Fine Arts Department to Recreate 'War of the Worlds' Broadcast in Herod Hall Oct. 26-28

September 28, 2023

Cast members are getting ready for the upcoming Northwestern theatre production of “War of the Worlds” Oct. 26-28 in Herod Hall Auditorium.

Nearly 30 people have been in rehearsals, building set and getting costumes and stage props ready as the Northwestern Oklahoma State University Reichenberger Fine Arts Department prepares for “War of the Worlds” Oct. 26-27 at 7 p.m. and Oct.28 at 2 p.m. in Herod Hall Auditorium on the Alva campus.

Tickets are available to purchase online at $10 for general admission, $5 for Northwestern employees with a current Northwestern employee ID, and $3 for senior citizens and students with a current student ID. Patrons also may purchase tickets in person with cash or a check at the door starting 30 minutes before each performance.

“In my many years here, this is the first time the theatre program has presented a radio production,” Kimberly Weast, professor of theatre arts and Reichenberger Department of Fine Arts chair, said. “We attempt to be innovative and offer our patrons a variety of entertainment.

“I believe this performance will be one that our student body and community will greatly enjoy. I hope people will come to the production and close their eyes and simply listen and allow their imaginations to create the world of this story by H.G. Wells, adapted by Howard Koch.”

Northwestern’s cast and crew members are commemorating the 85th anniversary of the production by recreating the colorful events surrounding the infamous evening, including the full original broadcast complete with live Foley sound effects.

For those unfamiliar with the plot of this infamous CBS “War of the Worlds” broadcast, “an alien invasion throws humanity into chaos live on the airwaves as Orson Welles’ radio adaptation of the H.G. Wells sci-fi novel ‘The War of the Worlds’ unfolds causing real-life panic in the streets across the country as millions of listeners mistake the radio play for factual news reporting. A thrilling homage to radio’s golden age and timely reminder of what fear can do to a society.”

Weast is serving as the director while Mickey Jordan, director of technical theatre, is the assistant director. Designers are the students of the Theatre Production I & II classes. Ashland Crites, Hennessey sophomore majoring in English, is the stage manager.

“Hailed as THE hoax of the 20th century, Orson Welles and his little broadcast changed radio history forever,” Jordan said. "What I am enjoying most about this production is teaching the students about the history of the golden age of radio, the ‘War of the Worlds’ broadcast, and the media fallout that followed in the days after the program.

“I am very excited to mentor students as they take on technical aspects of the production. The live Foley stage (live sound effects) is going to be a fascinating and different aspect of this production. Characters in the production will be dressed as if they were there in the studio on Oct. 30, 1938.”

During the various rehearsals, the students are finding new challenges in this production.

“This production has challenged me in ways that the past ones have not,” Alan Garcia, Beaver junior majoring in biology-health science, said. "This one is a historical one, so it must be on point. Interacting with the cast and crew on such a pivotal point in radio has led to fun and interesting talks about the panic that was caused during that time.”

Students involved with this production include the following:

 Archer Bohlen of Ringwood, senior computer science major; Darian Smith of Alva, senior music major; Emily Smith of Harrah, senior vocal music major; Emily Wright of Cheyenne, sophomore mass communication major; Gabriel Bussinger of Woodward, sophomore speech and theater major; Gail Schroeder of Okeene, freshman speech and theater major; Jaden Matthews of Hennessey, sophomore English major; Jameson Hale of Elk City, junior vocal music major; Lisa Turner of Alva, senior speech and theater major; Maegan Holson of Waynoka, sophomore psychology major; Rosa Vargas of Lahoma, freshman instrumental music major; Samuel Grinder of Sayre, senior vocal music major; Temberlenn Hall of Magnolia, Oklahoma, junior speech and theater major; Wyatt Kite of Enid, freshman psychology major; Crites; and Garcia.

“This production has been extremely fun!” Holson said. “The cast and crew are hard at work to bring this panic broadcast to Northwestern. We spend many hours not only preparing our lines but also researching. We have studied the original broadcast from start to finish to make sure we give Northwestern a good scare this year. Can't wait for opening night!”

For more information on “War of the Worlds” or the theatre program, contact Weast at (580) 327-8462 or or Jordan at (580) 327-8458 or

For additional information about the theatre program, visit More about all facets of the Reichenberger Fine Arts Department may be found at


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