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The Fall of the City

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sarah Montague directs Fall of the City (WNYC)

Listen to an excerpt from the soundtrack above.

The Fall of the City, a 1937 CBS radio drama by Archibald MacLeish that starred Orson Welles and Burgess Meredith, is considered one of the most socially significant – and boldly experimental – works in the history of radio. Written in response to the rising tide of fascism in Europe, the production included innovative key sound effects, some of which, ironically, were later employed by Joseph Goebbels in rallies he orchestrated for Adolf Hitler.

The Greene Space presented a new production of this powerful classic, with an original score by Wendy and Lisa, and directed by Sarah Montague. Sarah Montague won a 2010 Gracie Award for Best Radio Drama.

Prior to the performance, a short audio documentary was aired, narrated by Radiolab host Jad Abumrad, recounting the original broadcast, featuring interviews with film director Peter Bogdanovich, film and television critic Leonard Maltin, and Oxford Book of American Poetry editor David Lehman. Archival audio of MacLeish discussing his work as “a play about the way people lose their freedom” and clips from the original production are included as well. The documentary was written and produced by Sarah Montague.

The Fall of the City Documentary
Written and produced by Sarah Montague

The Fall of the City Soundscape
Original Composition by Wendy Melvoin & Lisa Coleman

Commissioned by WNYC
The Fall of the City Commission was made possible through the generous support of the Sidney E. Frank Foundation

Cast: Kevin Cristaldi as The Announcer; with Jonathan Hadary; Paul Hecht; Karen Kandel; Brian Lewis; Steven Rattazzi; James Rebhorn; Barbara Rosenblat; Cecilia Rubino; and Rocco Sisto.

The Fall of the City was directed by Sarah Montague; assistant director, George Zarr; chorus director, Arthur Yorinks. Production assistants: Kara Gionfriddo and Miranda Shafer. Recording and mix engineers Claes Andreasson; Robert Christiansen; Edward Haber; Stuart Kennedy; and Bill O’Neill. Audio/visuals: William Porter; Lighting: Sam Gordon. Broadcast host: David Garland.

Chorus: students from Elisabeth Irwin High School--Meghan Farley Astrahchan, Coordinator and  Eugene Lang Drama Program--Cecilia Rubino, director.

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Comments [2]

jill waters

I've been trying to email back to sarah montague via a message sent to lOFTUS AUDIO in London. Every time I send or resend via a different permutation it bounces back Perhaps you could ask her to email me via

the message I have sent her is :
Seem to be having difficulty getting this through to yr email address

From: Jill Waters [mailto:jill@thewaterscompany.co.uk]
Sent: 08 March 2012 15:37
To: 'smontague@wnyc.org'
Cc: TWC Admin

From: Jill Waters [mailto:jill@thewaterscompany.co.uk]
Sent: 08 March 2012 15:30
To: 'smontague@wnyc.org'
Cc: TWC Admin

Dear Sarah,

Your message was forwarded to me a by David from Loftus (apologies – we haven’t got our website sorted yet).

Your project sounds intriguing; how did you come to hear of the Dover Beach piece ? Have you heard a recording of the full
programme ? There was a very good review of the series in the New Statesman - http://www.alanhoward.org.uk/ahreadsnewstatesman.htm , although I do think that Andrew Billen the reviewer didn’t actually understand the Stoppard piece or what it was doing.

I’d be happy to talk about this, however I am not in London until next Tuesday - and then only very briefly before flying to Edinburgh that evening and returning on the evening of the 16th. I can be reached on the Somerset number below – 441984 667 547 and also have skype. If you want to give me a call I am about this evening – let me know what time might be good for you ? Or we could try tomorrow.

Best wishes


Mar. 10 2012 05:04 PM

What can you do....
To fix the on-line audio archives of ~


Listen ~>

The audio quality is ( ? ) poor...
at least in my ears
from my computer

Can you increase the volume without

Nov. 20 2010 09:55 PM

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