Edison Theatre and University City Public Library to screen The War of the Worlds Sept. 30

Film hosted in conjunction with upcoming performances by L.A. Theatre Works

Edison Theatre and the University City Public Library will host a free screening of the classic sci-fi film The War of the Worlds (1953) at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 30.

A panel discussion on the power of the media will immediately follow. Moderator will be Richard Chapman, senior lecturer in screenwriting in Washington University’s Film & Media Studies Program in Arts & Sciences.

Both the screening and the discussion are free and open to the public and take place at the University City Public Library, 6701 Delmar Blvd. For more information, call the Edison Theatre Box Office (314) 935-6543 or email Edison@wustl.edu.

Directed by Byron Haskin, a celebrated special effects artist, The War of the Worlds stars Gene Barry as Dr. Clayton Forrester, a renowned physicist who witnesses a fiery object crashing into the hills of southern California. But when the object is revealed as a Martian war craft Forrester, like the rest of humankind, finds himself fleeing the seemingly invincible invaders.

Haskin’s version was the first film adaptation of the book by H.G. Wells, which most recently served as the basis for a film by Steven Spielberg. Perhaps most famously, in 1938 Orson Welles’ Mercury Theatre of the Air broadcast a radio adaptation that elicited panic when some listeners mistook the play for an actual news broadcast.

The screening is held in conjunction with an Oct. 3 and 4 appearance by L.A. Theatre Works, the nation’s foremost radio theater company, which will recreate the Orson Welles’ version live on the Edison stage. Following a short intermission, the troupe will then present an original adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World. Both shows are directed by Star Trek alumnus John de Lancie and will feature a cast of veteran stage and screen actors whose credits include The X-Files, Heroes, Star Trek: Voyager, E.R. and Gilmore Girls, among many others.

The L.A. Theatre Works performances begin at 8 p.m. both evenings and are presented by the Edison Theatre OVATIONS! Series. Tickets are $32; $28 seniors and Washington University faculty and staff; and $20 for students and children. Tickets are available at the Edison Theatre Box Office and through all MetroTix outlets. Edison Theatre is located in the Mallinckrodt Student Center, 6445 Forsyth Blvd.


Founded in 1973, the Edison Theatre OVATIONS! Series serves both Washington University and the St. Louis community by providing the highest caliber national and international artists in music, dance and theater, performing new works as well as innovative interpretations of classical material not otherwise seen in St. Louis.

Edison Theatre programs are made possible with support from the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency; the Regional Arts Commission, St. Louis; and private contributors. The OVATIONS! Season is supported by The Mid-America Arts Alliance with generous underwriting by the National Endowment for the Arts and foundations, corporations and individuals throughout Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.

Calendar Summary

WHO: Edison Theatre and University City Public Library

WHAT: Film screening, The War of the Worlds (1953)

WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 30

WHERE: University City Public Library, 6701 Delmar Blvd.

TICKETS: Free and open to the public

SPONSOR: Edison Theatre OVATIONS Series and University City Public Library

INFORMATION: (314) 935-6543