UW Production Features Ayn Rand in Original Play

October 22, 2013
Ayn Rand in 1943 (Ayn Rand Institute)

Philosopher Ayn Rand comes to life in the University of Wyoming’s “An Evening with Ayn Rand,” a new play written and directed by UW Professor William Missouri Downs, Tuesday, Oct. 29-Saturday, Nov. 2, at 7:30 p.m. in Room 302 of the UW Classroom Building.

Tickets cost $14 for the public, $11 for senior citizens and $7 for students. For tickets, visit the Wyoming Union or Performing Arts box offices, call (307) 766-6666 or go online at https://www.uwyo.edu/finearts/.

Rand was a Russian-American author of best-selling novels such as “The Fountainhead”; “Atlas Shrugged”; “The Virtue of Selfishness”; and several non-fiction works. 

She developed and advocated for the philosophy of Objectivism, which holds that reality is an objective absolute that is only known through reason and experience; that a rational self-interest and happiness are an individual’s highest moral purposes; and that laissez-faire capitalism is the ideal political-economic system, emphasizing an individual’s freedom, mutuality between others and does not involve the government unless peace is violated.

In Downs’ play, Rand is interviewed and must defend her ideas, as well as her life choices. Rand and her disciple, Alan Greenspan, former Federal Reserve chairman, are put to the test as they investigate the pros and cons of laissez-faire capitalism and a rational self-interest.

“Ayn is a darling of the Tea Party, low taxes, small governments and few government regulations,” says Downs. “This is a great play for Ayn Rand aficionados; those who have read, scanned and heard of her; or even those who believe in the philosophy of personal responsibility. But it’s also for those who hate Ayn Rand and everything she stands for. The audience will have the final say in the end.”

Downs compares Rand to students at UW. 

“Many college students don’t follow Ayn’s idea of themselves. They don’t take care of themselves. They don’t understand the complete joy of being a human being,” he says. “Rand believed that if you were truly selfish, you wouldn’t hurt another person.”

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