Exercise your civic power and vote.
You may remember that in October of 2016 16th Street held a free public reading at FitzGerald’s of the new stage adaptation of It Can’t Happen Here, based on the 1935 novel written by Sinclair Lewis. In 1936, the novel was adapted into a play and theatres across the country opened productions on the same night in 1936. To commemorate the 80th anniversary of those productions, in 2016 regional theatres, universities, and communities across the country held public readings of the 2016 adaptation by Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s Artistic Director Tony Taccone and screenwriter Bennett S. Cohen. 16th Street was one of those theaters. Our reading was directed by Aaron Arbiter.
Written in 1935 during the rise of fascism in Europe, Lewis’ darkly satirical It Can’t Happen Here follows the ascent of a demagogue who becomes president of the United States by promising to return the country to greatness. Now, Berkeley Rep reprises their 2016 production with the same director, but this time as a radio play in four episodes, just in time for the 2020 presidential election. Berkeley Rep welcomes back much of the original cast including David Kelly as the candidate Buzz Windrip and Academy Award nominee David Strathairn join us as the liberal protagonist Doremus Jessup.
YouTube links to all 4 episodes of It Can’t Happen Here plus the intro and live talkback….
Episode 1: https://youtu.be/qzJI9T7Pcjk
Episode 2: https://youtu.be/SE0EsRy_xUk
Episode 3: https://youtu.be/NpEMurSK5QI
Episode 4: https://youtu.be/yCjqSPpzlbY
Live Talkback: https://youtu.be/JD_-ZHWW0eE
All episodes plus intro and live talkback in one YouTube playlist, for continuous playing from episode to episode: http://bit.ly/ICHHplaylist
The episodes are not captioned, but there will be instructions on each YouTube page on how people with hearing loss can obtain a copy of the script for their own personal use.
Interact with theatre fans across America as Roundabout Theatre Company hosts two National Community Conversations on Sunday, October 25 at 2pm ET and 5pm ET to discuss the play and your response. Community Conversations are free and open to anyone who experienced the radio play performance of It Can’t Happen Here. Pre-register to participate, and you will be sent a link to access the Zoom meeting. (You can register and join the event on October 25, but pre-registration can help ensure you a spot since space is limited.) Register here for the 2pm ET/1pm CT/11am PT Community Conversation on Oct 25
Register here for the 5pm ET/4pm CT/2pm PT Community Conversation on Oct 25
Learn more about the history of this production of It Can’t Happen Here and its creators. Education at Roundabout staff members, Ted Sod and Leah Reddy, share a lively discussion over video to enhance your engagement with this special radio play production of It Can’t Happen Here. Visit this YouTube link.
Sound design and music by Paul James Prendergast
Directed by Lisa Peterson