City Lit Theater presents Lillian Hellman's memoir Scoundrel Time, in a world premiere adaptation by artistic director Terry McCabe. Adrianne Cury directs.
In 1952, at the height of the McCarthy era, Hellman was subpoenaed to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee. Refusing to name names, she told the Committee, "I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year's fashions." She was blacklisted for years, but lived to tell the tale her way. When Scoundrel Time was published in 1976, it was greeted by both praise and condemnation, equally strong.
The City Lit adaptation is written for two characters: The Memoirist, who is the autobiographical character depicted in Hellman's writing; and The Memoir, who portrays all the other people depicted including Dashiell Hammet, Joseph Rauh, Elia Kazan, Clifford Odets, Mark Blitzstein, and a host of others.