The War of the Worlds: A Panic Broadcast
by Wimberley Players

Jan. 28 - Jan. 30

An alien invasion throws humanity into chaos in Wells's classic sci-fi novel The 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, ten years later, the WBFR radio ensemble recreates the colorful events surrounding the infamous evening, including the full original broadcast. Complete with vintage commercials and live sound effects, this radio-play-within-a-radio-play is a thrilling homage to the form’s golden age and timely reminder of what fear can do to a society.

Places:​ A Studio at WBFR, a metropolitan radio station. With some action suggesting Studio One at CBS in Manhattan and other locations

Times:​ Sunday, October 31, 1948. With some action suggesting, Sunday, October 30, 1938 and other periods.

 

 

[image from Asland Stage Left, Brisbane, Australia, 2018]

 


 

War of the Worlds: The Panic Broadcast

adapted by ​Joe Landry from Orson Welles's radio play based on H.G.Wells's novel.

The Wimberley Players are committed to casting productions based on the highest level of talent regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexuality, body-type or age. Everyone who is dedicated to creating amazing theatre is encouraged to audition with The Wimberley Players.

Company/Venue​: The Wimberley Players, Inc./ Wimberley Playhouse, 450 Old Kyle Rd., Wimberley

Production Dates​: March 12th, 13th, and 14th. Performances are Friday and Sat. at 7:30 and Sun. at 2:30.

This is a play in radio play format and will have a small live audience as well as be live streamed. Director:​ Trish Rigdon

Audition Dates: ​Zoom auditions on Thursday, January 28th and Friday, January 29th, with additional times on Saturday, January 30th if needed. Call backs will be held Monday, February 1st.

To request an audition, please email auditions@wimberleyplayers.org.

Process: ​There are two options for auditions - Zoom auditions or taped auditions. Once you’ve signed up for an audition, sides will be sent out on ​Friday, January 22nd​.

1) Zoom auditions: Each actor will have a 15 minute time slot. Men will read all male sides provided and women will read all female sides provided.

2) Taped Auditions: Please make a recording of each side. Men will read all male sides and women will read all female sides.

All sides will be sent out ​Friday, January 22nd​. If you have chosen to do a taped recording, you will also receive a link to a google form for you to submit your audition videos. Further instructions about sides will be provided after requesting your audition.

Rehearsals will mostly be done via Zoom, with in person rehearsals the week before the show. 

Six Actors (4M, 2W) will portray over 60 different characters and create the live sound effects.

Note:​ Characters noted as 1938 are part of the Mercury Theatre production of War of the Worlds. Characters noted as 1948 are part of the WBFR Playhouse of the Air reenactment of the Mercury Theatre 1938 production.

Character Descriptions:

Man 1 — 40s – 50s

Freddie Filmore — WBFR Playhouse of the Air ensemble actor (1948)
Orson Welles — Mercury Theatre on the Air director, co-producer, actor played by Freddie Filmore (1938) Narrator (1938)
Professor Richard Pierson — famous astronomer played by Orson Welles (1938)
Gunner (1938)
Bayonne Radio Operator (1938)

Man 2 — 20s

Jake Laurents — WBFR Playhouse of the Air ensemble actor (1948) Howard Koch — Mercury Theatre on the Air writer (1948)
Studio Announcer — CBS Studio Announcer (1938)
Policeman at Wilmuth Farm (1938)

Brigadier General Montgomery Smith — commander of the state militia (1938) 22nd Field Artillery Officer (1938)
2X2L Radio Operator (1938)
Husband – Jake Laurents in All American Brands Commercial (1948)

Police at CBS (1938)
Walter Winchell (1938)
Herbert Morrison (1938)
1940s Reporter/Announcer (1940s)

Man 3 — 30s

Harry Haywood — WBFR Playhouse of the Air ensemble actor (1948)
John Houseman — Mercury Theatre on the Air co-producer played by Harry Haywood (1938)
Dan Seymour — Mercury Theatre on the Air Announcer and actor (1938)
Mr. Wilmuth — farmer (1938)
Captain Lansing — member of the signal corps (1938)
Secretary of the Interior — sounds not unlike President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Observer — member of 22 nd Field Artillery in Watchung Mountains responding to Martian invasion (1938) 8X3R Radio Operator (1938)
Father — Harry Haywood in All American Brands Commercial (1948)
Reporter 1 at CBS (1938)
Columnist 1 (1938)
Campbell Playhouse Announcer
1950s Reporter/Announcer

Man 4 — 30s – 40s

Mercury Stage Manager — Mercury Theatre on the Air stage manager (1938)
Meridian Room Announcer — Announcer for Ramon Raquello and his orchestra (1938)
Carl Phillips — commentator reporter on location at Princeton Observatory at Princeton University (1938)

Harry McDonald — vice president in charge of CBS radio operations Lieutenant Voght — bomber commander off Bayonne, New Jersey (1938) Newark Radio Operator — (1938)

Stranger — Survivor in Newark (1938)

CBS Employee (1938) Reporter 2 at CBS (1938) CBS Announcer (1938) Boston Globe Newsboy (1938) Columnist 2 (1938)

Listener 3 (1938)
1960s Reporter/Announcer 1990s Reporter Announcer

Woman 1 – 30s

Lana Sherwood — WBFR Playhouse of the Air ensemble actor (1948)
Ora Nichols — Mercury Theatre on the Air head sound engineer played by Lana Sherwood (1938) Wife — Lana Sherwood in All American Brand Commercial (1948)
Daily New Newsboy (1938)
Woman in church (1938)
Daughter — Lana Sherwood in All American Brand Commercial (1948)
Listener 1 (1938)
1980s Reporter/Announcer
2010s Reporter/Announcer

Woman 2 – 20s

Son — actor in All American Brand Commercial NY Times Newsboy (1938)
Woman with poison (1938)
Dorothy Thompson — journalist (1938)

Sylvia Holmes — a listener (1938) Listener 2 (1938)
1970s Reporter/Announcer
2000s Reporter/Announcer

For more information, please email auditions@wimberleyplayers.org