It Can't Happen Here
by Vortex Repertory Theatre

Oct. 30, 2016

On October 24, 1936, theatres across the United States simultaneously staged the original play based on Sinclair Lewis’ novel. Now 80 years later, spearheaded by Berkeley Rep, it is happening again as dozens of theatres around the country stage It Can’t Happen Here from October 23-30, 2016.


On Sunday, October 30, 2016, The VORTEX in Austin, Texas will hold a free public reading of the new stage adaptation of It Can’t Happen Here, based on the 1935 novel written by Sinclair Lewis. In 1936, the novel was adapted into a play and theatres across the country opened productions on the same night. To commemorate the 80th anniversary of those productions, regional theatres, universities, and communities across the country will read the new adaptation by Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s Artistic Director Tony Taccone and screenwriter Bennett S. Cohen. 


Written 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. Witnessing the new president’s authoritarian tyranny from the sidelines is a liberal, middle-class newspaper editor from Vermont who is caught in the chaos of social upheaval. Lewis’ novel reads like it was ripped out of today’s headlines. Whether he is describing Buzz Windrip, the demagogue who wins the presidency based on the promise of making our country great again, or Doremus Jessup, a liberal newspaper editor who simply waits too long to take Windrip seriously, Lewis’ understanding of our political system was precise and far reaching. The new adaptation of Lewis’ classic had its world premiere performance at Berkeley Rep on September 30, 2016. 


The reading at The VORTEX will feature VORTEX Company members.

The event is free and open to the public. Time and more information will be available at


Information on the national initiative is available at


A Nationwide Reading is made possible thanks to the generous support of Barbara and Rodgin Cohen and Orin Kramer and is presented in cooperation with the Sinclair Lewis Estate. 


The VORTEX Mission: We conjure and navigate the storm of imagination with urgent, unashamed art that dares to dream the world in which we want to live. This magic emanates from our cultural harbor, embraces diverse communities, breaks down barriers, and opens channels for vital exchange.


The VORTEX is funded and supported in part by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department.


It Can't Happen Here
by Sinclair Lewis
Vortex Repertory Theatre

October 30, 2016
Vortex Repertory Theatre
2307 Manor Road
Austin, TX, 78722

 Sunday, September 30, 2016,   5 pm

Where: The VORTEX, 2307 Manor Rd. Austin, TX 78722

Free Parking. Bus Route.

Tickets: Free  or 512-478-5282