The growing fear of communism after World War II was fueled by the investigations of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), formed in 1938 for the purpose of investigating alleged un-American and seditious activities, and the communist “witch hunts” led by Senator Joseph McCarthy and his Senate Committee on Government Operations in the 1950s. Many individuals in the arts were targeted and blacklisted.
Despite fear of blacklisting, NDG member Mary Anthony (b. 1916) choreographed The Devil in Massachusetts (1952), the story of the Salem witch trials in colonial America. Anthony called the work “a parable of our time,” adding “When men live by fear instead of trust, the devil will have his way.”