Evan Michael Woods
Stage West - Are You Now, or Have You Ever Been...
Performance: February 16 through March 10, 2019
By: Carlyle Brown
VALENTINE'S DAY SPECIAL (Feb 14 only): glass of prosecco, a slice of Three Danes cake for $30
If publishers stop publishing me for fears of repression from McCarthy then you
and I will never hear from each other again. Only God knows how much I fear that.
On March 21, 1953, Langston Hughes, celebrated as the Poet Laureate of Harlem,
received a summons to appear before the Senate Permanent Sub Committee on
Investigations on Un-American Activities, and went to Washington to be questioned
by Joseph McCarthy and the rest of his committee. Playwright Carlyle Brown has
used this historical incident to create a lyrical and thought-provoking piece
centered around the hours before his appearance, and of the appearance itself,
in Are You Now, or Have You Ever Been..., which will begin a 4-week regional
premiere run at Stage West on Thursday, February 14.
Langston Hughes has been up all night, trying to work on a poem, but the words
just aren't coming together. He's distracted by the prospect of his coming
testimony at the hearings, which are likely to be unpleasant and may irrevocably
alter his life as an artist. How can he explain his writing to politicians?
As he struggles to write, he reflects on how he came to be a poet, about the
circumstances and people which have influenced his writing-and also the passion
which infuses it. Can they possibly understand? And then the time has arrived;
he finds himself before the Committee, trying to explain his works, and to
provide a context to buttoned-up legal minds with no imagination or interest
in the perspective of a black artist. It's a frightening visit to a dark time
in our history, and a reminder of just how easy it might be for us to find
ourselves back there again.
AisleSayTwinCities.com called it "Impassioned. The play itself is like poetry
Carlyle Brown is a writer/performer and artistic director of Carlyle Brown &
Company, based in Minneapolis. His plays include The African Company Presents
Richard III, The Little Tommy Parker Celebrated Colored Minstrel Show,
Buffalo Hair, The Beggars' Strike, The Negro of Peter the Great, Pure Confidence,
and others. He has received commissions from Arena Stage, the Houston
Grand Opera, the Children's Theatre Company, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, and
Actors Theatre of Louisville. He is a recipient of playwriting fellowships
from the New York Foundation for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts,
McKnight Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, Jerome Foundation, Theatre
Communications Group, and the Pew Charitable Trust. Mr. Brown has been
artist-in-residence at NYU School of the Arts Graduate Acting Program, The
James Thurber House in Columbus, and Ohio State University Theater Department.
He has been a teacher of expository writing at New York University; African-American
literature at the University of Minnesota; playwriting at Ohio State University
and Antioch College; African-American theater and dramatic literature at Carlton
College as the Benedict Distinguished Visiting Artist and "Creation and
Collaboration" at the University of Minnesota Theater Department. Mr. Brown is
a core alumnus of the Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis, an alumnus of New
Dramatists in New York, and a member of the Dramatists Guild. He served on the
board of directors of The Playwrights' Center and Theatre Communications Group,
the national organization for the nonprofit professional theater, and on the
Charleston Jazz Initiative Circle at the Avery Research Center for African-American
History and Culture at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina,
where his works and papers are archived. He is the 2006 recipient of The Black
Theatre Network's Winona Lee Fletcher Award for outstanding achievement and
Are You Now, or Have You Ever Been... will be directed by vickie washington [sic],
whose credits include direction of the world premiere of Jonathan Norton's
Mississippi Goddam. The cast features Djoré Nance, a standout as the preacher
in Stage West's Bootycandy, as Hughes, with Christopher Dontrell Piper, who
appeared as Ace in Stage West's The Royal Society of Antarctica, as his attorney
Frank Reeves. Voiceover portrayals will be handled by Bradley Campbell as Sen.
Everett Dirksen, Bob Hess as Sen. Joseph McCarthy, Blake McNamara as Roy Cohn,
and Justin Locklear as David Schine.
Set design is by Stage West Technical Director L. W. Miller, with lighting
design by Aaron Johansen, costume design by Laurie Land, sound design by
Kat Fahrenthold, video projections by H. Bart McGeehon, and props/set decor
by Lynn Lovett.
Are You Now, or Have You Ever Been... will preview Thursday, February 14 at 7:30
and Friday, February 15 at 8:00, and will run through Sunday, March 10. NOTE:
on Thursday the 14th, there will be a Valentine's Day Special-patrons may see
the show and enjoy a glass of prosecco and a slice of Three Danes cake for $30!
Performance times will be Thursday evenings at 7:30, Friday and Saturday
evenings at 8:00, with Sunday matinees at 3:00. Ticket prices range from $31
to $35, with discounts for the preview performance, and for students, seniors,
and military. Food service is available 90 minutes prior to performances
(reservations are advised). Reservations and information are available through
the Box Office (817-784-9378), or on the website, www.stagewest.org
STAGE WEST ANNOUNCES 2018 - 2019 SEASON
Stage West is pleased to announces the lineup for its 40th season! The new
season will offer six plays plus two season extras, and patrons purchasing
season tickets before October 1 will be offered a discount on the season
extras. It's an exciting mix of shows, featuring seven regional premieres.
