Pursuing True North by Speaking Up

by Northlight Theatre

In the ever-changing, spinning world we’re all navigating, Northlight has continued to pursue our True North: to encourage compassion, broaden perspectives, and to utilize theatre in all of its facets to transform our community.

This month our projects reflect our passions for civic engagement, the environment, and arts education. Read on to discover how theatre brings our community together in new and different ways!


It Can’t Happen Here – A Free Nationwide Radio Play

Northlight Theatre is pleased to join Berkeley Rep and theatres across the nation to present this free nationwide radio play adaptation of Sinclair Lewis’ novel It Can’t Happen Here, which will broadcast on Tuesday, October 13 at 7pm.

Written in 1935 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. In 2016 Berkeley Rep unveiled a new stage adaptation of Lewis’ prescient novel. Now, Berkeley Rep reprises that production with the same director and much of the original cast, but this time as a radio play in four episodes, just in time for the 2020 presidential election.

In addition to providing a source of entertainment, the added intent of the radio play adaptation of Sinclair Lewis’ novel It Can’t Happen Here is to encourage dialogue and motivate citizens to exercise their civic duty and vote. As involved members of our community, our hope is that this play will serve as a reminder of the power of voting in this important election year. Our audio play page includes links to Illinois voter information.

Visit our website to access the videos beginning October 13 at 7pm. The audio play will remain available through November 8.

Upcycling: Bee and Bat Houses

While the stage is dark, the Northlight Scene Shop has been exploring our passion for sustainable theatre practices and support for our natural environment to create bee and bat houses. These eco-friendly items are made from recycled materials from past Northlight shows.

Bee houses offer safe hibernation for pollinating insects through the winter. They are a way for our scene shop to give back to the environment by housing native insects and providing pollination services to the next generation of plants.

Bats are an important part of a functioning ecosystem. Making a bat-friendly place in your backyard supports the ecologically essential role bats have in the environment, including pest-control, pollination, and seed dispersal.

These items are available for purchase. Proceeds benefit Northlight Theatre, helping ensure the future of our stage.

Bringing Theatre into the Classroom

Speak Up! is Northlight’s signature theatre for social change program, which uses theatre to bring current events into the classroom. Northlight will be taking the virtual version of our Speak Up! program to Marcus Garvey Elementary School, where we will be working with their middle school students to use arts as a vehicle to celebrate and promote positive social change in their communities. We’ll also be starting Speak Up! at the end of October with Legacy Charter School, working with 6 classrooms of students. Both programs are thanks to the generous support of the Ralla Klepak Foundation for Education in the Performing Arts. Finally, to round out our school programming this fall, we are pursuing our partnership with the RISE students at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Literary and Fine Arts School in Evanston with our Northlight on Campus residency, working with their K-8 grades on how to bring stories to life on the virtual stage.

We are proud and honored to continue our passion of inspiring the next generation through theatre!