War of the Worlds: The Panic Broadcast
By Joe Landry
Inspired by and including Orson Welles’ infamous 1938 radio broadcast based on the novel by H. G. Wells
An alien invasion throws humanity into chaos in the classic sc-fi novel The War of the Worlds, but all it took to cause real-life panic in the streets was Orson Welles' 1938 radio adaptation, which listeners took for news. In the days following the broadcast, widespread outrage was expressed in the media. The programme's news-bulletin format was described as deceptive. Now, ten years later, the WBFR radio ensemble recreates the events surrounding the infamous evening, including the full original broadcast. Complete with commercials and sound effects, this radio-play-within-a-radio-play is an homage to the form's golden age and a timely reminder of what fear can do to a society.