The Workshop Theatre is proud to be Calgary’s longest running community theatre (since 1969). They are pleased to announce the War of the Worlds, which opens on October 29th. It’s the 75th anniversary of the Mercury Theatre broadcast.
Shortly after 8p on the Halloween Eve, 1938, the voice of a panicked radio announcer broke in with a news bulletin reporting strange explosions taking place on Mars; followed minutes later by a report Martians had landed in the tiny hamlet of Grovers Mill, New Jersey. Although most listeners understood the program was a radio drama, the next day’s headlines reported that thousands of others plunged into panic, convinced America was under a deadly Martian attack. It was an episode from the drama anthology series - Mercury Theatre on the Air. Performed and aired over the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) radio network, and directed and narrated by future filmmaker Orson Welles, the episode was adaptated from H.G. Wells’s novel, War of the Worlds (1898).
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) investigated the radio show, but found no laws were broken. Networks agreed to be more cautious in their future programming. The actor feared the controversy generated by the War of the Worlds would ruin his career. However, the publicity helped land him a contract with a Hollywood studio. By 1941, Welles directed, produced, wrote, and starred in the iconic Citizen Kane. In 2003, the Mercury Theatre broadcast of the War of the Worlds was added to the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress.
The War of the Worlds will be brought to life at the Pumphouse Theatres (10/29-11/02) in the Joyce Doolittle Theatre at 2140 Pumphouse Ave. SW. All shows start at 7:30 pm.
Western Canada… Prepare to be frightened… ay!
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Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History and Son of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History shares America's story through the eyes of actors from Hollywood's Golden Age.
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