It Came From Mars
By Joseph Zettelmaier
Directed by Tony Caselli
Originally produced at Performance Network Theatre, Ann Arbor, MI.
February 18,2010 through March 21, 2010
About the Premiere Production: It Came from Mars by Joseph Zettelmaier is a modern American farce about a troupe of radio actors terrified by Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds broadcast in October, 1938. Like many at that time, these individuals hear only a bit of the broadcast and assume the invasion is real, barricading themselves in the studio, not expecting to live to see the next day. Passions ignite, secret identities are revealed and slapstick mayhem ensues when a washed-up director, his drama queen Ex, a wanna-be war hero, a ditzy actress and a German sound effects wiz all think they are about to be annihilated by men from Mars.
Artistic Statement: It is well known that Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds broadcast wreaked confusion and panic on its listeners, and the story has continued to hold so much interest that it has been translated to other languages, is replayed annually as a Halloween special nationally and internationally, and has spawned updated radio versions, television programming and movies. Thus, the story the play tells is firmly founded on the existing interest in the historical happenings surrounding the time of its first broadcast. As well as a popular story, It Came from Mars also has a popular dramatic structure -- the farce. With broad characters, slapstick comedy and physical humor, a farce has widespread appeal for both experienced and novice theatre-goers.
Though it is a justifiable laugh-out-loud comedy, It Came from Mars also explores timeless themes; the fear of unknown outside forces that pit us against one another, and the hope that grows when we unite together. We believe these are perfect themes to be exploring in today’s trying economic times, especially through comedy and accessible theatricality. - From Artistic Director David Wolber
Subsequent Productions: It Came From Mars is a co-production between Performance Network and Williamston Theatre. The Williamston production dates are April 2 - April 18, 2010.