The theatre season at WCU opened last Friday with “The Battle of Shallowford” by North Carolina playwright Ed Simpson. The comedy, presented in Hoey Auditorium by the University Players, is the tale of what happens when residents of the small N.C. town of Shallowford fall for one of the greatest hoaxes in history – Orson Welles’ classic radio broadcast of the “War of the Worlds.” The play is set on a quiet Sunday evening in October 1938, and the regulars are gathered – as usual – at Burton Mock’s general store. Despite the fact the storm clouds of Work War II are gathering, these folks are only interested in local gossip, and the general store is the place to hear all of it. Everything is calm until they turn on the radio, hear the Welles broadcast, and believe the fictional invasion is real. Comical complications ensue. Western’s production of “The Battle of Shallowford” is directed by Stephen Michael Ayers, associate professor of theatre arts, who also will play the role of Newsome Jarvis. The cast features Jim Irvin as Burton Mock, Izzy Burger as Ruthie Mock, Justin Davis as Clunette, Whit Blanchard as Fred, Michael Wannagot as Lonnie, Tom Wilson as Mr. Roy, Parker Millar as Doodad Jarvis, and Jan Riddle as Dewey. The play will stage at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 2-4, and at 2 p.m. Oct. 4-5. Tickets are $12.50 for adults, $10 for senior citizens, and $6 for students. Season tickets and Theatre Patrons Club memberships are still available. For reservations or information, call (828) 227-7491.