianna Dorenbosch
Male Survivor 1 = Calvin Lieurance
Male Survivor 2 = Ian Hanley
Male Survivor 3 = Steve Becker
Female Survivor 1 = Kristin Heller
Female Survivor 2 = Arianna Dorenbosch
Female Survivor 3 = Barbara Richardson

Press & Feedback

Re-Imagined Radio at the Kiggins Theater
KXRW "Radio Voices from Our Community" host Mike Selig visited Kiggins Theater in downtown Vancouver to watch the 80th Anniversary performance of The War of the Worlds, the radio drama that panicked a nation, and produced this abbreviated version of the performance. Also available here.

The Common Good Interviews
A two-part series produced by Joe Clemons, host of The Common Good, KXRW Radio, Vancouver, WA, highlighting Re-Imagined Radio. Part 1 rebroadcasted the 30 October 2018 performance of The War of the Worlds. More information at the archival webpage for this program maintained by XRAY FM radio. LEARN more.
Part 1, 11 June 2020

Part 2, 9 July 2020, features producer John Barber talking about the performance and some of the challenges of re-imagining classic radio dramas for contemporary audiences. More information at the archival webpage for this program maintained by XRAY FM radio. LEARN more.

Wade, Adeena. Re-Enactment of Historic Radio Broadcast. Story Hub, College of Arts and Sciences, Washington State University, 25 Oct. 2018.

2014 Performance

War of the Worlds (2014)
30 October 2014

Re-Imagined Radio presented a live performance by the Willamette Radio Workshop at Kiggins Theatre in downtown Vancouver, Washington. Audience count: SOLD OUT. We celebrated World Audio Drama Day and the 76th anniversary of the original broadcast, 30 Ocober 1938.

Press & Feedback

Facebook page
'War of the Worlds' Reimagined at Kiggins. The Columbian, 30 Oct. 2014.

2013 Performance

30 October 2013

Re-Imagined Radio presented a live performance by the Willamette Radio Workshop at Kiggins Theatre in downtown Vancouver, Washington. Audience count: SOLD OUT. We celebrated World Audio Drama Day and the most famous radio broadcast of all time on the occasion of its 75th anniversary.

Press & Feedback

75 Years of War of the Worlds. OPB, 30 Oct. 2013.

Gallery
Martians with moustaches. Believe!

Martians with Moustaches
A curated gallery exhibition of works created by students in my Fall 2013 DTC 354 Digital Storytelling course. I published an essay about this course, my students' works, and our curatorial efforts as Martians, Moustaches, and Radio Drama. A Case Study for Sound Art Curation by Re-Creation in Leonardo Electronic Almanac (Dec. 2018). LEARN more.

The course included a transmedia storytelling component. Transmedia storytelling seeks to use specific features and affordances (potentials for particular actions) of multiple digital media/technologies to make storytelling more immersive and interactive. Usually, a transmedia story begins with a "base story." Specific media are then selected from their ability to tell some part of the story in ways not possible in more traditional storytelling. For example, if a story involves a number of brief narrative sequences, the transmedia storyteller might utilize some form of social media as the vehicle for posting these sequences to multiple readers/participants. The result is to, using text, social media, video or animation, and sound, facilitate narrative and storytelling in ways not possible using only a single medium.

Students explored transmedial storytelling experiences based on some aspect of the original broadcast of War of the Worlds. The exhibition ran throughout November at Nouspace Gallery & Media Lounge located in the Northbank Artists Gallery at 1005 Main Street, Vancouver, Washington.

Selected Student Projects

A Transmedia Experience by Morgan Hutchinson

War of the Worlds by Ryan Kellipio

Pierson's Notes by Geoffrey Matheson

War of the Worlds Revisited by Angela Morrelli