The Northmont Drama Club proudly presents The War of the Worlds as its first production of the 2020-2021 season. In this 1938 adaptation of the novel by H.G. Wells, a Martian invasion of earth is told in the form of a radio news broadcast as if it were unfolding in real time. The broadcast itself became a real news item as it was said to have brought about panic by listeners who did not realize it was a piece of entertainment, but rather thought the events being described were actually happening.
Arguably the most famous radio play in the American experience, The War of the Worlds seems to be exactly right for the moment we are in. Just like the characters in the radio play, last March we were taken by surprise and unsure of what we were dealing with. Like them, we have a constantly evolving knowledge of what this invasion entails, how dangerous it is, and an unclear picture of when and how it will all end. Global pandemic? Martian invasion? The 1938 adaptation of a science fiction novel and what we are currently going through seem strangely akin to each other.
Add to that all the questions that arose from the original broadcast of The War of the Worlds: the blurry line between news and entertainment, the power of the media to influence behavior, and the tension between artistic freedom and censorship. You can see why this 82-year-old radio play is still relevant.
The radio play, directed by Marjorie Strader with sound direction by Mark Barnhill and technical direction by Ranger Puterbaugh, will be available for on-line streaming for one day only (Friday October 23) by going to: https://www.broadwayondemand.com/series/cJEahlErgxwJ-the-war-of-the-worlds
--northmont-drama-club?channel=watch-now The price for on-line access that day is $5.00.
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