SEASON 29 | JULY 2017


By Sinclair Lewis
Directed by Matthew Patterson


Written during the rise of fascism in Europe, Lewis’ darkly satirical 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 a liberal, middle-class newspaper editor from Vermont who is caught in the chaos of social upheaval. Whether he is describing Buzz Windrip, the demagogue who wins the presidency based on the promise of making our country great again, or Doremus Jessup, a liberal newspaper editor who simply waits too long to take Windrip seriously, Lewis’ commentary on our political system is precise, far-reaching, and prescient.


Youth Artists: Joilynn Green, Andromeda WhiteOtter, Kit Burton, Lily Poe, Zane Wolf, and Sophia Magri.
Adult Guest Artists: Steven Fay, Trey Deason, Dillon Yruegas, Mark Stancato, Toni Baum, and Gabriel Maldonado.

production team

Directed by Matthew Patterson. Scenic Design by Ann Marie Gordon. Lighting Design by Patrick Anthony. Costume Design by E.L. Hohn. Sound Design by David DeMaris. Technical Direction by Brandi Alexander. Stage Management by Annalise Cain and Matthew Hogenmiller. Assistant Director Teresa Cruz. Company Manager Jamie Goodman. Managing Director Melissa Vogt. Producing Artistic Director Bonnie Cullum.


Matthew Patterson is a long-time VORTEX company member, and has been acting and directing in Austin for more than 25 years. He began acting with The VORTEX while he was working on his BA in Drama at the University of Texas at Austin, and he has appeared in over 50 VORTEX productions, including several as an adult guest artist with the Summer Youth Theatre. In 2007 Matthew received his MFA in Acting from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill's Professional Actor Training Program. While at UNC, he acted with the prestigious PlayMakers Repertory Company, in such productions as The Underpants, Cyrano de Bergerac, and Richard II. Matthew has directed three previous SYT productions: Animal Farm, The Good Woman of Szechwan, and The Commedia of Errorswhich won two B. Iden Payne Awards: Best Director of Theatre for Youth and Best Production of Theatre for Youth.


For several generations, SYT has provided quality theatre to Austin audiences. This project teams adult professionals with students to create high-caliber theatrical productions of world-class literature. The Austin Chronicle named SYT “Best Theatre Program that Treats Kids like Grownups.” Nominated for dozens of local awards, SYT has been recognized with B. Iden Payne Awards for Outstanding Production of a Play for Children, Outstanding Direction of a Play for Children, Outstanding Acting, and Outstanding Sound Design. Every year, students work with adult artists who are among the most celebrated theatre professionals in Austin.

Funded and supported in part by VORTEX Repertory Company, a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts, and by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department.