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WAR OF THE WORLDS! Radio Play comes to Center on October 29

October 3, 2003
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

For general information about tickets, seating, parking, etc., for performances and events happening at the Center for the Arts, please contact the ticket office directly at 703-993-2787.

At George Mason University’s Center for the Arts

War of the Worlds --
the Radio Play

Wednesday, October 29, 2003, 8PM
A Staged Dramatization of the original Orson Welles & Mercury Theater on the Air production…
Written by Howard Koch
Directed by Anne Bogart & Darron L. West

Fairfax, Virginia, October 2, 2003—On the foggy fall evening of October 30, 1938, America went to war with Mars! Adapted for radio by Howard Koch and starring Orson Welles, War of the Worlds was presented as a Halloween thriller, or as Welles put it: "The Mercury Theatre’s own radio version of dressing up in a sheet and jumping out of a bush and saying, ‘boo!!’" Now, nearly 65 years to the day of that original broadcast, George Mason University’s Center for the Arts presents this classic brought to life in a special, staged version by the SITI Company, Wednesday, October 29, 8:00 p.m.

Listeners who tuned into the broadcast late on the evening of October 30, 1938 discovered "normal" programming appeared to be interrupted with the startling news that there were "explosions occurring on Planet Mars!" Reports followed that a "huge, flaming object" had fallen to earth on a farm near Grover’s Mill, New Jersey. Anxious radio audiences came to the frightening conclusion that the earth was the target of a full-scale invasion by aliens.

In this campy, mayhem-filled re-creation of the original radio play, the script that prompted mass hysteria in the ‘30s is re-created by Bogart’s "precedent- and expectation-shattering SITI company"(the Washington CityPaper).

Having had the honor of being the first fully staged theatrical production of the Kennedy Center’s Millennium stage, War Of The Worlds utilizes the sound effect techniques Welles invented for the original broadcast. It is these original touches, as well as Bogart’s own variations on the drama and staging, which make this production, "[A] muscular, surreal work characterized by eccentric images, choreographed movements, and soundscapes that knock your ears back…" (the Washington CityPaper).

Originally envisioned as a summer international cultural exchange institute in Saratoga Springs, NY, SITI Company – ten actors, five designers, a playwright, stage manager, development director and managing director – began as an agreement between Tadashi Suzuki and Anne Bogart, and grew quickly into a year round company based in New York City. War of the Worlds is part of SITI’s investigation into the work, life and genius of Orson Welles.

Tickets for WAR OF THE WORLDS are $32, $24, $16. Charge by phone at 703-218-6500 or visit The Center for the Arts complex is located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the mainstage Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university lot K.

GREAT PERFORMANCES AT MASON is a program of George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. The College of Visual and Performing Arts exists to create an academic environment in which the arts may be considered both as individual disciplines and as interdisciplinary forms that strengthen each other. Believing that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the College draws on a variety of professional presenting and producing units where artists from across the country and around the world regularly perform, give master classes, work with students during extended residencies, and interact with the community in a variety of other ways. These programs at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall, TheaterSpace, Galleries, Harris Theater, and other venues, provide a diverse selection of challenging and entertaining cultural experiences for the University community, as well as Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C. area. The College houses four academic departments: Art and Visual Technology, Dance, Music and Theater.