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It Can't Happen Here

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It Can't Happen Here

On Sunday, November 19, 2017 the Paladin Players closed one of it's most thought provoking productions in recent memory, an adaptation of Sinclair Lewis's 1935 novel "It Can't Happen Here". In writing the novel, the author spoke to the nationalistic fever that propelled fascist leaders like Mussolini and Hitler into power. The Paladin Players production was not without controversy as reported in a November 17th article published by the Sun Sentinel. Sadly, none of those who objected actually came out to see the play or even call the director to discuss their concerns.

We, the South Plantation High School Friends of the Theater, are very proud of this group of student thespians and techs, who, in response to the brouhaha, formulated and released a written rebuttal to those who objected to the subject matter of the production. We'd like to share their response with you.

"Hey everyone, I'm sure you've all heard that our production of "It Can't Happen Here" is opening this Thursday at South Plantation High School! I just want to take a second to express my thoughts on the show and our drama program. I am so proud to be a part of a program where the director is willing to put educational merit before entertainment value. It would've been easy to pick a show to simply entertain the audience, but instead he gave us a chance, as young adults who will soon be responsible for the world in which we live, to ask questions in an attempt to understand it. As a class, we've had discussions about history, economics, and overall just today's world. Although a lot of our feelings of anxiousness seem new to us, we discovered that it's actually just history repeating itself. Our grandparents and great grandparents experienced the same events we are experiencing today. Even though our director is being criticized by many community members for choosing material that they claim is controversial, which is unjust because they don't know the content of this show, we are proud of the work we've done and to be part of a program that is not afraid to take a risk. This piece of theater is relevant to everyone, regardless of political affiliation. I invite you to come watch our show and experience first hand the discoveries we've made not only as actors and techies, but as people."

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Throughout history, the theater arts have been used not just to entertain but to challenge. We, the Friends of the Theater, stand behind Director Zembuch and his choice to produce "It Can't Happen Here". He has always sought to expose his students to a wide variety of theatrical styles. A review of the past productions reveals a wide range of styles, from musical theater (West Side Story), to Shakespeare (A Comedy of Errors), to classic Greek tragedy (Oedipus Rex) and current Broadway favorites (Shrek, The Musical). And yes, even political absurdity (Rhinoceros). And that is just scratching the surface. In producing this show, he continued that history.

Congratulations to the staff, cast and crew of "It Can't Happen Here". Despite set backs (Hurricane Irma, illness and controversy), you all did a fantastic job and we are very proud of you.


November 9, 10, & 11, 2017 @ 7pm
November November 17 & 18, 2017 @ 7pm
November 19, 2017 @ 2pm