The Winged Ox Players will present the thought provoking play “It Can’t Happen Here” the weekends of May 11th and 12th and 18th and 19th at the Willow Bay Theater, 21 E. Third Street, Jamestown. Friday and Saturday evening performances will begin at 7pm and there will also be a matinee performance on Saturday May 12th at 1pm followed by a panel discussion with several community members, including journalists, high school teachers, and members of the cast.
The play is based on the novel by American author Sinclair Lewis and has been adapted for the stage by Tony Taccone and Bennet S. Cohen. “It Can’t Happen Here” has been described as a “cautionary dark satire about the fragility of democracy and how fascism can take hold even in the land of liberty.”
Veteran Winged Ox Director Deacon Pierce, who is also the company’s Artistic Director says that the Winged Ox Players are proud to continue their tradition of bringing provocative drama to Jamestown.
“Our goal in presenting this play is to encourage the audience to thoughtfully consider their part in our country’s ongoing experiment in democracy. In the play, many of the characters are forced to examine and act on their beliefs, sometimes with terrible consequences.” adds Willow Fodor, secretary for the group. “They (the characters) must look into their own hearts and find the courage to step out of their comfort zones and into the conflict that has sprung up around them. We want our audience to come away with questions: about their own beliefs, about our history, about what is best for our country going forward. We hope that these questions will spark an informed and civil conversation about these topics. We won’t all agree on the answers, but we can come together as a community and explore those questions with kindness and courage. We must be willing to honor the humanity in every person, especially those we don’t agree with, to find answers to the issues that face us all.”
Admission to the show is free, but free will donations are encouraged. Proceeds from the performances will be used to establish a scholarship for a Chautauqua County senior with an interest in studying journalism at a 2 or 4-year college.
There will also be a voter registration table at each performance.
The Winged Ox Players is a ministry of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church that engages the theatrical talents of the greater Jamestown area to present plays that inspire conversations about our community. Individuals interested in more information about the Players are asked to contact Pierce at 716-969-7412 or Steven Cobb at 716-499-5142.
For more information about St. Luke’s other ministries visit their website at www.stlukesjamestown.org, or call the church office at 716-483-6405.