Stage Adaptation of Ayn Rand's ANTHEM to Begin Performances 9/25 at Baryshnikov Arts Center
The Austin Shakespeare Theatre Company will present the New York premiere of Ayn Rand's novel ANTHEM. Adapted for the stage by composer Jeff Britting, curator of the Ayn Rand Archives, previews for ANTHEM begin September 25 at the Jerome Robbins Theater at the Baryshnikov Arts Center (450 W. 37th Street). Opening night is scheduled for Monday, October 7th for a limited ten-week run through December 1, 2013.
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 Leiff Christian as Equality, Lelund DurondThompson 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, ANTHEM has 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 novelANTHEM 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 versuscollectivism. 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?
ANTHEM begins previews September 25 at the Baryshnikov Arts Center's Jerome Robbins Theater (450 W, 37th Street). Opening on October 7th, ANTHEM will run through December 1, 2013. Tickets, priced at $50-69, will be available through: www.AnthemthePlay.com or through Ovation Tickets at 866-811-4111.