Freebie Friday: War of the Worlds Comes to the Theater in Blowing Rock

Ensemble Stage is a new Professional Theater Company seated in the High Country. But despite being a completely new entity, the players are no strangers to the High Country theater scene. After the Hayes Performing Arts Center announced it was suspending operations, this group took steps to continue the tradition of great drama here in Blowing Rock.

When Ensemble Stage set out to produce a staged version of the 1938 Orson Welles Radio Drama, WAR War WorldsOF THE WORLDS, they wanted to tie it into the the local community as much as possible. To make it new while keeping the classic elements, the group has put two things in place that should accomplish that tie and entertain audiences members;

First, Director Gary Smith and Ensemble Stage member Lisa Lamont started by replacing the original New Jersey references with locations throughout the High Country and North Carolina. “The script has gone through several revisions. Not only did we want the new locations to be geographically accurate, but there was also a certain syllabic rhythm in the original script I didn’t want to lose. Because of that, we tried a lot of different locale combinations until we found the ones that not only kept the cadence of the original script but also kept the epicenter of the Martian attack in the High Country,” according to Director Gary Smith.

The next element was to make a wish list of local “celebrities” they wanted in the cast and then they set out to recruit them.

Appearing in WAR OF THE WORLDS will be Blowing Rock Mayor J.B. Lawrence; MTN-TV personality Bill Fisher; Jimmy Crippen, owner of Crippen’s Restaurant and emcee of Fire on the Rock; Jerry Burns, retired Editor of the Blowing Rocket newspaper; Kent Graham, Director of Blowing Rock Emergency Services; the owner of Watauga Equity Management & Blowing Rock Rotarian, David Rogers; and playing Orson Welles will be Appalachian State University Theatre Professor and Professional Actor, Derek Gagnier.

Our own local “drama mama,” frequent performer Melanie Miller and her husband Bob are also involved with the production!


When: Friday, October 30th at 8:00pm

Where: Blowing Rock School Auditorium on Sunset Drive in Blowing Rock.

Cost: Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance at the Blowing Rock Visitors Center, Gems by Gemini, Crippen’s Restaurant and at Black Dog Coffee Shop. Reservations can be made by calling 828-406-2884. If available, tickets can also be purchased by cash or check starting at 7:00pm at the Blowing Rock School Auditorium on October 30th.


Ensemble Stage will be giving away 2 tickets to attend the show on October 30th!  Here is how to enter:

  • Since the original War of the Worlds involved an alien invasion (that many thought was real), leave a comment here telling your favorite alien film or play!

For more chances to win, leave a separate comment if you:

  • Are a Mom Squad Subscriber. (click here for Daily Updates, or for Weekly Email Newsletter, enter your address in the form at the top right of the page)
  • Are a Mom Squad Facebook Fan (Click here)
  • Are an Ensemble Stage Facebook Fan (Click here)
  • Post this giveaway on your Facebook Profile



  1. Ummm…. favorite alien movie… does ET count 🙂 Or Men in Black, lol…

  2. I’m a mom squad subscriber!

  3. facebook fan too!

  4. Ensemble Stage fan too!

  5. Posted on Facebook!

  6. Ira W. Miller says

    Favorite alien movie would have to be They Live

  7. FB fan of High Country Mom Squad

  8. FB fan of Ensemble Stage

  9. I’m a High Country Mom Squad subscriber

  10. My favorite alien movie is Galaxy Quest. It was the best Star Trek movie ever. 😉

  11. Posted on FB.

  12. I don’t think I have a favorite alien movie.

  13. MS facebook fan

  14. ES facebook fan

  15. Hey Sarah! Did you pick a winner already? Just curious 😀