October 28, 2011
WOOSTER, Ohio — Don’t panic…and please don’t jump. Just listen as WCWS Radio (90.9 FM) at The College of Wooster recreates the historic 1938 broadcast of H.G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds” on Halloween night (Oct. 31) at 10 p.m.
Senior Ramsey Kincannon and about a dozen of his fellow students — most with a background in theatre — will reprise the famous radio drama that frightened an entire nation more than 70 years ago.
The original 60-minute program featured a series of news bulletins about an alien invasion that caught many Americans off-guard. Kincannon, an English major from Falls Church, Va., has tweaked the script slightly to reflect today’s rapidly changing political landscape as well as the many advances in technology. “I’m trying to tailor the copy to give it a more contemporary feel,” he said, “but the story itself will be the same.”
Kincannon became interested in recreating the broadcast after listening to a podcast of the original program during one of his six-and-a-half hour journeys to Wooster’s campus from his home in Virginia. “Our culture is rife with paranoia and xenophobic concerns about immigrants and others,” said Kincannon. “We are living in a fear-mongering society, and I think the script speaks to that issue.
“My parents worked for the State Department in Pakistan, but we moved to the U.S. right after 9/11 because it wasn’t safe there,” added Kincannon, who is of Arab descent. “I was in sixth grade at the time, and I was met with a response by Americans that was a little bit antagonizing and something I wasn’t used to. I think that fear has only intensified since then.”
Despite the political overtones, Kincannon and his fellow students will focus less on the underlying prejudice and more on sharing their interpretation of the historic broadcast with a new generation of listeners. “We’re really excited,” he said. “It should be a lot of fun.”
1189 Beall Avenue, Wooster, Ohio 44691. (330) 263-2000
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