So how could the magic of the stage not call to
this adventurous lad? Unstoppable and resolute, the
Boy Wonder journeyed into the world of the legit
theater. After a peripatetic beginning he found
himself at last in New York where he joined forces
with theatrical producer John Houseman under the
august auspices of the WPA Federal Theater.
A rehearsal room interview with John Houseman, who is in his 30's,
thin-lipped and prim:
Orson barreled in and took over. Orson's a real
Images of Welles directing his famous "Fascist JULIUS CAESAR" and
"Voodoo MACBETH" productions: auditions; rehearsals; perfecting a
sword-fight; rejecting classical costume sketches for JULIUS CAESAR;
supervising set construction; performing Brutus in the Albert Speer-
like Nuremberg rally lighting of JULIUS CAESAR. As we hear:
Like Hannibal over the Alps, the Boy Genius invaded
the Great White Way. He stunned the sedate elite of
New York theatre with production after production.
From MACBETH with an entirely colored cast to a
Mussolini-inspired JULIUS CAESAR!
More images of New York, Welles, Houseman and radio: Welles directing a
radio play with sweeping energy; supervising the elaborate sound
effects; editing the script; at odds with Houseman. As we hear:
Though he wowed the critics with his spectaculars
the ticket sales left something to be desired. So,
after founding the Mercury Players with Houseman,
young Mr. Welles quickly set his sights on the
airwaves. He quickly became the sonorous -' voice of
"The Shadow." ''
Newsreel footage of Welles at a standing radio microphone;
Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The
Shadow knows. . .
Welles laughs his sinister Shadow laugh and we go to more images of
radio and the dynamic Welles performing and directing as we hear: