It Can't Happen Here: A Minnesota Fringe Festival Production to Benefit the ACLU


A Minnesota Fringe Festival Production to Benefit the ACLU

August 3 – 13, 2017

Ritz Theater Studio

345 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis




MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., July 9, 2017 − IT CAN’T HAPPEN HERE, the 1936 Federal Theatre Project’s adaptation of Sinclair Lewis’ bestselling political novel, will be performed in a five-night run at the Minnesota Fringe Festival, August 3-13. The hour-long version of this highly-charged drama about a populist demagogue who is elected president and becomes a dictator “could turn out to be a very hot Fringe ticket,” says MinnPost’s Pam Espeland. Profits from all five shows will be donated to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).


Director Bryan Bevell has put together a stellar team of artists. The cast is led by Charles Numrich as Doremus Jessup, a small-town newspaper editor who must come to grips with the effect of the new authoritarian regime on his community of Fort Beulah, Vermont. Meagan Kedrowski stars as Berzelius “Buzz” Windrip, a crude, rude, “plain-spoken” presidential candidate who hands FDR a shocking defeat.


Jessup, his friends and family, and other townspeople wake up to find themselves in an environment where freedom of the press and other basic American rights and liberties are stripped away as vigilante police gangs roam the streets and the separation of powers collapses. As events in the town turn violent, Jessup’s laissez-faire liberal views give way to a courageous defense of the rights encoded in the Constitution and the free and inquiring spirit that Windrip and his ilk are set on destroying.


The merging of fiction with real politics shocked American audiences who witnessed pro-fascist sentiments amid fringe groups throughout American society. At the request of Federal Theater Project’s Halle Flanagan, Lewis, a Minnesota native and Nobel Laureate, co-wrote an adaptation of the novel for the stage with John C. Moffitt, in response to the rise of fascism in Europe. The Fringe version is the condensed form of that play.


More details and ticket information for IT CAN’T HAPPEN HERE are listed on the Fringe Festival website.

Calendar Information


August 3 – 13, 2017

Ritz Theater Studio

345 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis, Minn.


Performance Dates

Thursday, 8/3 at 10:00 p.m.

Sunday, 8/6 at 8:30 p.m.

Tuesday, 8/8 at 8:30 p.m.

Friday, 8/11 at 5:30 p.m.

Sunday, 8/13 at 7:00 p.m.




About the Minnesota Fringe Festival: Minnesota Fringe is a Minneapolis-based non-profit organization with a mission to connect adventurous artists with adventurous audiences. As one of the largest Fringes in North America, Minnesota’s annual festival welcomes roughly 50,000 audience members to view more than 160 works culminating in over 800 performances by greater than 1,000 artists on 15 or more stages in late summer.


12th August 2017
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Categories
Event Category:


Ritz Theatre Studio
345 13th Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413 United States
(612) 436-1129