Play takes you behind-the-scenes of radio show

  • A Martian fighting-machine battling with HMS Thunder Child (1906). Wikimedia Commons

Monitor staff
Published: 10/3/2018 5:16:43 PM

The story of a radio show that incited panic across a nation will take the form of a stage show opening this week at the Hatbox Theatre.

Invasion from Mars!, an adaptation by Gary Locke presented by Phylloxera Productions, recreates the CBS studio’s broadcast of War of the Worlds by the Mercury Theatre Players directed by Orson Welles. War of the World was an 1898 sci-fi novel by H.G. Wells.

The radio broadcast aired Oct. 30, 1938, and the seeming authenticity of it made millions believe Earth was being invaded by Martians.

But how could they manage to convince so many people of the unthinkable?

What was it like to be caught in the frenzy of the experience?

In the play, the radio show actors and crew begin to realize the chaos they unleashed. It will also tell of the listeners at home thinking their world was coming to an end.

Locke and Phylloxera Productions are no strangers to the Hatbox Theatre, having previously staged Richard II. It has also performed at the Players’ Ring on the Seacoast.

Shows will be Friday through Oct. 21, Fridays and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $17; $14 for members, seniors and students and $12 for senior members.

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