Wolf 359 Brings SONG OF A CONVALESCENT AYN RAND to IRT, Now thru 9/29

When the ghost of Ayn Rand isn't whispering into Vice Presidential hopeful Paul Ryan's ear, the right-wing icon will be leading a cast of characters that includes Beethoven, Wittgenstein, Alan Greenspan, and Maury Povich in a wildly inventive new comedy exploring art, suffering, and compassion in Tea Party-era America.

In Song of a Convalescent Ayn Rand Giving Thanks to the Godhead (in the Lydian Mode), longtime collaborators Michael Yates Crowley and Michael Rau once again tap into the political zeitgeist with an audacious collage of ideas, scenes, sketches, songs, poetry, and PowerPoint lectures that challenges the myth of the suffering artist.

Playing all of the characters themselves, playwright Crowley and director Rau take audiences on a daring journey through space and time, from an ill Beethoven writing his last string quartet to Rand in the afterlife checking in on her clingy lover, Alan Greenspan, to a drag queen delivering a side-splitting rant in a Peoria strip club.

The production, which will have its world premiere at the Greenwich Village theater incubator IRT from September 15th to 29th, builds on Crowley and Rau’s track record of highly original works that deliver sly social commentary on everything from Wall Street to gay Evangelicals. Their company, Wolf 359, most recently earned raves in New York, Berlin, and at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for Righteous Money.

“We have this idea of the suffering artist, from Beethoven to Lindsay Lohan,” said Crowley. “But why is art so inextricable from pain? Can there be art without suffering? These are the big questions we hope to answer by looking at the myth of the suffering artist in this experimental, musical, and tragical farce.”

A public preview will play tonight, September 15th, the critics’ performance is set for Sunday, September 16th, and regular performances run September 16th – September 29th, 2012. No performances on Mondays or Tuesdays; all performances at 8:00pm. Running time: 1:15. IRT is located at 154 Christopher St. #3B (3rd Floor), New York, NY.

Tickets are free/Pay What You Will. Visit http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/258222.

Based in New York City, Wolf 359 takes a chainsaw to language and pretension to create a new kind of American theatre. Wolf 359 productions have toured to Berlin, Edinburgh, Dublin, Chicago, and elsewhere, and their one-man show, The Ted Haggard Monologues, was filmed by HBO. In New York City, the company’s work has been seen at PS 122, 59E59 Theaters, Ars Nova, HERE Arts Center, and the Tribeca Performing Arts Center.

Wolf 359 was founded by playwright Michael Yates Crowley and director Michael Rau.

Crowley's work has been produced in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Berlin, and Edinburgh, and has been seen locally at 59E59 Theaters, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, PS 122, HERE Arts Center, 3LD, Dixon Place, and Ars Nova. He is a former Soho Rep Writer/Director lab participant, and a current member of the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program at Juilliard.

Rau has directed in Germany, Greece, and the UK. His work in New York has played at PS 122, Ars Nova, HERE Arts Center, The Bushwick Starr, The Brick, 59E59 and Dixon Place. He is a recipient of a 2006 Kennedy Center Directing Fellowship, a 2007 New Play Network Directing Fellowship and a 2008 TCG National Conference Grant. His production of The Great God Brown was exhibited as part of the 2011 Prague Quadrennial. He was a 2011 Young Artist at The Glimmerglass Festival, a Guest Artist at Wesleyan University, an Artist-in-Residence at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center, and is a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab. He teaches at NYU.

Pictured: Michael Rau and Michael Yates Crowley in "Song of a Convalescent Ayn Rand Giving Thanks to the Godhead (in the Lydian Mode)". Photo credit: Ilya Nikhamin.

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