It Can't Happen Here

Written by Sinclair Lewis; adapted by Tony Taccone and Bennett S. Cohen

Directed by Leigh Matthews Bock

It Can’t Happen Here Open Auditions

By Sinclair Lewis 

Adapted by Tony Taccone and Bennett S. Cohen

Directed by Leigh Matthews Bock

Open Auditions: May 11 & 12, 2020 at 6:30 pm

Rehearsal Timeframe: August 31 – October 29 

Performances: October 30, 31 (Halloween), November 1 (m), 6, 7, 8 (m)

 

The Majestic Theatre (a division of the City of Corvallis Parks and Recreation department) is committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion and to creating a safe place for actors of all backgrounds to explore their craft. We are particularly eager to work with artists of color and other artists from marginalized communities. All auditions are free and open to the public. This audition is for an amateur, volunteer production. The Majestic Theatre staff and volunteers do not discriminate on the basis of age, national origin, race, gender, ethnic background, disability, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation.

 

SHOW SYNOPSIS

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 tyranny from the sidelines is a liberal, middle-class newspaper editor who trusts the system will fix itself—until he ends up in a prison camp. Sinclair Lewis’ eerily prophetic 1935 novel gets a fresh update in this adaptation that examines what brings a citizenry to the point of sacrificing its own freedom and how a courageous few can prevail to overcome the fall.

 

FROM THE DIRECTOR LEIGH MATTHEWS BOCK

“If you like a fast-paced show full of intrigue, danger, bravery, with some great historical context, plus awesome 1930s costumes, I invite you to become a part of this timely cautionary tale that reminds us, democracy is fragile, and if we think the topics being discussed in Washington DC don’t affect our lives, we just might be wrong.” Come join the creative collaboration and fun. 

 

PREPARATION NOTES

You do NOT need to prepare a monologue or piece. 

Wear comfortable clothes to audition; be ready to move as part of your audition.

 

CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS

All characters do not have a specific race or ethnic background; we're excited to see a diverse pool of actors audition for all roles.

 

NARRATOR 1 & 2 

Character Age: Any

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: In continuous movement throughout much of the show. Great storytelling abilities, able to command attention.

 

DOREMUS JESSUP 

Character Age: 45-65

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Male-Identifiying

Ability/movement: On stage the entire play, in continuous movement. Comfortable with stage fight movements. Down on the floor at times.

Character: A journalist who serves as editor of the Vermont newspaper, The Daily Informer; self-described middle-class liberal intellectual; his evolution from a cynical but detached observer of politics to a committed resistance agent forms the main arc of the play.

 

EMMA JESSUP 

Character Age: 45-65 

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Female-Identifiying

Ability/movement: In continuous movement throughout much of the show.

Character: Married to Doremus Jessup; keeping the peace at all costs is one of her focuses; worries about the little things; unable/unwilling to see the bigger picture; she is the epitome of – no decision is a decision.

 

SISSY JESSUP 

Character Age: 18-25

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Female-Identifiying

Ability/movement: In continuous movement throughout much of the show. Comfortable with stage fight movements. Down on the floor at times.

Character: The youngest child of Doremus and Emma; is a bit of a wild child; full of modern ideas about the world; admires Lorinda; she is sexually liberated, and her extroverted behavior contradicts her strong mind; in love with Julian for all the right reasons. 

    

PHILIP JESSUP 

Character Age: 25-35

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Male-Identifiying

Ability/movement: In continuous movement throughout much of the show. Able to utilize movement and change voice to demonstrate different characters a must.

Character: The son of Doremus and Emma; a Harvard grad who has drunk the Kool-Aid because it gives him access to power and privilege; he is a deep disappointment to his father, which only fuels him to assert the correctness of his increasingly extreme views.

 

MARY JESSUP GREENHILL 

Character Age: 22-35

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Female-Identifiying

Ability/movement: In continuous movement throughout much of the show. Comfortable ‘committing murder’ on stage. Able to utilize movement and change voice to demonstrate different characters a must.

