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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


Script and songs written by Judith Sloan
Performed by: Judith Sloan, Meah Pace, Priya Darshini, Lisette Santiago, Emily Wexler
Director: Alexandra Aron
Story Consultant: Giona Jefferson
Music Production: Judith Sloan and Joshua Valleau


Judith Sloan's Artist Commissioning Program 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.  

For nine months Sloan — playwright/actor and longtime chronicler of Queens (Crossing the BLVD1001 Voices: Symphony for a New America) — talked with residents of Southeastern Queens about our hopes, fears, and aspirations. 

“What struck me over and over were stories of love and support that often fly under the radar in times of extreme duress. I decided to zoom in on conversations between women. Like the novel It Can’t Happen Here, my play is inspired by real events," says Sloan.

In It Can Happen Here, two hairdressers—one black, one white—in an ever-changing neighborhood in Queens, embark on a new dream. They follow their passion for singing and nurturing a community in the midst of a national political climate of chaos, division and  autocracy. Through their journey they reveal stories of their customers, family members and neighbors, including a DACA recipient, an immigration lawyer, and an older man who lost everything in Hurricane Sandy.