Creative Arts, School of Liberal Arts

The alien invasion is coming to campus, no one is safe.

On October 30, 1938, Orson Welles' gripping radio drama, War of the Worlds, provided outstanding theater. But for some unsuspecting listeners, it wasn't theater, it was the end of the world. The radio adaptation of the 1898 novel of the same name by H.G. Wells began with a typical evening program interrupted by harrowing news updates of an alien invasion. There were people across the country who feared humanity was under attack. If you're able to tune in to WVCR on Halloween weekend, just remember - Siena Hall is still standing. 

Because of the pandemic, hosting performances in Beaudoin Theatre this fall wasn't possible. So, Krysta Dennis, Ph.D., producer of creative arts, pivoted. She settled on a radio play and took suggestions from the community this summer via the Daily Digest. George Hassel, Ph.D., physics laboratory technician, recommended War of the Worlds, and the invasion was put in motion. 

Sam Buti was tabbed as the guest director, and the professional producer, podcaster, and voice actor worked with a cast and crew of 28 community members (including 21 students). The premise of the story, written for radio by Howard Koch more than 80 years ago, is the same, but the drama unfolds on the Siena campus. How does it all end? Click here to find out. 

"I am so proud of this production and what everybody involved has put into it. Personally, I'm incredibly grateful that this radio play is how we decided to keep the show going throughout Covid-19 - having to record, master, and edit a full play is an experience that might have changed the course of my life! I've loved audio engineering War of The Worlds so much that I've begun looking into other internships or freelance work to start shaping my future career in this field. Between the great energy from the cast and the efforts of the production team to make this show happen, I actually look forward to the long, gruelling hours of editing every day." 

Carli Scolforo '21, sound design and editor

"We were so pleased to have the chance to connect with the School of Science on this project: Dr. George Hassel and Dr. Rose Finn provided the opportunity for the cast and crew to view Mars and a number of other celestial bodies from the Breo Observatory, and Dr. Tom Coohill agreed to be interviewed about his work on the current Mars mission. Dr. Coohill even makes a cameo appearance in the show!" 

Krysta Dennis, Ph.D., producer of creative arts