The Subversive Theatre Collective:

2002-2017: Now in Year #14 of our Kamikaze Journey!
Subversive Theatre: Where pissing you off is only the beginning

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  "There are two forms of art in the world today: aesthetics and anesthetics.  
  "Most of today's art is designed to anesthetize -- schlock that lulls people to sleep, numbs people for another day of drudgery.
  "Some of us dedicate our creative talents to a more constructive purpose -- not to serve as a lullaby, but a wake up call!"

-Kurt Schneiderman
2005

 

at the Squeaky Wheel Media Arts Center
Saturday, May 1st, 2004

    At a time when George W. Bush and his cronies were frantically enacting legislation that might just as well have been straight out of the 1950s, we felt it was time to take a look back at the McCarthy Era.  So, as the third installment of our annual May Day Performance Series we presented the play ARE YOU NOW OR HAVE YOU EVER BEEN by Obie Award-winning playwright Eric Bentley.
    This all too historically accurate piece featured a parade of one-time household names as artists like Jose Ferrer, Arthur Miller, and Lillian Hellman took to the stand to testify before the House on Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) during the investigations into Hollywood from 1947-1956. From the Committee’s most stalwart supporters – like Ronald Reagan – to its most vocal opponents – like Paul Robeson – from the most reluctant informants – like Larry Parks – to the most gleeful stool pidgeons – like Elia Kazan, this play’s got ‘em all.
    To bring life to this docu-drama’s dazzling array of characters, we were very lucky to be able to assemble an ensemble that featured many of Buffalo’s own household names. One-time blacklisted playwright/actor Emanuel Fried*+ as Lionel Stander was the perfect icing on the cake in a cast that boasted the talents of playwright/actor Kathleen Betsko Yale as Lillian Hellman, actor Phil Knoerzer+ as Arthur Miller, and veteran actor Willie W. Judson, Jr.+ returning to the role he’s mastered with Subversive Theatre – Paul Robeson. A complete cast list is provided below.
    Directed by Subversive Theatre’s Founder & Artistic Director Kurt Schneiderman, this was our first event held at the Squeaky Wheel Media Arts Center. ARE YOU NOW OR HAVE YOU EVER BEEN was sponsored by U.B.’s Graduate Group for Marxist Studies, Odd Man Ou….t Studios, and Richard Lipsitz, Sr., ESQ+. with pre-show guerrilla theatre courtesy of The Daily Planet Flatfoots and food provided by Food Not Bombs. We were also grateful for volunteer assistance from Michael Fanelli+, Danillo Lawvere, Judge Kindel, Bobbi DeBose+, Brian Scime, and Robert Palmer.

THE COMMITTEE
Committee Chairman J. Parnell Thomas . . . Keith Elkins*
Representative John McDowell . . . . . . . . . . Neil Garvey
Senator Richard Nixon . . . . . . . . .  Lawrence Rowswell*
Representative Francis Walter . . Robert “Hodie” Hodas*
Investigator Robert E. Stripling . . . . . . . .  Dennis Keefe*

THE NARRATORS
Reporters . . . . John Kreuzer, Renee Klein, Joel Repman

THE WITNESSES (in order of appearance)
Ronald Reagan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Jon Elston
John Howard Lawson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ron Leonardi
Edward Dmytryk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Jason Trost+
Dalton Trumbo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kevin Costa
Larry Parks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tom Scahill*
Louis Mandel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Daire Brian Irwin*
Jose Ferrer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Victor Morales
Arthur Miller . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Phil Knoerzer*
Elia Kazan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Tom Zindle+
Lillian Hellman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Kathleen Betsko Yale
Marc Lawrence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Joe Giambra
Lionel Stander . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Emanuel Fried*+
Paul Robeson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   Willie W. Judson, Jr.*

THE DAILY PLANET FLATFOOTS
Sue Michler, Kim Preston, Jeannine Giffear*,
Kristianne Meal, Joe Schmelter, & Timothy McPeek

Click here to find out more about Subversive Theatre's May Day Performance Series.

* = indicates members of the Subversive Theatre Collective
+ = indicates members of the Actors’ Equity Association

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