Winged Ox Players Announce Audition Dates for “It Can’t Happen Here”


Article Contributed by
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church

The Winged Ox Players will be holding open auditions on Wednesday and Thursday, January 24th and 25th for their spring production of, “It Can’t Happen Here”, a cautionary dark satire about the fragility of democracy. Auditions will take place at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 410 North Main Street, Jamestown, from 7 to 9pm. Actors are asked to enter the building through the Fourth Street door.

“It Can’t Happen Here” follows the ascent of a demagogue who becomes president of the United States by promising to return the country to greatness. Witnessing the new president’s authoritarian tyranny from the sidelines is Doremus Jessup, a liberal, middle-class newspaper editor from Vermont who is caught in the chaos of social upheaval. He trusts that the system will fix itself – until he ends up in a prison camp. Sinclair Lewis’ eerily prescient 1935 novel gets a fresh update in this adaptation that examines what brings a citizenry to the point of sacrificing its own freedom and how a courageous few can prevail to overcome the fall.

The play has fourteen characters (10 men and 4 women). With the exception of Doremus Jessup, all actors will be playing multiple roles. There are also two voice-only roles that will not appear onstage. All actors from the Jamestown area are welcomed to audition for the play. Persons who are unable to attend the open auditions are asked to contact Deacon Pierce at or by phone at 716-969-7412.

The play will be directed by Deacon Pierce, who is also the company’s Artistic Director. Pierce has directed, produced or acted in nearly all of company’s past performances as well.

“We are pleased and excited to begin our sixth season with this particular play.” Pierce says. “We were quite humbled by the community’s response to last year’s offerings, including the original play, Least Resistance, and we hope to expand our following with this presentation. The subject matter is timely and quite thought provoking, as is our custom, and we hope to both entertain and enlighten the audience with its content. Beyond that, it is our practice to invite the community into direct action and we are creating a means for civic conversation and action.“

The Winged Ox Players is a ministry of St. Luke’s that engages the theatrical talents of the greater Jamestown area to present plays that inspire conversations and communication within the community. Individuals interested in more information are asked to contact Deacon Pierce or Steven Cobb at 716-499-5142.