First Person Singular

(July – September 1938) The first radio series for which Welles had full creative control. One-hour adaptions of literary works, including Dracula and The Thiry-Nine Steps.

Before Orson Welles created his own radio series, he frequently performed on the radio in series such as The March of Time and The Shadow. He used his income from radio to support the theater company he founded with John Houseman, the Mercury Theatre. The Mercury Theatre made a big impression in 1938, and Time magazine featured Welles on its cover on May 9, 1938. Taking advantage of Welles’s new celebrity, CBS offered Welles total creative control for a short radio series. First Person Singular ran for nine episodes, from July 11 to September 5, 1938. It continued under the title The Mercury Theatre on the Air.

Welles produced nine episodes of First Person Singular. Eight are presented here; missing is The Affairs of Anatol (broadcast August 22, 1938).  



Adaptation of Bram Stoker's 1897 novel "Dracula".



Adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's 1883 (1881-1882 serialized) novel "Treasure Island".



Adaptation of Charles Dickens' 1859 novel "A Tale of Two Cities".



Adaptation of John Buchan's 1915 novel "The Thirty-Nine Steps".



Adaptation of works by Sherwood Anderson, Saki, Carl Ewald. Unfortunately, this program is incomplete.



Adaptation of John Drinkwater's 1918 play "Abraham Lincoln".



Adaptation of Alexandre Dumas' 1844-1845 (serialized) novel "The Count of Monte Cristo".



Adaptation of G.K. Chesterton's 1908 novel "The Man Who Was Thursday".

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