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It Can't Happen Here - Or Can It?

All in the NJIT community are invited to a staged reading of the play It Can’t Happen Here on Monday, October 24 at 7:00 p.m. in the Essex Room of the Rutgers-Newark Robeson Center. Admission is free.

The presentation of this American classic is hosted by Rutgers-Newark, with readers from the NJIT Theatre Arts and Technology Program participating. This nationwide event has been initiated by the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in recognition of the 80th anniversary of the first theatrical adaptation of the novel by Sinclair Lewis.

Lewis’ novel It Can’t Happen Here was published in 1935, during the rise of fascism in Europe. It chronicles the rise of a populist United States Senator who is elected president after promising drastic economic and social reforms during a fear-stoked campaign promoting a return to patriotism and "traditional" values. After his election, the new president takes complete control of the government and imposes totalitarian rule with the help of a brutal paramilitary force. The plot of the best-selling novel and very popular stage adaptation also centers on a crusading journalist’s principled opposition to the new regime.

First produced under the auspices of the New Deal’s Federal Theatre Project, the current adaptation of It Can’t Happen Here for the stage is by Tony Taccone and Bennett S. Cohen. The Berkeley Rep has invited theatres, universities and libraries across the country to organize free public readings of the play simultaneously on October 24.