This year, enjoy a special Halloween treat courtesy of WTJU: an adaptation of the original 1938 CBS radio broadcast of “The War of the Worlds,” by Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater.
The original CBS production was realistic, using a news-bulletin format that was reported to have frightened listeners who believed it was a real Martian invasion, despite a preface to the show and station break announcements that identified it as fiction.
Just as Welles’ 1938 radio adaptation of English author H.G. Wells’ science fiction novel places the events of the Martian invasion of the Earth in locations listeners could relate to, the WTJU production sets the events in and around Charlottesville. The Martians, for example, land in a field at an unnamed fictional farm in Crozet.
The program features about 20 volunteers, including eight U.Va. drama students and 12 members of the WTJU community portraying the characters.
Enjoy the show! Just don’t break into mass hysteria like ‘War of the Worlds’ elicited in 1938.