A great story, made even better! Alex Lyras stars in the Los Angeles premiere of Mike Daisey’s The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs in an update revised by the author that is “ethically made” and packs an even more powerful punch. Daisey’s riveting monologue examines the controversy of globalization through the rise and fall and resurrection of Apple, illuminating how Apple’s former CEO and his obsessions shape our lives. It follows the trail all the way to China to investigate the factories where millions toil to make iPhones and iPads, and shines a light on the human price we pay for our high-tech toys. “Anyone with a cell phone and a moral center should see this show.” – The New York Times.
NPR’s Ira Glass was so moved when he saw the show that he invited Daisey to perform an excerpt on This American Life. The January, 2012 episode, titled “Daisey and the Apple Factory,” became the most downloaded episode in the show’s history. Two months later, Glass officially retracted the episode when he discovered that Daisey had embellished and even fabricated “facts” for dramatic effect. After the firestorm, Daisey reformed his work, removing the contested details and standing by his assertions that the conditions in Apple’s supply chain violate China’s own labor laws and remain unethical. The New York Times calls Version 2.0 “more powerful, funny and engaging” than ever.
“The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs is an example of the true power of theater,” says Lyras. “Here’s a performer who took on a conglomerate and actually affected change. Apple got so much heat, so many questions from people who had seen the show, that it had no choice but to start providing answers.”
At the same time, Lyras points out that the production’s history is a mirror reflection of itself. “Like all writers documenting an atrocity, Daisey wanted both the truth and the drama. And, not unlike Steve Jobs, somewhere along the way, he lost site of the original design. The difference is that Daisey stepped up, admitted wrongdoing and made the necessary changes.”
In his determination to “spread the message,” Daisey released The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs into the public domain under a revolutionary open license. In the first week, the script was downloaded over 100,000 times. It has since seen more than forty productions around the world and been translated into six languages. The first Chinese production opened last year in Beijing and will tour to Hong Kong and Shenzhen this year.
The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs opens on February 20 and continues every Wednesday @ 8pm through April 10. General admission is $20.00; full-time students with ID and seniors are $15. Theatre Asylum is located at 6320 Santa Monica Blvd. Hollywood, CA 90038 (1½ blocks west of Vine). For reservations and information, call (800) 838-3006 or go to www.agonyecstasy.brownpapertickets.com
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