Marsh River Theater will present a staged radio show of “War of the Worlds” Friday and Saturday, Oct. 16 and 17, at 7:30 p.m. at the venerable theater, 24 Monroe Highway/Route 139.

Originally aired on the Columbia Broadcasting System on Oct. 30 in 1938, the story was adapted from the H. G. Wells novel of the same name for “The Mercury Theater On The Air” by Orson Welles. The radio audience had been told at the outset that this was only a play, but the production was done breaking news-style with realistic sound effects and “on scene” reporters.

Because many in the audience had either tuned in late or did not hear the disclaimer, widespread fear and panic ensued. People were certain that Martians had landed (in Grover’s Mill, N.J.) and were taking over the world.  The fallout led to massive publicity for Welles and his theater, and subsequent apologies by CBS and Welles. It has since become a classic.

Courier Publications columnist Tom Seymour, a seminar speaker, aficionado of wild plants and amateur astronomer, will deliver an introduction of trivia and facts regarding Mars. Marsh River Theater’s rendition of the radio show features five cast members and a sound effects wizard

Tickets are $12, $10 for senior citizens. For more information, call the theater at 722-4110.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.