Date ArticleType
10/7/2016 Member News
American Stage takes part in the National Night of Readings to Commemorate 80th Anniversary of It Can't Happen Here

In 1936 theatres across the country staged the original play simultaneously 

St. Petersburg, FL – On Monday, October 24, 2016 at 7 PM, American Stage in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida 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,” says Stephanie Gularte, American Stage Producing Artistic Director. “We're very excited to be a part of the national conversation that Berkeley Rep has initiated with this adaptation and its readings that will be seen and heard around the country."

The new adaptation of Lewis’s classic will have its world premiere performance at Berkeley Rep on September 30, 2016. The reading at America Stage will be on Monday, October 24, 2016 at 7 PM and will be held at 163 3rd St. North, St. Petersburg, Florida. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit Tickets can be reserved by calling 727.823.PLAY(7529) or visiting our box office. Limited Seating Available.

Information about 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.

Cost: FREE
Box Office: (727) 823-PLAY (7529)
Walk-up: 163 3rd Street North, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Physical Accessibility: The theatre features accessible parking, entrances, restrooms, and seating.
Benefits of a Valid Disabled Parking Permit: Displaying your valid disabled parking permit will allow you to park at City metered spaces for FREE, for as long as your event requires, including those posted with time limit signs (green signs). This does not apply to loading zones or otherwise restricted parking signage (red signs).

Listening System: Theatregoers may enjoy the free infrared listening system from any seat.

Since 1978 American Stage has been dedicated to telling meaningful, compelling stories with integrity and professionalism. As the Tampa Bay area’s longest-running, most critically-acclaimed professional theatre company, we seek to bring the power of quality live theatre to each generation in our community. American Stage invites you to lean forward and experience the most captivating stories of the moment and the most relevant stories of the past. All told with passion and a commitment to excellence.

Berkeley Repertory Theatre has grown from a storefront stage to a national leader in innovative theatre. Known for its core values of imagination and excellence, as well as its educated and adventurous audience, the nonprofit has provided a welcoming home for emerging and established artists since 1968. With two stages, a school, and a Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre, Berkeley Rep is proud to premiere exhilarating new plays. Nine shows seen at Berkeley Rep have ended up on Broadway. More than 12 arrived off Broadway, two moved to London, two turned into films, and others have toured the nation. Come see tomorrow’s plays today at Berkeley Rep.

Contact: Roman Black
Director of Marketing & Communications
(727) 823-1600 x 214  

National Contact: Tim Etheridge
Berkeley Repertory Theatre
510 647.2917