Fall of the City

Fall of the City
by Archibald MacLeish
October 25th, 2004

Broadcast on WMNF in Tampa, FL, the broadcast was also streamed at their website.

Fall of the City is a seminal piece of radio theater, originally presented in 1937 by the Columbia Workshop, with a cast of 200, including Orson Welles, Burgess Meredith and Paul Stewart. As The Fall of the City begins, a dead woman who has appeared in the town square for 3 days saying nothing finally speaks and she tells of the arrival of a mysterious conqueror, warning “The city of Masterless men will take a master, there will be shouting then, blood after.”

A debate ensues where the people must decide how much of their freedom they are willing to risk for a sense of security from a mysterious conqueror. The Fall of the City is a wonderful radio piece, speaking directly to the issues and political choices we face today. The timeless power of poetry and the spoken word meet in this verse drama written especially for radio by this Pulitzer Prize-winning author.

The timely nature of this story inspired us to re-imagine the piece, using the entire script and a brilliant modern sound design by Marc Rose we feel this is our best work to date. Watch for more MacLeish to follow next year.

Willamette Radio Cast and Credits

Original Music by Marc Rose
Recorded by Robert Kowal

Produced and directed by Sam A. Mowry

Sam A. Mowry, Chris Porter, Linda Goertz, William S. Gregory, Holly Spenser, Tim McKennie, Ricardo Delgado, Mark Homayoun, Adam S. Moore and Atticus Welles Mowry

Sound Design and engineering by Marc Rose
Recording by Robert Kowal and Michael Gandsey
Foley conductor Martin Gallagher
Assistant Director William S. Gregory
Produced by Sam A. Mowry, Robert Kowal and Marc Rose
Co-Producer Cynthia McGean

Fall of the City was recorded at PCC Sylvainia in Portland, OR.

Special Thanks to Dan Hayes and Mike Chapman, Mary Kowal, Rob Cannon, Transdemsional Media, T2 Audio, Dry Smoke and Whispers, Dmae Roberts, The McMenamins Empire, XM Satellite Radio, Marge Lunan, Tom and Doris McGean, Margaret Howland and Orson Welles.

In loving memory of Dick Mowry

Fall of the City is a copyrighted work produced with the permission of the Estate of Archibald MacLeish.

Call of the Mummy

Call of the Mummy, by Cynthia J. McGean

Premiered On:

Tuesday, October 29th, 2002
KBOO 90.7 FM Portland, OR
Courtesy of Stage & Studio with Dmae Roberts and Emily Young

Thousands of years ago, a secret was buried deep beneath the sands of Egypt – the secret of eternal youth. Now, Dr. Clyde Evans seeks to unearth that secret. His expedition will travel to the deadly River of Souls in search of the legendary tomb of Imhotep. In his unnatural quest, Dr. Evans will risk
not only himself, but the lives of his friend, Reginald Bonhoffer, and his financier, the beautiful Victoria Neeferts. They have the hunger for knowledge, but do they have the strength to resist The Call of the Mummy?

Willamette Radio Cast and Credits

Mark Homayoun – Reginald Bonhoffer
Atticus Welles Mowry – Dockworker, KBOO announcer, Live Foley
Scott Jamieson – Dr. Clyde Evans
Mary Robinette Kowal – Victoria Neeferts, Cluna
Sam A. Mowry – Voice on the Wind, Announcer
Mark Twohy – Live Organ

Producer – Robert Kowal
Director – Sam A. Mowry
Sound Design – Marty J. Gallagher

Special Thanks: KBOO, Emily Young and Dmae Roberts

“War of the Worlds” on OPB — Transcript

OPB Radio’s news magazine airs Tuesday-Friday afternoons at 4:30
New “War of the Worlds” – Colin Fogarty
October 26, 2001

This weekend, a radio theater troupe in Portland will recreate a Halloween production from 1939. The “War of the Worlds” was Orson Welles’ early claim to fame. At a time, when the nation was preparing for world war, the “War of the Worlds” sounded real to many listeners. The modern production wouldn’t confuse anyone. But as Colin Fogarty reports, it could have some relevance for today’s audience.

You’ve heard Sam Mowry. But you likely didn’t notice him.

Commercial: The aggressive aerodynamic style of the Mitzubishi Eclipse will get you as much attention as you want. At a 16-valve engine and rack and pinion steering. And you my friend will be the total package. The GI Joe’s take it to the extreme 14-hour sale this Friday. We still have the sales. Grab the gear and seize the season.

Mowry’s got what in the business they call “great pipes.” But commercial voiceovers are his day job. He’s really a stage actor, playing every part from Henry the 8th to Henry Higgins. But Mowry’s latest project takes place in the theater of the mind. He plays Orson Welles in a radio theater production of the “War of the Worlds.”

Mowry voice: We know now that in the early years of the 20th century this world was being watched closely by intelligences greater than man’s, and yet as mortal as his own”.

Welles voice: We know that as human beings busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinized and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinize the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.

Saturday night, Mowry?s Willamette Radio Workshop is staging a live performance of “War of the Worlds” in the worlds at the New Coho Theater in Northwest Portland. He hopes, in part, the revival will change people’s perception of Orson Welles.

Mowry: What they’re used to hearing from Orson Wells is the “Yes, we will sell no wine before it’s time.” And that’s what most people go, “Oh yeah, Orson Wells, the wine guy.” But when he was doing this, he was 21, 22, he’s actually much higher.

Mowry listened to old-time radio as a child, back when stations ran reruns of programs like “The Shadow.” As an actor in Portland, he found that there was a great deal of interest among fellow actors.

Mowry: What I love about it as an actor is that you can be anything you want to be. And my Dad, and I think everybody has this story, when my parents asked him whether he liked radio or TV better, he said, “Oh, I like radio, the pictures are much better.”

By re-producing the “War of the Worlds,” the Willamette Radio Workshop hopes to raise money for a series of original radio theater productions. At a time when foreign correspondents report by videophone and the Internet is more common than the newspaper, radio theater seems antiquated. But Mowry believes radio can forge a closer tie with the listener.

Mowry: And it is that intimate connection between a person and a microphone and that microphone and somebody’s ear, and you’re talking to them and you’re sharing an idea or love or hate or envy or any kind of human emotion that you’re sharing with them in a very intimate, very personal way makes for a tremendous connection.

Mowry says the production of “War of the Worlds” has special significance for our time. Just as in the radio play, the nation has been under attack’by hijackers using airplanes as weapons and by bioterrorists, sending anthrax spores through the mail. Some listeners of the original “War of the Worlds” panicked thinking Martians were really invading.

Mowry: And one of the things that we learned is that we do need to think before we act. And I think that’s as much of a good lesson today as it was back then. And even more so now because I think we’re a little more on par with the Martians ourselves in terms of having weapons of mass destruction that maybe we can and cannot use wisely.

Mowry hopes the re-production of the “War of the Worlds” doesn’t scare its audience during a delicate time. Rather the play is meant to comfort.

Mowry: It all comes out in the end. Humanity does survive and humanity does survive because there’s an innate plan for us to survive.

Welles voice: This is Orson Welles, ladies and gentlemen, to assure you that the “War of the Worlds” has no further significance than the holiday offering it was intended to be.

Mowry: So, good-bye everybody and remember the terrible lesson you learned tonight: that grinning, glowing, globular invader of your living room is an invader of the pumpkin patch. And if your doorbell rings and there’s nobody there, that was no Martian, it’s Halloween.

Copyright 2001  Oregon Public Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.