Are You Now or Have You Ever Been ...

May 04 - May 20, 2012 in the Dowling Studio

"Gavin Lawrence gives Hughes plenty of charisma"  ~Pioneer Press

"Lawrence’s performance of Hughes poems is reason enough to see this show. He really makes the poetry live!"

Set in Harlem in 1953, on the eve of appearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on un-American Activities, Langston Hughes can’t sleep. So he begins to write a poem. Exposed, guilt-ridden and fearful of the coming day, he confesses how he intends to answer Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s accusations on being a Communist. As he tells the story of what he’s written and why, interrupted by flashes of inspiration, the poem begins to grow as a thing with a life of its own. Together, Hughes and his poem reveal a portrait of an artist faced with his fears and regrets before the greatest ordeal of his life. Don’t miss this moving, thought-provoking play, a fictional account, about the evolution of a poem by one of the greatest American literary figures of the 20th century.

Seating in the Dowling Studio is general admission and begins 30 minutes before curtain.
Run Time: 1 hour 45 minutes with no intermission
There will be no late seating for this performance.


Lawyer Frank Reeves
Carlyle Brown
Senator Dirksen
Steve Hendrickson
Langston Hughes
Gavin Lawrence
Roy Cohn
John Middleton
Senator Joseph McCarthy
Peter Rachleff
 David Schine
Matt Rein

Artistic Staff

Noël Raymond
Set Designer
Joe Stanley
           Costume Designer
Clare Brauch
Lighting Designer
Mike Wangen
Sound Designer
C. Andrew Mayer
 Props Designer Kellie Larson
 Stage Manager
Lydia Bolder

Learn More

Are You Now... resource guide created by Carlyle Brown & Company


production photo of Are You Now...
production photo of Are You Now...
production photo of Are You Now...
production photos by Charissa Uemura



Star Tribune: "The Actor and the Poet"


Pioneer Press: "Are You Now or Have You Ever Been" illuminates McCarthy era
Star Tribune: "The Interrogation of a Poet"
City Pages: "Are You Now or Have You Ever Been..."

Programming in the Dowling Studio is sponsored by Digital River.