Aliens and dinosaurs, inner space and outer space. On Friday and Saturday, Oct. 3 and 4, L.A. Theatre Works, the nation’s foremost radio theater company, will return to Washington University’s Edison Theatre for a special back-to-back double bill of sci-fi thrills and chills.
The program — directed by Star Trek alumnus John de Lancie and featuring veterans of The X-Files, Heroes and Star Trek: Voyager, among others — will begin with H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds, the mother of all space invasions. Then, following a brief intermission, the cast will shift gears for a subterranean expedition through Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World.
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.
For more information, call (314) 935-6543 or email Edison@wustl.edu.
War of the Worlds recreates the breathless pacing and convincing detail of the infamous 1938 radio play by Orson Welles’ Mercury Theatre of the Air. Adapted by Howard Koch, one of Welles’ writers, this 60-minute “eyewitness report” of an invasion from Mars inadvertently started a nationwide panic (in part because Koch changed the story’s setting, from Victorian England to a small town on the East Coast of the United States). Yet the tale continues to fascinate, raising very contemporary concerns about the nature of the media as well as issues relating to the protection of borders and the environment.
The Lost World, adapted de Lancie and television producer Nat Segaloff, follows the indomitable Prof. Challenger as he leads a four-person expedition to prove that prehistoric animals still exist. Traipsing deep into the Amazon jungle, the fearless explorers soon discover a place — and time — where dinosaurs have evolved beside ape-men, leaving the fate of the human race to hang in the balance.
De Lancie is perhaps best known for his role as Q on Star Trek: The Next Generation — a role he reprised on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager — and he was also the first actor to use the word “trek” on the series. Other television credits range from Battlestar Galactica and Stargate SG1 to MacGyver and The West Wing. In 1996 de Lancie and the actor Leonard Nimoy co-founded Alien Voices, a radio company specializing in classic science fiction works, including The Lost World as well as The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, Journey to the Center of the Earth and many others.
The cast of six will be led by Jerry Hardin, a veteran character actor perhaps best known for his role as Deep Throat on The X-Files. Also starring are Tom Virtue, a Star Trek: Voyager alumnus perhaps best known as Steve Stevens on The Disney Channel’s Even Stevens; and Josh Clark, also of Star Trek: Voyager as well as Heroes, E.R. and L.A. Law.
Rounding out the cast are stage actor Kenneth Alan Williams; Jen Dede, of E.R. and Gilmore Girls; and Peter McDonald, who has appeared on Becker, Wings and E.R., as well as in numerous Los Angeles theatrical productions.
L.A. THEATRE WORKS
Over the last three decades L.A. Theatre Works has emerged as the nation’s foremost radio theater company, producing more than 400 radio plays — by Eugene O’Neill, David Henry Hwang, Athol Fugard, Wendy Wasserstein, Neil Simon, David Mamet, Charlayne Woodard, Arthur Miller and many others — performed by many of America’s top stage and screen actors.
The majority of the company’s productions are recorded in Los Angeles before a live audience and broadcast as part of their nationally sydicated program “The Play’s the Thing.” More than 7,000 libraries carry an extensive backlist of L.A. Theatre Works’ plays while the company’s “Alive and Aloud” program produces teaching materials now used by 2,500 middle and high schools nationwide.
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.
WHO: L.A. Theatre Company
WHAT: Sci-fi double bill featuring H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World.
WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 3 and 4
WHERE: Edison Theatre, Washington University, Mallinckrodt Student Center, 6445 Forsyth Blvd.
TICKETS: $32; $28 for seniors and WUSTL faculty and staff; $20 for students and children. Available through the Edison Theatre Box Office, (314) 935-6543, and all MetroTix outlets
SPONSOR: Edison Theatre OVATIONS Series