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Queens Council on the Arts' Artist Commissioning Program presents the World Premiere of It Can Happen Here at Jamaica Performing Arts Center, a new work completed by ACP Awardee in Playwrighting Judith Sloan.

Sunday, September 30, 7:30pm
Jamaica Performing Arts Center
153-10 Jamaica Ave
Jamaica, NY 11432

Free • Registration Required


Judith's ACP project, It Can Happen Here, is a reference to the Sinclair Lewis novel It Can’t Happen Here, which chronicled the fictitious election of a power-hungry politician who stirred up fear by promising a return to patriotism.

Judith comes from lineage of Jewish refugees, and growing up, she often heard the phrase “it can’t happen here” in reference to Hitler and the rise of Nazism and the Holocaust. Over the past 20 years, she has been documenting and portraying stories of immigrants, refugees, and people threatened by changing demographics.

Her ACP project builds upon this practice by interviewing people who once thought "It can't happen here,” including Hurricane Sandy survivors who lost everything in the storm, DACA recipients struggling with current and changing policy, refugees from military dictatorships, second and third generation children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors, university students and older women who have been victims of sexual assault and rape.

These interviews will inform a series of monologues which will culminate in a concert/performance of stories, song and music with a live band in the genre of a “dark cabaret” honoring the depth of the stories and finding humor in the chaos. As the bombardment of attacks on democratic values in the U.S. fly in our newsfeeds on a daily basis along with stories about predatory abusive behavior, and the impact of climate change on hurricanes and fires, this work challenges us to stay engaged and interconnected with our neighbors. Just as chaos and hate has taken hold, a practice of compassion, empathy and collaboration can also happen here.