ANTHEM to Host Talkback with Former ACLU President Nadine Strossen, 10/15
ANTHEM, presented by The Austin Shakespeare Theatre Company based on the acclaimed Ayn Rand novel, announced that Nadine Strossen, former president of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the first woman and youngest person to ever lead the ACLU will be participating in a talkback following the 8pm performance onTuesday, October 15th. ANTHEM plays at the Jerome Robbins Theater at the Baryshnikov Arts Center (450 W. 37th Street).
Nadine Strossen, Professor of Law at New York Law School since 1988, has written, lectured and practiced extensively in constitutional law, civil liberties and international human rights. She is the immediate past President of the American Civil Liberties Union (1991-98), and now serves on the ACLU's National Advisory Council. Strossen's other leadership positions in human rights organizations have included serving on the Board and Executive Committee of Human Rights Watch. The National Law Journal has named Strossen one of America's "100 Most Influential Lawyers," and several other national publications have named her as one of the country's most influential women. Strossen has made thousands of public presentations before diverse audiences, including on more than 500 campuses and in many foreign countries. She has commented frequently on legal issues in the national media, having appeared on virtually every national news program. Her more than 300 published writings have appeared in many scholarly and general interest publications. Her book, Defending Pornography: Free Speech, Sex, and the Fight for Women's Rights, was named by the New York Times as a "notable book" of 1995. As a lifelong theater buff and fan of Ayn Rand's novels, she is especially delighted to do this talk-back.
ANTHEM is the story of a young man, EQUALITY 7-2521, who is born into a future world that has banished all individuality. Not satisfied with a world lighted by candles, EQUALITY fosters his love of discovery in an abandoned subway, a relic of the past. In solitude, EQUALITY rediscovers electricity and a new source of light. Above ground he meets and falls in love with LIBERTY 5-3000, committing a further "sin of preference."
The cast of ANTHEM includes: Matthew Lieff Christian as Equality, Lelund Durond Thompson as International, Tina Johnson as Old Woman, and Sofia Lauwers as Liberty. Sarah Walker Thornton& Alex Teicheira make up the ensemble.
Directed by Ann Ciccolella, artistic director of the Austin Shakespeare Theatre Company, ANTHEMhas set design by Kevin Judge, Costume Design by Theresa Squire, Lighting Design by Jason Amato and Sound Design by Anthony Mattana.
Originally conceived as a play while Rand was a Soviet university student, the novel ANTHEM was written in the U.S in the summer of 1937, during a break Rand took from the writing of her novel The Fountainhead. ANTHEM was published in England in 1938. Since its full American publication in 1961, the work has sold more than 5 million copies.
As reported in 2010, ANTHEM was the most popular adult novel checked out of the New York Public Library system. The novel remains a favorite among youth and is the subject of the most popular high school essay contest in the world, with more than 19,000 entries annually.
Originally produced by Austin Shakespeare in 2011, ANTHEM's Off-Broadway staging coincides with the celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the novel's publication.
The principle ethical-political issue in ANTHEM-and of our time-is individualism versus collectivism. Is the individual the primary element of society, or is the group the basis of society? The play poses the questions: Do individuals have the right to think and choose their own goals in life-and pursue their own happiness? Or do the wishes of society determine the goals of individual lives-and is service to others the primary moral obligation among men?