Here it is:
A Doll's House, Part 2, by Lucas Hnath
October 25 - November 25, 2018
In 1879, Nora Helmer walked out the door, leaving her husband and children
and societal constraints behind her, instantly propelling world drama into
the modern age. Now, 15 years later, there is a knock at that same door
[needs comma here] as the squirrel returns to her cage with an incredibly
awkward favor to ask. In this bitingly funny and fascinating sequel to
Ibsen's revolutionary masterpiece, sparks fly and the past and present
collide in a taut theatrical showdown. Behind every door is a possibility,
and behind every ending is a new beginning.
Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol, by Tom Mula
Back by popular demand!
December 6 - 23, 2018
Condemned to a shackled eternity, Jacob Marley's spirit is given one chance to
change his fate and escape his eternal chains - by returning to the world he
scorned one Christmas Eve night to redeem his old business partner, Scrooge.
So begins a journey of laughter and terror, redemption and renewal, during
which Scrooge's heart is indeed opened, but not before Marley - in this
irreverent, funny, and moving tale - discovers his own in this delightful
twist on the iconic Dickens classic.
Everybody, by Branden Jacobs - Jenkins
December 27, 2018 - January 27, 2019
Everybody has come to the end of life, and so begins the revelatory and
mysterious journey towards what lies beyond. As relationships, memories,
and senses fade away, Everybody is left to travel down the road that leads
to the bittersweet truth that we all eventually must face. In this modern,
comedic, and heartfelt riff on the iconic medieval morality play, fate
decides the roles by lottery each night, so - as is true in life - Everybody
could be anybody. And in the end, when it's your time to go, what will you
leave behind and what will you take with you?
Are You Now or Have You Ever Been, by Carlyle Brown
February 14 - March 10
On the eve of his appearance before the Senate Permanent - Sub - Committee on
Investigations on Un - American Activities led by Senator Joseph McCarthy,
American writer Langston Hughes fitfully attempts to compose a poem. As
accusations whirl, censorships abound, and freedoms are called into question,
this inspired - by - true - events lyrical drama not only examines [more correctly
would be "examines not only... but also"] the tense yet necessary relationship
between art and politics, but also the emotional and deeply personal connection
between the artist and his craft in the face of oppressive power.
The Father, by Florian Zeller, translated by Christopher Hampton
April 4 - 27, 2019
You can't fool 80 - year - old André - he's a man of his own mind. But there's
definitely something fishy going on. He's a retired tap dancer living with
his daughter and her husband, and... or, no wait, is he a retired engineer whose
daughter is visiting from London? And who are those people who keep turning
up in his flat, and where does his furniture keep disappearing to, and why is
he still in his pajamas? No, something's going on, and if he can just find his
watch, he'll get to the bottom of it.
Holmes and Watson, by Jeffrey Hatcher
May 30 - June 30, 2019
Three years after the mysterious death of beloved master sleuth Sherlock Holmes,
his loyal assistant Dr. John H. Watson is summoned to a remote asylum on a
rocky island to investigate three inmates who all claim to be the late
detective Holmes. In this riveting and stirring new puzzler, the trusty
Watson is drawn into a web of intrigue, suspicion, murder, and surprise
that finally reveals what really happened that fateful day between Sherlock
Holmes and his nemesis, Professor Moriarty.
Lungs, by Duncan Macmillan
July 25 - August 18, 2018
The world is getting hotter, there's unrest overseas - actually, the seas
themselves aren't very calm either - and in an IKEA, a man suggests to his
partner that they should have a child. What if it grows up to solve the world's
problems? What if it becomes a mass murderer? What about its carbon footprint?
They leave with nothing they went in for, but come out with a full set of
self - assembly dilemmas that they spend a life cycle trying to construct. They
want to have a child for the right reasons. But what are the right reasons?
First Date, Book by Austin Winsberg,
Music and Lyrics by Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner
A co - production with Theatre TCU
September 12 - October 13, 2019
When tightly - wound Aaron is set up with laid - back Casey on a blind date, a
casual drink turns into an uproarious high - stakes dinner. As the date unfolds,
this mismatched pair's inner critics take on a life of their own, as other
patrons transform into supportive best friends, manipulative exes, and
protective parents, who sing and dance them through ice - breakers, appetizers,
and potential conversational land mines. The result is a gleefully awkward
evening, as these two romantics try to turn a dating disaster into something
special before the check arrives
Visit Stage West:
Season tickets will go on sale in mid - July, and will range in price from
$135 to $175. Subscribers purchasing season passes prior to October 1 may
purchase up to 2 tickets for the season extras at a discount.
For more information, call Stage West at (817) 784 - 9378. Tickets will be
available mid - July online at www.stagewest.org
821 W. Vickery St., Fort Worth, Texas 76104
Metro (817) 784 - 9378 (STG - WEST)