Sword & Shield

It Can’t Happen Here

Nazareth Lockerd, Staff Writer

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The Paladin playhouse has debuted numerous memorable plays and musicals throughout the years. But its most recent production of It Can’t Happen Here was a show unlike any other.
Based off the 1935 political novel by Sinclair Lewis, this controversial play takes place in the 1930s, during the Great Depression and Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. Showing a fascist dictator, Buzz Windrip, as president of the United States of America, It Can’t Happen Here has several underlying messages about the dangers of an all powerful leader.
Many felt the play would be too controversial for school, considering the different political views of students and faculty. The aftermath of the 2016 election also played a role in reactions to the play, as many members of the community felt the play paralleled our current political climate.
‘‘It was purely coincidental,” said Velazquez, sophomore, crew member.
The play even got enough buzz to be featured in the Sun Sentinel. Junette Reyes, contact reporter, wrote an article about how the controversial play fueled the community to express negativity on their views of the play.
“I felt we didn’t push political agendas down someone’s throat, even though it was very political,” said Dwayne Reed, junior.
The play began with a montage of political movements throughout history, starting with the kneeling of football players to a Martin Luther King Jr. speech.
“I felt that people overreacted about the matters,” said Rames Ascanio, senior, crew member.
Cast members even took to social media to defend the play, Making official statements on there own
personal accounts.
In the play, Buzz Windrip, played by senior Curtis Dodgen, is elected as the president of the United States. As an totalitarian leader, Buzz creates a party made up of his Minutemen, who execute anyone who opposed them. Doremus Jessup, played by junior
Grace Emery, is a journalist outraged by the president elect, Winthrop. Jessup is thrown in a concentration camp because she published an article that she was not allowed to post and forced to work.
The cast and crew also did a whole lead up to the play, making it seem like everyone was involved with the election. They held rallies during lunch, passed out buttons through out the day and posted campaign posters all around school.
It Can’t Happen Here pushed boundaries of the average high school play. The play did a good job covering intense topics and political issues. It was intriguing and interesting through the whole play. Showcasing different views and reasons behind each individuals view.

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It Can’t Happen Here