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Everyman's Theater

Everyman's Theater was a 30-minute old-time radio dramatic series. Its 26 episodes were broadcast on NBC from October 4, 1940, through March 28, 1941.[2]

Everyman's Theater
Genre Drama
Running time 30 minutes
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
Syndicates NBC
Created by Arch Oboler
Written by Arch Oboler
Directed by Arch Oboler
Produced by Arch Oboler
Original release October 4, 1940 – March 28, 1941
No. of episodes 26
Opening theme "Death and Transfiguration"[1]
Sponsored by Oxydol

Created by Arch Oboler, Everyman's Theater succeeded Arch Oboler's Plays after the latter program was canceled.[3] One website commented: "Arch Oboler's Plays was Oboler's breakout dramatic showcase over radio. Everyman's Theater further established Oboler's versatility and range, while underscoring Oboler's growing appeal to a far wider audience than he'd already established with Lights Out."[4]

Some of the program's plays were original with Oboler; others were adapted by him.[5] A number of the episodes used scripts that had already been presented on radio.[3] Plays presented on Everyman's Theater included "None but the Lonely Heart," "Ivory Tower," "The Laughing Man," "The Ugliest Man in the World" and "Lust for Life." Stars featured included Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn, Raymond Massey, Boris Karloff.[6] Norma Shearer, Marlene Dietrich and Franchot Tone.[2]

Oboler had tight control over all facets of the program and was responsible for writing scripts and directing episodes. He was paid $4,000 per week, out of which he, in turn, paid actors and musicians involved in each production. Oboler had a passion for authenticity, as illustrated by his hiring a full symphony orchestra to play music written by Tchaikovsky for the play, "None but the Lonely Heart."[3] His productions featured "offbeat plotting, realistic sound effects, and stream-of-consciousness narration." [2]


  1. ^ Fairfax, Arthur (February 8, 1941). "Mr. Fairfax Replies" (PDF). Movie-Radio Guide. 10 (18): 45. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 January 2015. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  2. ^ a b c Dunning, John. (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3. Pp. 236-237.
  3. ^ a b c Grams, Martin Jr. "Arch Oboler: Plays or Lights Out (Part Two)". Return with Us Now ... Volume 28, Number 11. November 2003. Pp. 1, 3-6.
  4. ^ "The Everyman's Theater Radio Program". The Digital Deli Too. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  5. ^ Dunning, John. (1976). Tune in Yesterday: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio, 1925-1976. Prentice-Hall, Inc. ISBN 0-13-932616-2. P. 188.
  6. ^ Buxton, Frank and Owen, Bill (1972). The Big Broadcast: 1920-1950. The Viking Press. ISBN 978-0-670-16240-6. Pp. 79-80.

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