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The Mercury Theater on the Air

Rating: 4 stars
Used in Course: Not used in course
Submitted by: lkkcdrb lkh vtfvko (Faculty), Oct 16, 2006
Comment: Today, when radio has almost no presence in our life and we get so much information from visual images, it is quite an experience to listen to radio drama from previous decades, specifically the 1930's form of audio storytelling. In comparing the experience of the modern viewer to that of the "old-time" listener, the latter is much more active processing the information because he himself has to visualize the text. Radio storytelling has faded and lost its popularity and its audiences in the 1950's with the arrival of television. This site is an opportunity to create a learning object to generally familiarize the learner with the golden years of radio and with its grand priest Orson Wells. In particular, I would like to select the War of the Worlds, which he produced one day before Halloween (1938) in which he changed the drama to sound like a news broadcast about an invasion from Mars. I am convinced that today's passive "couch potatoes" will have some difficulties in the beginning to concentrate on an audio message, and will have to get use to comprehend a message that is not dissected MTV style, tailored to a short attention span. Yet, once they get the "swing of it," they will become active participants in a different, more imaginative way to understand reality. Another intriguing learning object could be built around the subject of the ability to move the masses with demagoguery, and the power of persuasion of the media.