Heart Girls’ College Performing Arts Department proudly presents:
WAR OF THE WORLDS - The Panic Broadcast
An alien invasion throws humanity into chaos in the classic
sci-fi novel War of the Worlds…
But all it took to cause real-life panic in the streets was Orson Welles's 1938 radio adaptation, which listeners took for news. Now nearly 81 years later, Sacred Heart Girls College recreates the colourful events surrounding the infamous evening, including the original broadcast.
Complete with a live sound effects team, musicians and
vintage commercials the senior
drama students bring to the stage, this radio-play-within-a-radio-play.
A thrilling homage to the famous 1938 radio broadcast that sent America into a panic
Orson Welles was only 23 years old when his Mercury Theatre company decided to update H.G. Wells’ 19th-century science fiction novel War of the Worlds for national radio.
The show began on Sunday, October 30th at 8 pm and caused a nationwide panic with many terrified listeners convinced that an actual alien invasion of Earth was taking place. Perhaps as many as a million radio listeners believed that a real Martian invasion was underway.
"We know now that in the early years of the 20th century, this world was being watched," began the narration and the rest is history.....
“War of the Worlds” was not planned as a radio hoax, and
Welles had little idea of the havoc it would cause. Panic broke out across the
country. In New Jersey, terrified civilians jammed highways seeking to escape
the alien marauders. People begged police for gas masks to save them from the
toxic gas and asked electric companies to turn off the power so that the Martians
wouldn’t see their lights. One woman ran into an Indianapolis church where
evening services were being held and yelled, “New York has been destroyed! It’s
the end of the world! Go home and prepare to die!”
Fear, anxiety, and foreboding of the future were the dominant emotions of the time as the country emerged from the Depression accompanied by news bulletins about Hitler and "disaster after disaster," such as the Lindbergh kidnapping and the crash of the Hindenburg. As President Franklin D. Roosevelt said at his inauguration in 1932 that "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself,"
This radio-play-within-a-radio-play is a thrilling homage to the form’s golden age and a timely reminder of what fear can do to a society.