Re-Imagined Radio explores stories that may have shaped “The War of the Worlds”

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Re-Imagined Radio brings back the popular “War of the Worlds” for October. But instead of retelling the most famous radio story ever, the episode will focus on the many stories that may have led to its creation.

“The War of the Worlds: Possible Influences” premiers at 1 p.m. Oct. 17 on KXRW-FM, Vancouver, and KXRY-FM, Portland. Subsequent broadcasts and streams will be provided by local, regional and international broadcast partners.

This year marks the 84th anniversary of Orson Welles’s radio adaptation of H. G. Wells’s classic “The War of the Worlds.” Published in 1898, the book was one of the earliest literary works to examine conflict between human and extraterrestrials. Orson Welles’s broadcast is alleged to have caused mass confusion among its listeners through its use of realistic-sounding news bulletins and other narrative techniques.

The episode explores five earlier experiments with radio storytelling. The stories are “The Fall of the City” and “Air Raid,” both written by Pulitzer Prize–winning poet and Librarian of Congress Archibald MacLeish; “The Crimson Wizard,” originally broadcast by WGN, Chicago; “The Minister Is Murdered,” by Erich Ebermeyer; and “Broadcasting the Barricades,” by Father Ronald Arbuthnott Knox, broadcast over the BBC.

“In addition, interviews with Welles provide further insight for this episode,” said John Barber, faculty member of the Creative Media and Digital Culture Program at WSU Vancouver and founder of Re-Imagined Radio. The interviews include one given the day after the first broadcast of “The War of the Worlds,” several over time with film director Peter Bogdonovitch, and several television programs many years after the initial broadcast.

Re-imagined Radio premieres episodes on the third Monday of the month on KXRW-FM and KXRY-FM. In addition, every Sunday, an episode of Re-Imagined Radio is broadcast on KXRW only, drawing from previously broadcast episodes. Episodes can be streamed on demand from the Re-Imagined Radio website,

Community Partners

Re-Imagined Radio draws on community voice actors, Foley artists, musicians, sound artists and engineers. Partners include KXRW-FM, Marc Rose, Martin John Gallagher, Kathy Klaus and Regina Carol Social Media Management. 

About Re-Imagined Radio

Re-Imagined Radio was begun by Barber in 2013 to celebrate radio storytelling. ”We select, produce and perform classic and contemporary stories across a spectrum of radio genres, from dramas to comedies, from oral to aural histories, from documentaries to fictions, from soundscapes to sonic journeys, from radio to sound art,” Barber said. 

About WSU Vancouver

WSU Vancouver is in the homeland of Chinookan and Taidnapam peoples and the Cowlitz Indian Tribe. As one of six campuses of the WSU system, WSU Vancouver offers big-school resources in a small-school environment. The university provides affordable, high-quality baccalaureate- and graduate-level education to benefit the people and communities it serves. As the only four-year research university in Southwest Washington, WSU Vancouver helps drive economic growth through relationships with local businesses and industries, schools and nonprofit organizations. 

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Brenda Alling, Office of Marketing and Communication, 360-546-9601,