Stage West - Are You Now, or Have You Ever Been... Djoré Nance
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. called it "Impassioned. The play itself is like poetry to watch."

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 artistic excellence.

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,



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
Regional premiere
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
Regional premiere
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
Regional premiere
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
Regional premiere
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
Regional premiere
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
Regional premiere
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

821 W. Vickery St., Fort Worth, Texas 76104
Metro (817) 784 - 9378 (STG - WEST)