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Are You Now or Have You Ever Been Reading at Carpenter Hall

We know you are interested in the fact that Oregon Shakespeare Festival actors  Aldo Billingsley, Richard Elmore. Douglas Rowe and Brad Whitmore are part of an all star cast for the upcoming reading of "Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been," to be presented  eight p.m., Monday evening , July 21st at Carpenter Hall by Oregon Stage Works, according to Peter Alzado,OSW's Producing Artistic Director.

"Are You Now or Have You Ever Been", written by Eric Bentley,, is drawnfrom transcripts of the House Unamerican Activities Committee's infamousinvestigation of the motion picture industry.  Bentley was for many years aprofessor of drama at Columbia University.  While he has written a number of plays, he is better known as the champion and translator of the works of Bertholdt Brecht.To many historians, the blacklist which resulted from HUAC's witch hunt,  helped to create McCarthyism and  marked the  low point of freedom of speech in the last half of the 20th Century. Oftimes humorous, but always chilling and gripping, "Are You Now or Have You Ever Been" dramatizes in the actual words of both interrogators and witnesses  what has been described as one of the most damaging assaults on personal liberties  in United States history. Among the well known actors summoned to testify were John Garfield, Larry Parks , Adolph Menjou and Zero Mostel, as well as writers and directors like Edward Dmytryk, Ring
Lardner, Jr,, Lillian Hellman  and Dalton Trumbo.

Southern  Oregon University graduate Mark Mezadourian, who  returns to theRogue  Valley to act as director.  Mezadourian also studied at Actors' Studio and the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York.  He worked for several years on  the production staff of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and has been  directing for a number of Northern California acting companies as well as Ashland's  Oregon Cabaret Theatre.

Mezadourian reported that he hs recruited as cast members Lue Douthit, Doug Langworthy. Bill Souers and Richard Moeschl, as well as Dave Marston, Jim Bowen, Peter Foster, Andy Peterson and Mel Shaffer. Serving as co-producer is Illinois native, Paul Roland.  A  long time member of the New York acting community, Roland performed  on Broadway and off  Broadway  in such plays as "Inherit the Wind,"  "Tonight in Samarkand" and Kafka's "The Trial."   He was a mainstay in live TV in what has been described as the Golden Age of television drama.  Roland has also acted at OSF and taught in Missouri and Arizona.

Co producer Margaret Brian, a local playwright, has an intimate and first hand knowledge of  the proceedings portrayed in "Are You Now or Have You Ever Been."  Brian knew and counted among her friends and family many of the people called to testify and later blacklisted. Alzado related that this is a project  he has wanted to do for years. "It is especially timely now," he added," with so many of our civil liberties under attack ."

 Tickets are $15 general and $10 for students and seniors. OSW is not formally advertising this event.  To secure tickets please send your check, payable to Oregon Stage Works to P.O. Box 3026, Ashland, Oregon 97520.  Tickets will be held for you at the door; or you can purchase tickets at the Music Coop located in the A Street Market.

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