BEHIND THE SCENES – First Draft

After many late nights, I have finally managed to get it all down on paper.

Why all the typing you ask?

Officially speaking, the show is written by Mr. Howard Koch. His estate has been very easy to deal with, so it has kept the stress in organizing the show down just a hair. I was amused to learn that when assembling a script of the radio play of The War of the Worlds, you’re not supposed to use any copies found off of the internet (which many theater troupes make the mistake in doing). Instead, you are to expected to transcribe the words from Koch’s book “The Panic Broadcast”, which faithfully reprints his original script.

I found this amusing, because only a day before I was informed of this factor, I had just purchased a copy on eBay as research materials. If you haven’t read it…and you want to know all about the 1938 War of the Worlds broadcast, I highly recommend you do so.

Next, I had to make the show a visual experience as well as an audio experience (we are performing this in front of a live audience, remember), so I decided to work in some introductory materials. The opening bits introduce all of our actors and their relationships with each other and the radio station. Then we move right into the radio play. So, 10% of the play is “new” … the rest is Koch’s classic prose.

What will occur on the stage during the broadcast will not be 100% accurate, but will be a dramatic interpretation of what may have occurred on Oct. 30, 1938. Like the disclaimer says at the beginning of Tim Robbins’ film Cradle Will Rock – “This is based on a true story – sort of…”

So now I’ve handed copies off to my Producer (Cat Taylor), my Production Designer (Jay Davis), and my Assistant Director (Thena MacArthur). They will tear it to pieces…chew it apart…rip it…grind it…and make it a nice filtered script. Jay’s main focus will be calculating costs for our production (sets, costumes, props, etc.).

As I’m getting married in the middle of June…we’ll just have to see how soon a final draft will take me.

-Pete Overstreet

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~ by Peter Overstreet on May 31, 2008.

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