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FILE--Orson Welles reads from his script during the 1938 broadcast his radio show "The War of the Worlds." Wells' fictional account of a Martian invasion of Earth created widespread panic in the minds of thousands of listeners. (AP Photo/File)

Seventy-five years ago on Oct. 30, "The War of the Worlds" aired as an episode of radio drama series "The Mercury Theatre on the Air," directed and narrated by actor Orson Welles. Broadcast live over the Columbia Broadcasting System, the episode became famous for allegedly causing panic among its listeners, who believed a Martian invasion was actually taking place.

"The War of the Worlds" is one of three classic thrillers that will be presented when Mountain Arts Community Center presents "The Golden Age of Radio" at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.

The MACC, 809 Kentucky Ave. on Signal Mountain, will be transformed into the home of radio station WMAC. A cast of local actors, directed by Elsa Bastone, will present "The Hitchhiker," "Sorry, Wrong Number" and "The War of the Worlds" before a live audience. The cast will perform as if they are inside a radio studio, complete with musicians and sound effects by Seth Graham.

Actors presenting "The Hitchhiker" will be Rob Inman, Helen Barrett, Matt Kodsi, Kim Wheetley, Jenny Beiter and John Nichols.

"Sorry, Wrong Number" will feature Anne Roza, Barb Storm, Wheetley, Barrett, Beiter, Kodsi and Nichols.

"The War of the Worlds" will be presented by Dick Gee, Inman, Wheetley, Kodsi and Nichols.

Admission is free, but donations will be accepted for improvements to the MACC's auditorium.

For more information: 423-886-1959.

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