The 75th anniversary of the War of the Worlds radio play aired at St. Ambrose University October 30. Student actors recreated Orson Welles' famous version of the show. In 1938, his radio play frightened the nation into believing that martians were actually taking over the earth.
KALA production specialist Johnna Klossing and SAU communications professor Ken Colwell rewrote the script to be localized, including familiar city names such as our very own Davenport. Senior Molly Conrad '14 wrote original music that was featured in the production, cutting in and out throughout the show, reminding us not to fear.
"It was a great experience," Conrad said. "It was rewarding applying what I've learned in other fields to this project."
Communication students, theatre students, and alums/former theatre professor Michael Kennedy recorded the dialogue of the script as voice actors. Conrad played the role of "Operator Four" and "Smith." First Year students Sam Jones played the role of "Pierson" and Max Moline played the role of "Announcer Three" and "Observer."
"I've had quite a lot of experience here at SAU," Moline said. "Ambrose has been rather welcoming to newcomers and a positive place to thrive in the arts."
In the newly-renovated Beehive, there was a listening party where students came and enjoyed free pizza, as well as supported their peers involved in the project. Theatre student and junior Robert Poston was a spectator who appreciated the night.
"Radio seems to be a dying art," Poston said, "So it was cool to see it come alive again for a night."
SAU's production of War of the Worlds was a success. The hard work of the Communications Department paid off with an enjoyable October evening.
Did you miss out on the show? There will be another opportunity to listen again. War of the Worlds will re-air Nov. 29 at 8pm on 88.5 FM.
Photo above: (L-R) Jackson Green, Brooke Schelly, Jolene Bergthold, Cole Epping, Robert Poston, Madison Auge, Molly Conrad