Storm in the Iron Box

STORM IN THE IRON BOX is inspired by the life of psychiatrist Wilhelm Reich, who studied with Freud and emigrated to America in 1940. He’s best known for his invention of the “orgone box” and the school of therapy named after him. Reich’s struggles to bring his work to the world are intensified by his own tempestuous, quixotic nature as well as fierce opposition from the Food and Drug Administration. His main adversary is Pauline MacBrindy, a young prosecutor who believes his novel sexual theories are a threat to traditional American values. The love-hate relationship between Reich and MacBrindy becomes a microcosm of society’s response to Reich: initially fascinated but finally needing to oppress him and his new, unusual, fervently human ideas. Reich ends up in prison, but also succeeds in changing MacBrindy and the world.

Cast:  3W, 6M

“Adam Kraar’s new play… raises bold questions about just how free Americans really are and circumscribes the ongoing struggle between scientific progress and prevailing moral codes. Kraar’s writing is more than solid, and his sneaky way of integrating screwball comedy into an otherwise straight biographical study is genuinely inspired. …STORM provides audiences with more than enough meat to chew on, and its hypnotic appeal demonstrates just how hungry we are such a tasty dish.” — Memphis Flyer

“STORM IN THE IRON BOX taps storytelling mother lode. …Playwright Adam Kraar didn’t miss his chance at the lure of miracles. Folks who are interested in strange science might enjoy Playwrights’ Forum’s new show about real-life psychotherapist turned weirdo Wilhelm Reich. …The play’s crowning moment, when Reich points his orgone cannon at the sky (which really happened) and makes it rain, is both dazzlingly Frankensteinian and quixotically pathetic.” — The Commercial Appeal

  • National Play Award runner-up
  • Workshop production at Playwrights Forum (Memphis)