A War of the Worlds

By Jarrett King
From works by H.G. Wells & Orson Welles
Directed by Marcus McQuirter

June 2-18, 2022
At Ground Floor Theatre

Both comic and gripping, A War of the Worlds reimagines Orson Welles and his radio troupe, The Mercury Theatre, as a group of Black artists fighting to hold their place at the CBS radio studio. In the hope of securing a critical corporate sponsorship, Welles orchestrates a last-ditch ratings stunt that causes national panic and secures their undeniable – if infamous – place in media history.

In this world premiere production, Austin-born playwright Jarrett King combines careful historical research and savvy creative license to connect Welles’ Depression Era world with our own – touching on a wide range of topics, including race relations, fake news, the ethics of new media technologies, and “invasion” to name a few – while simultaneously enthralling us with the sci-fi thriller that became an instant cultural icon.

A War of the Worlds is the first world premiere in a new, five-year series of new play commissions devoted to the theme of “reimagined classics”!

Price: $16-$31
Run time: 1 hr, 30 min
For ages: High school+
Content warning: Flashing lights, fog,  prop gun, explicit language, violence, racism, references to graphic violence and suicide.

Need help? Email us or dial (512) 850-4849.

Special Events

Saturday, June 4: First Saturday Soiree

Stay after the show to celebrate opening weekend with us! Food and drinks provided. Be sure to reserve your place when you purchase your ticket.

Sunday, June 12 at 5pm: ASL Interpretation

Come experience this world premiere and enjoy top-notch interpretation by Ploeger ASL Interpreting.


Ground Floor Theatre

979 Springdale Rd #122
Austin, TX 78702

🠪 Get directions on Google Maps
🠪 Get directions by video
🠪 See campus map

Parking: Free parking in surface parking lot.


Production Team

Written by Jarrett King
Directed by Marcus McQuirter
Costume Design by Desiree Humphries
Sound Design by Buzz Moran
Set Design and Technical Direction by Tomas Salas
Properties Design by Joe Kelley
Lighting Design by Amy Lewis
Stage Management by Maddy Lamb
Production Management by Carl Gonzales
Poster by Corinna Browning, Ghost Next Door Designs


Critical Praise

Compelling and well-wrought...the power of this cosmic Jarrett King tale staged by Penfold Theatre will reward an earthly audience's attendance.

-Austin Chronicle

Innovative...creating thought-provoking parallels between the effects of ‘fake news’ spread through radio and today’s mass media.

-Sightlines Magazine

COVID Safety Measures

By working together, we can make a trip to the theatre safe and fun for everyone! 

  • If you are sick or have been recently exposed to COVID-19, please stay home.
  • If you are vaccinated and boosted, masks are strongly recommended.
  • If you are not vaccinated, masks should be worn when not actively eating or drinking.
  • Seating will be capped at 75% capacity, and social distancing is encouraged.
  • A HEPA filtration system is used to improve ventilation.

Season Sponsors

Round Rock - Arts & Culture
Next Act Foundation
Old Settlers Association
P&B Print and Design Studio
Tri-M Foundation