TBA On Stage: Mike Daisey
The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs (@ Washington High), TBA day 2 (runs thru day 5)
posted by: Sara Regan, TBA blogger
For about twenty years, I have known that Mike Daisey is a fantastic actor. For about ten years, I’ve known that he’s an absolutely brilliant writer and monologist. He’s hilarious, scathing when due, but sensitive as well. I have cried, and cried laughing during his former works, trying not to laugh out loud too long, so as not to miss a word. I knew I would both crack up and be moved by his show tonight about Apple, Inc. and its co-founder, Steve Jobs. I knew all these things. What I did not know is that it would be one of the most empowering and eye-opening pieces of theater I’ve ever seen.

I had no inkling that Mike Daisey’s new monologue, The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, is a call to action. But indeed it is. I don’t want to give too much away here, because this show runs for three more nights and I beseech everyone to fit it into their schedules. To give you a brief overview, this monologue, as do many of his others, flows between several narratives: Mike’s own obsession with his only hobby (technology), the exciting tale of Steve Jobs’ electronic genius and rise to success, and the report of Daisey’s brave journey to Shenzhen, China (fastest growing city in the world, w/ fourteen million residents and counting) to investigate the manufacturing plant of Foxconn International, where iPhones are made.
Whenever Mike Daisey comes to perform in Portland, trust that you should see him. This time, you may be additionally enticed by the otherwise unimaginable tales of the nightmarish scale and culture of this manufacturing plant in Schenzen. You will probably never hear a true story as similar to the urban dystopia in Fritz Lang’s film Metropolis. You may think you want to insulate yourself from the horrors of this story, but you don’t. Daisey’s report is riveting. You will hang on every word. He went all the way there and placed himself, and his willing translator, in unknowable and considerable danger to bring us this true story about our stuff. He will temper it for you, and crack you up, and at the end, he will give you the information you need to effectively promote the next “metaphor shift” in consumer culture: to bring humanitarian values to the electronics manufacturing business, starting with its tasteful leader, Apple.
Round up your friends and get to Washington High (through Monday 9/13). You need to see this.
For the TBA catalog description of this show, see http://www.pica.org/festival_detail_new.aspx?eventid=621.
Daisey is performing a different show at the same venue on Saturday 9/18 at 2:30 pm as well; see http://www.pica.org/festival_detail_new.aspx?eventid=622.
For further information on Mike Daisey, see his website, mikedaisey.blogspot.com.
Reporting from Portland,
Sara Regan, TBA Press