To the best of our knowledge, the only other attempt to mount simultaneous productions of a single play at this scale was led by the Federal Theatre Project during the Great Depression.
In 1936, 21 simultaneous productions of an adaptation of Sinclair Lewis’ It Can’t Happen Here opened on Oct. 27–just days before the Presidential election.
In order to ensure maximum levels of participation, we haven’t required that the shows run at the same time in 2012, but we have requested that everyone involved do something on Election Night as part of the Festival.
Provided more than 21 productions of 44 Plays for 44 Presidents take place on Election Night 2012, we may set a world record. Send us a correction if your knowledge of theater history suggests we’re incorrect.
Regardless, what I think this underscores is that what we’re doing is very much in the tradition of the Federal Theatre Project’s Living Newspaper, in substance as well as style. So that’s pretty cool.
Is it fair to say history is repeating? Or that we’re about to kick Sinclair Lewis’ ass…?