Opening tonight at the Long Center, “Anthem” is the first adaptation of Ayn Rand’s 1938 novella of the same name. Produced by Austin Shakespeare, the premiere is piquing the interest of Rand scholars around the country — and an important one here in Austin.
The theatrical version of Rand’s dark tale is by Jeff Britting, manager of the Ayn Rand Archive in Los Angeles. Britting was the associate producer on the 1997 Academy Award-nominated documentary “Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life,” composing a score for the film. For his 60-minute stage adaptation, Britting has composed a score as well. The Austin Shakespeare production also employs video elements to augment the story of a man struggling to rediscover a forbidden word: “ego.”
“I think a common misunderstanding is that Rand is all about politics, or she’s all about ethics, especially a virtue of selfishness. But (her work) is much more than just a political position. (Rand’s) is really a systematic view addressing all the major branches of philosophy: metaphysics, epistemology, the idea of value and the political.” [“Rand expert at UT discusses a new play“]