The Mercury Theatre on the Air

The finest radio drama of the 1930’s was The Mercury Theatre on the Air, a show featuring the acclaimed New York drama company founded by Orson Welles and John Houseman. In its brief run, it featured an impressive array of talents, including Agnes Moorehead, Bernard Herrmann, and George Coulouris. The show is famous for its notorious War of the Worlds broadcast, but the other shows in the series are relatively unknown. This site has many of the surviving shows, and will eventually have all of them.

The show first broadcast on CBS and CBC in July 1938. It ran without a sponsor until December of that year, when it was picked up by Campbell’s Soup and renamed The Campbell Playhouse. All of the surviving Mercury Theatre shows are available from this page in RealAudio format (some are also in MP3 format). There are several Campbell Playhouse episodes available here as well, in both RealAudio and MP3 formats; the rest are being added gradually.

Mercury Theatre

[Another photo of Orson Welles]

Campbell Playhouse


Miscellaneous / Related



I’m now making a BitTorrent available of all the files. If possible, please download this instead. Also, I’d really appreciate it if you left it running after the download completes.

Be sure to check back here from time to time; when I add files to the Torrent, I will increment the version number.

This page was created and is maintained by Kim Scarborough (e-mail) (homepage).
Special thanks to Gene Ward, James BonTempo, John Ross McMaster, Paul T. Carras, J. Alec West, and Sean Drifter.

Page last updated 15.

[Valid HTML 4.01] [Valid CSS] [Unicode encoded] [Created with Vim] [Powered by Apache]