Several NYC theatre companies have joined National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene to present a multilingual virtual reading of Sinclair Lewis’ It Can’t Happen Here October 28, adapted for the stage by John C. Moffitt and Lewis.
The production, presented in Yiddish, English, Spanish, Italian, Turkish, and Hebrew, features over 60 performers from Israeli Artists Project, Kairos Italy Theater, New York Classical Theatre, Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, Playful Substance, Repertorio Español, and Turkish American Repertory Theater and Entertainment.
The reading kicks off at 1 PM ET on NYTF.org and will be available through November 1 at 1 PM. While free to watch, donations are encouraged to support the participating theatre companies.
Adapted for the stage by John C. Moffitt and Sinclair Lewis in 1936, It Can’t Happen Here was presented simultaneously by 21 theater companies under the auspices of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) Federal Theater Project as fascism was on the rise in Europe. The work chronicles the rise of a demagogue who is elected President of the United States after fomenting fear and promising sweeping economic and social reforms while promoting a return to patriotism and “traditional” values.
A radio play version debuted earlier this month in another regional theatre co-production led by California's Berkeley Repertory Theatre.