Digital Stage (free). Available on demand beginning October 13.



Available on demand beginning Tuesday, October 13, 5:00pm PT
Expires on Sunday, November 13 (extended)

Berkeley Rep presents

By Tony Taccone and Bennett S. Cohen, adapted from the novel by Sinclair Lewis

Sound design and music by Paul James Prendergast

Directed by Lisa Peterson

A radio play

TOTAL RUN TIME: TBD (pausable)


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About It Can't Happen Here

Written in 1935 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. In 2016, Berkeley Rep unveiled a new stage adaptation of Lewis’ prescient novel, one week after that production ended, the presidential election roiled our nation. Now, Berkeley Rep reprises that production with the same director, but this time as a radio play in four episodes, just in time for the 2020 presidential election. We’re delighted to welcome back much of the original cast including David Kelly as the candidate Buzz Windrip, and to have Academy Award nominee David Strathairn join us as the liberal protagonist Doremus Jessup.

The novel, It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis was published in 1935 and was quickly adapted into a play and produced by the WPA's Federal Theater Project on October 27, 1936, in 21 U.S. theatres in 17 states. To honor that event and once again affirm the critical role that theatre can play in the nation's social discourse, Berkeley Rep has partnered with Center Theatre Group and over 60 theatres to broadcast this new radio play version.


Elijah Alexander as General Edgeways / Bishop Prang / Lee Sarason

Danforth Comins as Philip Jessup

Scott Coopwood as Shad Ledue

William Thomas Hodgson as Dr. Fowler Greenhill

Anna Ishida as Mary Jessup Greenhill

David Kelly as Buzz Windrip

Sharon Lockwood as Emma Jessup / Adelaide Tarr Gimmitch

Eddie Lopez as David Greenhill / Mr. Dimick

Alex Lydon as Julian Falck

Tom Nelis as Buck Titus

Greta Oglesby as Lorinda Pike

Charles Shaw Robinson as Frank Tasbrough / Effingham Swan

Gerardo Rodriguez as Karl Pascal

Carolina Sanchez as Sissy Jessup

Mark Kenneth Smaltz as R.C. Crowley / John Pollikop

David Strathairn as Doremus Jessup

Citizens, campaigners, soldiers, workers, radio voices, prisoners, and many others all played by members of the company and Sound Designer Paul James Prendergast.

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