Student Radio Station Re-Enacts Broadcast on 75th Anniversary

A re-dramatization of Welles’ “The War of the Worlds” will air on Resound Radio on October 30 at 8 p.m., the 75th anniversary of the original airing. Photo credit: Scott L. Huck/Cedarville University

A re-dramatization of Welles’ “The War of the Worlds” will air on Resound Radio on October 30 at 8 p.m., the 75th anniversary of the original airing. Photo credit: Scott L. Huck/Cedarville University

by Laura Hinckley, Public Relations Writer

October 24, 2013

On Oct. 30, a re-dramatization of ”The War of the Worlds” radio broadcast will air on Cedarville University’s Resound Radio at 8 p.m., the exact time that it aired on radios across the country 75 years ago.

Taking the form of a 60-minute radio program, “The War of the Worlds” broadcast was formatted to sound like a live newscast of developing events. The program, performed by Columbia Theatre Radio and directed by Orson Welles in 1938, was based on H.G. Wells’s original novel, telling the story of aliens invading the earth.

Because of the power and significance of radio at the time, many of the millions of listeners who heard the program believed that what was simply meant to be a Halloween performance was actually a live broadcast of aliens attacking the earth. Fearing for their lives, people started to flee their homes hoping to escape the impending doom.

Students in associate professor of communications Jim Leightenheimer’s sound design class started working on a recreation of the drama last spring, and a group of practicum students have been preparing for the final presentation to air on the broadcast’s 75th anniversary. The class created sound effects for the presentation and casted the program using Cedarville faculty, staff and students.

This exciting re-dramatization will demonstrate how radio can have an immense impact on its listeners and can help inform decisions, either positively or negatively. “This landmark media event, which had such an immediate impact on its listeners, shows how significant radio was during that time,” said Leightenheimer.

This programming will air on Cedarville’s Resound Radio, which can be heard nationwide online at Resound Radio.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University attracts 3,400 undergraduate, graduate and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Inspiring greatness for over 125 years, Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at www.cedarville.edu.