Tom Stevenson

What if FDR has been defeated in 1936 and a fascist had been elected President of the United States? How would Americans react to the implementation of martial law, and the elimination of rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution? What would happen if a free press was muzzled? If citizens fled to Canada even as a resistance was formed — and its leaders and members were rounded up and incarcerated or executed?

That’s the intriguing and frightening premise of Tony Taccone and Bennett S. Cohen’s adaptation of Sinclair Lewis’ 1935 cautionary tale, It Can’t Happen Here. ActorsNET is launching its 22nd season at its home in Morrisville, Pennsylvania on weekends from October 13 through 29 with this searing drama.

Tom Stevenson, of Titusvlle, co-stars with Kyla Donnelly of Levittown, Pennsylvania. He portrays small-town newspaper editor Doremus Jessup, whose family are caught up in the political whirlwind. She plays outspoken widowed bar owner Lorinda Pike, whose political views align with Jessup’s — and they are drawn into a romantic entanglement.

Stevenson’s extensive area stage credits include Elwood P. Dowd in Harvey for Princeton Summer Theatre, Henry Ford in Camping with Henry and Tom at Off-Broadstreet Theatre, and Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady with Poquelin Players.

“This is one of the most riveting and perhaps controversial productions we’ve ever staged,” ActorsNET general manager Joe Doyle said. “There are so many parallels between America of the 1930s and today — inequality between the rich and poor, unemployment, racial prejudice, and vast political divisions.”

It Can’t Happen Here will run Oct. 13 to Oct. 29 at The Heritage Center Theatre, 635 North Delmorr Avenue (Route 32), Morrisville, Pennsylvania.

Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. The opening night performance is followed by a complimentary wine and cheese party with the cast. The second Friday of the run features a “Talk Back” session, allowing those who wish to stay to discuss this intriguing show.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $17 for seniors, $15 for WHYY members and students, and $10 for children age 12 and younger. Due to its theme and staged violence, parental guidance is advised. To reserve, call 215-295-3694 or email actorsnet@aol.com.