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Home » The Hitchhiker by Lucille Fletcher—Radio Play Drama Analysis & The Twilight Zone

The Hitchhiker by Lucille Fletcher—Radio Play Drama Analysis & The Twilight Zone


Students will read and analyze the script of Lucille Fletcher’s radio play: The Hitchhiker (also spelled The Hitch-Hiker). Have them listen to the drama on the Orson Welles Show to understand the impact that music and sound effects have on a play.

Students will love to compare the audio version of The Hitchhiker to the episode of The Twilight Zone Rod Serling adapted for television. (The gender swap of the main character makes for a great discussion.)

In this dreadful, ominous tale, students will be guessing what this hitchhiker really wants… or is he even real?!

Included in this lesson plan:

  • Background information on Lucille Fletcher
  • History of radio dramas and radio plays
  • Academic vocabulary
  • Review of literary devices: foreshadowing, suspense, flashback, dialogue, and mood
  • Before reading journal prompt
  • Literary analysis questions of the script
  • Media analysis questions to compare the film vs audio
  • Reflection journal question for after reading
  • Answer keys

Student objectives:

Compare and contrast a written story, drama, or poem to its audio, filmed, staged, or multimedia version, analyzing the effects of techniques unique to each medium (e.g., lighting, sound, color, or camera focus and angles in a film).

Analyze the extent to which a filmed or live production of a story or drama stays faithful to or departs from the text or script, evaluating the choices made by the director or actors.

Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision.

Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text.

Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

Analyze how differences in the points of view of the characters and the audience or reader (e.g., created through the use of dramatic irony) create such effects as suspense or humor.

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