It Can’t Happen Here
By Tony Taccone and Bennett S. Cohen,
adapted from the novel by Sinclair Lewis
Sound design and music by Paul James Prendergast
Directed by Lisa Peterson

Debuts October 13, 2020, 8 PM

Available here on demand through November 8 Free · No registration required Provided in partnership with Berkeley Repertory Theatre

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. In 2016, Berkeley Rep unveiled a new stage adaptation of Lewis’ prescient novel, one week after that production ended, the presidential election roiled our nation. Now, Berkeley Rep reprises that 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 is delighted to welcome back much of the original cast including David Kelly as the candidate Buzz Windrip, and to have Academy Award nominee David Strathairn join as the liberal protagonist Doremus Jessup.

The audio drama is being offered free across the country. Berkeley Rep intends for the project to encourage dialogue and motivate citizens to exercise their civic power and vote. Register to vote, check your registration status, learn more about early voting or vote by mail, see what will be on your ballot, sign up as a poll worker and more at



Post-Show Live Q&A with Show Adaptors and Creative Team

October 13 at 10:15 PM
Immediately following the debut of It Can't Happen Here, watch a live broadcast Q&A with the show's creative team on YouTube. No advance registration required.

React and Connect with Roundabout Theatre Company

October 25 at 2 PM and 5 PM
Interact with theatre fans across America as Roundabout Theatre Company hosts two National Community Conversations to discuss the play and your response.
Community Conversations are small group discussion moderated by Roundabout Teaching Artists using specially designed reflective prompts, after which participants are welcome to stay and mingle. Pre-registration required.



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