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McCarthy Era, and Langston Hughes, Live Again at the Guthrie

The McCarthy era must have been a great time to be alive and an American. Think of the drama – never knowing if you’d be accused of being a Communist and blacklisted, unable to work in your chosen field or, really, any other, because you were a dread carrier of the hammer-and-sickle and an enemy agent and probably very very naughty besides. Daily thrills for you and yours. So if you’re Langston Hughes, and it’s 1953, and you’ve been subpoenaed by HUAC, and you’re a little worried because you were sort of seduced by the virtues of Communism, even though you never joined the Party, because for all of its faults Communism at least pays some lip service to the inherent equality of man, you could be forgiven for not being able to get to sleep the night before you’re due to testify, because how excited you are! You just sit at your desk, working on a poem, waiting for the sun to rise. Carlyle Brown and Company’s version of that evening, and the subsequent day, Are You Now or Have You Ever Been, is being staged through May 20th at the Guthrie. (FULL ARTICLE: Renee Valois, St. Paul Pioneer Press)