Stanford Rep continues its Orson Welles festival with a visit from Mars

War.Frank.Chen-3By Ande Jacobson

Could the earth be overtaken by invaders from Mars? On October 30, 1938 a lot of people thought so when the Mercury Theatre on the Air presented a radio adaptation of H.G. Wells’ novel The War of the Worlds. The broadcast took the form of a series of radio news reports, many on location as the invasion was supposedly taking place. Even with the disclaimer at the beginning of the broadcast that what followed was a fictional story, widespread panic ensued, in part because many listeners didn’t tune in at the top of the hour and missed the announcement. They were late because they had been listening to the Charlie McCarthy Show on a rival network, but that was in 1938. In the summer of 2014, Stanford Repertory Theater continues its Orson Welles festival with a must-see, fully staged version of this famous radio play. Continue reading