On Wednesday, October 26th at 7pm, Vineyard Haven Library will join theaters, universities and libraries across the country to imagine the rise of fascism in America with a reading of Sinclair Lewis's semi-satirical "It Can't Happen Here." The play was adapted by Tony Taccone and Bennett S. Cohen from the novel by Sinclair Lewis, and will be performed by the Peter H. Luce Play Readers. Admission to this event is free, and doors will open at 6:30pm.
Published in 1935, "It Can't Happen Here" tells how the fictional Senator Buzz Windrip, a charismatic and power-hungry politician, is elected president. Windrip easily defeats his opponents, including President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, then quickly becomes a dictator, enacting martial law and throwing dissenters into labor camps. Shortly after it was published, the novel was recreated as a play and opened in 21 cities nationwide on October 27, 1936.
This year, the Sinclair Lewis estate is allowing libraries, theaters, schools and other institutions to hold readings of "It Can't Happen Here" royalty-free. The readings coincide with the opening of the play at Berkeley Repertory Theater in Berkeley, California.
The reading at Vineyard Haven Public Library will be performed by the Peter H Luce Play Readers, under the direction of Paul Doherty. For more than 15 years, the Peter H. Luce Play Readers have met every Wednesday at the Tisbury Senior Center, to read plays of every era and of every genre, from the Greek and Roman classics to the cutting-edge works of contemporary playwrights... and everything in between. The group is named for its founder, Peter Luce, who died in 2007.
Read more about the Nationwide Reading on the Berkeley Repertory Theater website: