Our 2018 Season-It Can't Happen Here
Ashfield Community Theater is pleased to present Sinclair Lewis's political satire It Can't Happen Here.
In the mid 1930’s Sinclair Lewis wrote what would become a best selling novel, It Can’t Happen Here, his view of social upheaval and political radicalization in the depression-ravaged US. The resentment of the voters proved to be fertile ground for the rise of political fanatics who preached bigotry, racism, and resentment with surprisingly good reception.
Lewis created the fictionalized Berzelius “Buzz” Windrip, an ignorant demagogue who corrals the support of millions of impoverished and angry voters and manages to win the presidential election. Windrip’s rhetoric is irresistible to his admirers, even though he routinely lies, contradicts himself, and backtracks on his own policies to ensure that his followers hear what they need to hear. Upon becoming the president, he orders the invasion of Mexico and imprisons his opponents.
Doremus Jessup, the liberal editor of a small town newspaper in Windrip’s hometown, opposes his nomination and election and suffers persecution as a result. Jessup’s liberal allies and family members work with him, going so far as to try and infiltrate Windrip’s organized supporters. But his longtime assistant at the newspaper, Shad Ladue, joins up with the dictatorial candidate, buying into the promise of a return to patriotism and “traditional” values.
The performance is directed by Graham Christian. Rose Carragher is the Stage Manager. The play is co-produced by Jackie Walsh and David Knowles. Michael Friedman is the Lighting Designer and costumes are designed by Marcine Appel.
Performances are May 18, 19, 25, and 26 at 7:00. There is an afternoon performance at 2:00pm on Sunday, May 20. All performances are at the historic Ashfield Town Hall on Main Street (Rte 116), right in the center of Ashfield. The Town Hall is wheelchair and walker accessible; parking is free on the street.
This production is supported in part by grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Commission through Local Cultural Council grants.
For twenty years the Ashfield Community Theater has produced high quality plays performed by regional actors and enjoyed by thousands of audience members from all over southern New England.