War of the Worlds

For the first time ever, Theatre Roanoke College and WRKE Roanoke College Radio have come together for a joint production.

Directed by Lisa Warren and Produced by Elijah Wilhelm; the production will be a slight adaptation of the radio play The War of the Worlds, made famous by Orson Welles and starring Roanoke College Theatre Students.

When this play was first on air in 1938, many of those who tuned in after the announcement that this was for entertainment took it for fact and it is claimed that as many as one million radio listeners believed that a real Martian invasion was underway.

WRKE and Theatre Roanoke College hope to honor this play, on its 79th anniversary, for the piece of art that is it, and for the effect it had on radio and mass media as a whole.

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MEET THE CAST (in order of appearance)

Jordan Kehoe- Radio Host Jordan is an actual DJ for WRKE, and her show is actually called the hip-hop hour, as it is in the play! Jordan is a sophomore majoring in sports management with a double concentration in human resources and marketing.

You can catch the hip-hop hour on Fridays from 12-1 on WRKE!




Announcer- Elijah Wilhelm Elijah serves as program director for WRKE and also produced the play. Elijah is a Roanoke native and is a junior majoring in Communications with hopes to be a political analyst for news. Elijah is also the public address announcer for Roanoke’s athletic events, and served over the summer as the interim PA announcer for the Salem Red Sox.

You can also hear Elijah on his variety news show, Front Burner, Fridays at 4pm, only on WRKE!



Carly Phillips- Hannah Shipp Now in her final year at Roanoke College, Hannah has performed in Theatre Roanoke College’s Sense and Sensibility as Anne Steele, and Erin Keating’s Fair Verona as Katherine. Hannah lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and is majoring in English Literature, and in pursuit of teacher licensure. Hannah is an active cabinet member of Sigma Tau Delta, and performs in Clara Hubbard’s Broadway Ensemble. Hannah would like to thank her magnificent family and friends, for being so incredibly supportive, and the cast and crew of War of the Worlds for making her first radio performance so enjoyable.


Professor Pierson- Joseph Swift Joseph is a sophomore from Atlanta, Georgia and is honored and delighted to be participating in this production of War of the Worlds. He has had experience acting professionally in Atlanta as well as having participated in TRC productions of The Spoon River Project, Circle Mirror Transformation, and Becky Shaw. When not on stage, Joseph enjoys hiking, drawing, and making props. He thanks the cast and production team for their hard work and dedication to such a classic and yet timeless project.



Ms. Wilmuth- Hannah Wennerstrom Hannah Wennerstrom is a freshman at Roanoke College who is thrilled to be debuting in her first college production. Though this is not her first theatrical performance, she looks forward to being able to start on a blank state here in the world of higher education. Hailing from Durham, North Carolina, Hannah has a love of the weird parts of history. She is a well of what could be seen as useless knowledge that she says will someday prove to be important. That day has yet to come. She would also like to thank the cast and directors of this project for giving her this opportunity to be a part of something bigger than herself.


General Smith- Abby Linkous Abby Linkous is a junior Creative Writing major at Roanoke College. She’s excited to play the role of Captain Smith in War of the Worlds. She enjoys adventuring through Fintel Library and spending time with her ever-growing pack of dogs. After graduation, Abby hopes to teach seventh grade English in route to graduate school for Linguistic Anthropology.




Holly McDonald/Gunner- Grace DuPre’ Grace is a freshman at Roanoke College who has enjoyed the arts for many years and is happy to continue the practice in her four years at Roanoke. Grace is originally from Charlotte, NC and outside of theatrical pursuits loves to do rock climbing, archery, and other various activities. She’d like to thank the WRKE staff and Lisa C. Warren for casting her in RC’s broadcast of War of the Worlds.



Captain Lansing- Alexandra Moreira This is Alexandra’s theatrical debut as Captain Lansing and Operator 4 in War of the Worlds. A junior at Roanoke, Alexandra is from Charlottesville, VA and is majoring in Spanish with a minor in Communications and a concentration in Screen Studies. Alexandra is also a member of the executive board of the multicultural club H.O.L.A. and the executive board of recreational club Nerf Gun Wars. In her free time she enjoys watching movies and listening to music.



Secretary of the Interior- Abby Gray Abby is a senior literary studies major from Ashburn, VA. Previously at Roanoke, she has performed in Sense and Sensibility (Marianne), Fair Verona (Julia/Prince), and The Spoon River Project. She is excited to have the opportunity to be a part of this production.





Officer- Gavin Casey Gavin is making his radio debut performance as a Military Officer in WRKE’s production of “War of the Worlds”. Gavin is a Sophomore, majoring Computer Science. Although originally from St. Paul, MN, Gavin has lived in seven cities across four different nations over the course of his life. Gavin wants to thank his parents for their unwaivering support and encouragement of him to pursue his passions. He would also like to thank Elijah Wilhelm and Lisa Warren for their directorial work and guidance through the radio show process.


Commander- Kayla Coursey Kayla is a Sociology and Creative Writing double major from Charlottesville, Virginia. She is in her Sophomore year at Roanoke and in her Freshman year made her theatrical debut in Theatre Roanoke College’s production of Circle Mirror Transformation by Annie Baker. She is currently taking a class on Science Fiction, in which the novel The War of the Worlds continues to be mentioned. She currently cares for three succulents.



Stranger- Ryan Haden Ryan is a sophomore at Roanoke College pursing a degree in Theatre Arts. He has been acting in live theatre and film for over 10 years and has traveled internationally to perform as well. He is from New Kent, VA and plans on moving to Chicago in search of a theatrical profession after finishing school. Ryan also enjoys painting, writing, and kissing in his free time. He’d like to thank the WRKE Cast and Dr. Warren for this opportunity to participate in a literary tradition, and his parents and dog Zelda for their everlasting love and support.



Dr. Lisa Warren

Lisa C. Warren is a professor of Theatre Arts in the Roanoke College Fine Arts Department.  Acting and directing are among the many classes she teaches, but WAR OF THE WORLDS is the first radio show she has been involved with since her undergraduate days, many years ago.  It has been a terrific experience for the actors and her, and she hopes to have another chance to do a show with WRKE and Elijah—the student who spearheaded the entire project.  Keep listening!