Montana Public Radio

MTPR's Live Re-Creation of War of the Worlds

Oct 28, 2013

Original version repeats Thursday, Oct 31st at 1:00pm --- Montana version repeats Tuesday, Nov 5 at 1:00pm

(from left) Ray Fanning, John Twiggs, Saxon Holbrook, Pattie Corrigan Ekness, Gus Chambers and Michael Marsolek

Space ships crashing to earth—an alien invasion—a battle for the planet. On October 30th, 1938, the Orson Welles and the Mercury Theatre on the Air’s War of the Worlds broadcast caused panic, frightened some listeners, and entertained others, around the country. 

Exactly 75-years later, Montana Public Radio (MTPR) will pay homage to this epic event in radio history with a live, re-creation of the broadcast on Wednesday, October 30th starting at 7:30 p.m. The cast includes favorite MTPR voices such as Terry Conrad, William Marcus, Annie Garde, Michael Marsolek and Gus Chambers. UM Radio-TV Professor Ray Ekness, a War of the Worlds enthusiast, is directing the production.

William Marcus, who plays the original Orson Welles character of Professor Pierson, says, “We’re not actors but we do know how to use our voices.  For us, the fun thing about this is that we’re doing it live, sound effects and all.”

After the original-script program, the cast will present a special “Montana” version of the science fiction classic, written by Ekness, with the Martians invading western Montana.  

Here are additional programs celebrating the 75th anniversary of War of the Worlds:

Radiolab just aired a special:  Don't Panic... War of the Worlds

On MontanaPBS -  Tues, Oct 29th  8:00 War of the Worlds: American Experience  (repeats Oct 31 at 2am and 5am)  Orson Welles’ 1938 “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast and the mass hysteria it caused are explored

CAST (Original Broadcast)

Orson Welles/Professor Pierson - William Marcus
Announcer #2 - Michael Marsolek
Carla Phillip - Annie Garde
Mr. Wilmuth/Commander/Operator #3/Voice - Saxon Holbrook
Announcer #3/Officer/Operator 2/Voices - Pattie Corrigan
Brig. Gen. Smith/Operator 1/Voices - Ray Fanning
Harriet McDonald/Observer/Operator 5/Voices - Anna Rau
Capt. Lansing/Gunner/Operator 4/Voices - John Twiggs
Sec’y of the Interior/Stanger/Voices - Gus Chambers
Announcer #1 - Terry Conrad

CAST (Montana Version)

Announcer 1/Professor Peterson - Terry Conrad
Pledge Host 1/Voices - Annie Garde
Pledge Host 2/Voices - William Marcus
News Anchor - John Twiggs
Sandy Wells - Anna Rau
Joe Douglas/Voices - Gus Chambers
Pilot/Voices - Saxon Holbrook
Gen. Jones/Co-pilot/Voices - Ray Fanning
Stranger - Michael Marsolek


Audio Engineer - Beth Anne Austein
Engineering/Support - Tim Martin, Ivy Wells, Danny Dauterive
Director - Ray Ekness