Character: The oldest daughter of Doremus and Emma; married to Dr. Fowler Greenhill and mother to David; a lot like her mother until her husband’s bravery and misreading the seriousness of a situation causes her to need to make a choice.

 

LORINDA PIKE

Character Age: 40-65

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Female-Identifiying

Ability/movement: In continuous movement throughout much of the show. Down on the floor at times.

Character: Intelligent, well read, and fiercely independent; a suffragist and an activist; completely unafraid of expressing her opinion in public; her affair with Doremus is compromised by his marriage, which she completely accepts and is probably relieved by; where Doremus thinks great thoughts, Lorinda is willing to act upon them.

 

JULIAN FALCK

Character Age: 18-30

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Male-Identifiying

Ability/movement: In continuous movement throughout much of the show. Down on the floor at times. Able to utilize movement and change voice to demonstrate different characters a must.

Character: Becomes increasingly unsettled by the current political atmosphere; trying to find his footing, what he believes in; inspired by Sissy’s bravery.

 

SHAD LEDUE

Character Age: 18-30

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Character Desired Actor Gender: Male-Identifiying

Ability/movement: In continuous movement throughout much of the show. Comfortable with stage fight movements.

Character: Doremus’ hired man; hard working; in love/smitten with Sissy; we experience him forming a chip on his shoulder and dissatisfaction with his station in life; believes Buzz Windrip offers him a chance to rise above his economic and sociological status.

 

DR. FOWLER GREENHILL

Character Age: 25-35

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Male-Identifiying

Ability/movement: In continuous movement throughout much of the show. Comfortable with stage fight movements. Able to utilize movement and change voice to demonstrate different characters a must.

Character: Married to Doremus’ oldest daughter, Mary; easy going; doesn’t realize how seriously things are getting; principled.

BERZELIUS ‘BUZZ’ WINDRIP/BUCK TITUS

Character Age: 40-60

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: In continuous movement throughout much of the show. Able to utilize movement and change voice to demonstrate different characters a must.

Character: Charismatic; personable and puts on the persona of the common man/Loyal friend; brave.

 

JOHN POLLIKOP

Character Age: 40-70

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Down on the floor at times. Able to utilize movement and change voice to demonstrate different characters a must.

Character: Smart; well read; ornery and opinionated because he's well-versed and passionate about politics; working class guy who has read his political theory and understands it; a democratic socialist.

 

KARL PASCAL

Character Age: 30-50

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Down on the floor at times. Able to utilize movement and change voice to demonstrate different characters a must.

Character: The "local communist"; an auto mechanic, a working-class radical; fully versed in Marx; a proud American with a razor-sharp critique of capitalism; friends with John Pollikop, his boss.

 

BISHOP PRANG/EFFINGHAM SWAN

Character Age: 40-65

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Male-Identifiying

Ability/movement: Down on the floor at times. Able to utilize movement and change voice to demonstrate different characters a must.

 Character: Both are congenial, until they are not; powerful men. 

 

SUPPORTING CAST PLAYING MULTIPLE ROLES: 5 to 8 people 

Creative character-actors to develop multiple roles. Being able to utilize movement and change voice to demonstrate different characters a must. 

Character Age: 18 and up

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/Movement: Mobility for quick entrances and exits, down on the floor at times, comfortable with stage fight movements, some lifting and moving of small set pieces (table, chairs, etc.)

CPR Leaf Logo Final-1-png_Artboard 1 Col

The Majestic Theatre is a branch of the City of Corvallis Parks and Recreation Department, dedicated to bringing a wide range of artistic productions and arts education programs to the citizens of Corvallis.

Contact Us

115 SW 2nd St, Corvallis OR 97330 

Business Office: 541-758-7827 

Box Office and Ticket Sales: 541-738-7469

info@majestic.org

Box Office Hours

12:00pm – 5:00pm, Wednesday – Friday.
The Box Office is also open 1 hour before all performances

Administrative Staff Office Hours
12:00pm – 5:00pm, Tuesday – Friday

Thank you to our generous sponsors!