The Panic Broadcast of 1938

by  Michael Druce

Full Length Play, Comedy  /  5m, 9f

Panic Broadcast of 1938 is the story of some bold teenagers and one crazy, confusing night! It is 8 p.m., Sunday, October 30, 1938 -- the night before Halloween in Misty Valley, Pennsylvania. Two optimistic and wide-eyed young women, Margie and June, are waiting in the park for June's boyfr…

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The Panic Broadcast of 1938

by  Michael Druce

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    5m, 9f
  • Duration

    Duration

    75 Minutes
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Science Fiction
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    Not Applicable
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Appropriate for all audiences

Additional Info

In this comedy based on the events of the famous Orson Welles War of the Worlds radio broadcast, it is the evening of the broadcast and nothing is happeing in the quiet and sleepy town of Misty Valley. Best friends Margie and June are waiting in the local park for June's boyfriend Andy to get off work while Margie shares her dream of leaving Misty Valley for a life of adventure elsewhere. Then two strangers from a circus train appear and Margie takes a liking to the one named Tom. Immediately Margie sees a way to leave Misty Valley. But then the world turns upsidedown. Martians have invaded and Misty Valley is caught in the middle of a war of the worlds. Widow O'Dell's prized Hostein is shot, Tom and his friend are accused of being Martians, an alien tripod is spotted near the train station, and a giant Martian destroys the jailhouse. Panicked citizens gather in the local park to plan their evacuation only to discover that the Martian invasion was just a radio drama. 

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Considerations

Performing Groups

  • Jr High/Primary
  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Large Stage
  • Church / Religious Groups

Cautions

  • Artboard 3 Gun Shots

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 1930s
  • Duration: 75 Minutes
  • Setting:

    The setting of the play is a local park in Misty Valley, a small town in southeast Pennsylvania. The time is October 30, 1938. Left of center stands the statue of a Civil War infantryman, a pair of benches on either side. Right of center is a gazebo or a small stage as might be found in a park. There is the suggestion of a pathway between the gazebo and the statue leading upstage. Trees and bushes fill the bare places. Perhaps old fashioned gas lamps are positioned along the path 

  • Additional Features: Not Applicable
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Casting

5m, 9f

ANDY - 17. June's Boyfriend. 
SHERIFF CARTER - A widower in his 40s. 
TOM - A circus hand in his 20s. 
HANK - A circus hand in his 20s. 
LESTER - 17.
NESTOR - 40s. Lester's uncle. 
MARGIE CARTER - 18. Daughter of the sheriff. 
JUNE - 17. Margie's best friend.
MARLENE - 40s. Operates the local diner and is engaged to the sheriff. 
MISS PARSONS - 40. Sunday school teacher.
LILY - June's little sister.
RAINEY - Andy's older sister.
JESS - 18.
DEPUTY ELLER - 40s.
FIVE CITIZENS.
MAYOR RUSHTON - 40s.
CORONER - 30s.
WIDOW O'DELL - 60s. 
RADIO NARRATOR - Offstage.
EXTRAS - As many as desired.

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Cast Attributes

  • Ensemble cast
  • Features Teens
  • Flexible casting
  • Multicultural casting
  • Roles for Children
  • Room for Extras
  • Parts for Senior Actors

Casting Notes

Cast features roles for teens and adults of various ages. Casting may be doubled as appropriate.

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Authors

Michael Druce

Michael Druce is a retired high school language arts and drama teacher. He was born in London, England and later moved to the United States. He is a graduate of Central State University—now The University of Central Oklahoma--where he majored in Speech, Drama, Journalism, and Education. He taught high school in Oklahom ...

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2009, Soldotna High School, Soldotna, Alaska 

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