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Word Count: 1,341
In 1938 at the mere age of 23 Orson Welles radio adaptation and performance of HG Wells classic science fiction thriller The War of the Worlds established him as a household name and a master of dramatic production His previous experience in both directing and acting in theater had taught him the essentials of narrative story telling and his involvement in radio perfected his ability to use sound as a means of conveying message and emotion For these reasons his first ever feature film Citizen Kane has a soundtrack that is so expressive and attuned to the story it would not be difficult to comprehend the entire film without visual sensory whatsoever Even at a very young age people around the young Orson recognized his genius His first stage appearance was at the age of 3 While the role probably did not require great acting skill by the age of 16 he presented himself to the Gate Theatre in Dublin as a professional actor and he made his Broadway debut at 19 as Shakespeares Tybalt from Romeo and Juliet In the next few years Welles established himself as a very competent figure in all aspects of stage production and even formed a repertory company with the directorproducer John Houseman The Mercury Players as they were called aired a weekly radio program with CBS for two years before Welles performed The War of the Worlds as I said the production which firmly established him as a household name and which greatly influenced RKOs decision to offer him an unheard of contract for almost complete production control of six feature films This experience in radio played a major role in Welles development of Citizen Kane Because he had a great deal of knowledge on how to express narration through sound and almost none on how to do so on film he used the soundtrack as an integral part of the storytelling device of the movie Whereas most
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