The shadow of Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged) looms large in the world today. Her thoughts on unregulated capitalism and selfishness have influenced everything from the Tea Party to her close friend and disciple Alan Greenspan, who served as Chairman of the Federal Reserve for nearly twenty years. Her philosophies are to Fortune 500 CEO’s what Scientology is to movies stars.
In this small two-character play I place Ayn on trial and ask the audience to be the jury and vote on which ending the play will have – guilty or not guilty. Were her thoughts on laissez-faire capitalism the fountainhead that led to our current economic situation? Have her philosophies on selfishness led to Social Darwinism? Did she, in her personal life, live up to her heroes such as John Galt?
The trial covers the strengths of her philosophies but also her drug use, affair with a man half her age, and temperament. From her appearance before the House Committee on Un-American activities, to her influence over the Federal Reserve this play presents both sides of the argument and lets the audience vote on how the play will end (just as in Ayn’s play The Night of January 16th).