The bomb-throwing storyteller of the land once known as America is back. Truth be typed, he never went anywhere. Funny, incisive, complicated, conflicted – Mike Daisey will never be safe for television. Which is why we’re lucky to have him on the stage.
One night only, the Mainer turned New Yorker is back in Stumptown to talk about – what else – Trump. Unfortunately the show is in the extremely bland and mediocre too big to fail complex horrifically named Portland 5 Alive. Mike, next time book Revolution Hall! But anyway, here’s your chance to see the man.
The Trump Card
September 25, 2016
I guess he’s not really “at it again”. Because that implies there was a period of time when he stopped being at it. And that’s not the case.
Mike Daisey – America’s original open source theatre entrepreneur and ultramarathoner – is here, there and everywhere these days. Daisey brings the energy, marketing savvy and dazzle of an internet startup to the creaky world of theatuh.
And is he ever nailing it. Not satisfied accepting the traditional acting or writing model, which is pretty much a dead end in the theatre these days, this Mainer-turned-New-Yorker controls his own destiny, takes on big subjects and tells his stories directly to thousands upon thousands of audience members around the world. As a writer and performer, he’s a double threat.
And I’m betting the man can sing and dance as well. So we got a quad on our hands here, folks.
Wait – he’s also a producer. So he’s five times more dangerous than your average mortal.
After a 24 hour marathon at TBA a few years ago and a new piece every night for a month last year at the Public Theater, Daisey has put the world on notice that he can go as long as it takes to get to the heart of a story. That’s what he does.
For his latest feat of theatrical daring, Daisey is doing four shows on four nights in a row about the four great Shakespeare tragedies at Cal Shakes. Unfortunately it’s an extremely short run (he did it last week, and he’s doing it again this week starting tomorrow). But chances seem excellent that a new show about Shakespeare should get some legs among the far flung Shakespeare industrial complex (which, apparently, the show takes on).
If you have four days to spare, jump in your van and get to Berkeley pronto. If not, watch for this one again sometime soon. Perhaps somewhere closer by…
Inexplicably, after performing two fabulous new monologues in Seattle earlier this month, Daisey delivers a rambling, embittered, and near substance-free stream of consciousness on – pretty much whatever comes to mind. Unprepared, unfocused, angry, paper thin. Opening rant about his interview treatment in WW sets the tone of obsessive score settling.
Starting off tonight courtesy of PICA, it’s the world premiere of JOURNALISM by Mike Daisey. Daisey is a wildly successful entrepreneurial bomb thrower, and thank god for that. The American theatre needs more performers engaging with the real issues of our time.
And then tomorrow night at Boom Arts it’s a screening of AMARILLO, followed by a panel discussion on immigration.
PICA is bringing America’s hardest working theatre artist to town for just one night.
The show is a world premiere of JOURNALISM.
And the performer is Mike Daisey.
The prolific Mainer last thrilled and exhausted Stumptown locals with his 24 hour marathon show, ALL THE HOURS OF THE DAY, at T:BA in 2011.
Portland was also one of the first cities to see THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY OF STEVE JOBS, a show which went on to cause an enormous media spin cycle (technical term: “shit storm”) when Ira Glass of This American Life revealed that some details of the expose were fabricated. This was after Glass did a full show on AGONY. He then devoted a second show to unmasking the tale. The two Daisey episodes remain the most popular in TAL history.
Subsequent to that speed bump, Daisey regrouped and has moved on at a heightened pace of urgency. And if his new show AMERICAN UTOPIAS (one of 10 new monologues to emerge from Daisey’s secret underground lair in Brooklyn in the past 12 months) last weekend at Seattle Rep is any indicator, this sharp and unpredictable talent is at the peak of his powers. Here’s a review from Crosscut.
Living as he does at the intersection of theatre, politics, activism, and documentary, Daisey is an important American cultural critic. He is also a rare thing in the theatre world – an owner. Though unlike the all-owning corporations that often find themselves under his inquiring microscope, Daisey sometimes gives his intellectual property away for free. As a sole proprietor and producer of his own work, Daisey has a unique ability to go direct to the audience, bypassing some of the creaky channels of the ossified mainstream theatre establishment detailed in his ferocious 2008 broadside, HOW THEATER FAILED AMERICA.
Daisey believes in the power of theatre to truly change and challenge. As he quips in AMERICAN UTOPIAS, the theatre is one of the last public spaces where large gatherings of citizens are still tolerated in America. Because nothing dangerous can happen there. Right?
Come put the danger back in theatre – where it belongs.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013, 7:00pm
1410 SW Morrison St
Portland, OR 97205
In a single night, Daisey takes us on a fantastic journey through the sprawling landscape of journalism right now—how it functions, how it fails us, and how it choses to tell our stories. Using his own scandal as a jumping-off point, he illuminates how the myth of objective journalism weakens us and has made our public discourse easy to manipulate. From CNN to alt-weeklies, this is a true love letter to journalism—an impossible calling caught in a time of transformation, where people struggle every day to tell a story that actually shows us the truth.
About Mike Daisey
Mike Daisey has been called “the master storyteller” and “one of the finest solo performers of his generation” by The New York Times for his groundbreaking monologues which weave together autobiography, gonzo journalism, and unscripted performance to tell hilarious and heartbreaking stories that cut to the bone, exposing secret histories and unexpected connections. His controversial work, The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, was recognized as one of the year’s best theater pieces by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Seattle Times, Seattle Weekly, San Jose Mercury News, and The San Francisco Bay Guardian.
This fall he will premiere All the Faces of the Moon, a 29-night epic monologue performed over an entire lunar month, at the Public Theater in New York City. That work will be available for free online for people around the world to listen and watch as the story unfolds. At more than forty hours, All the Faces of the Moon will be the largest piece of sustained theatrical narrative since the 13th century medieval mystery plays. All the Faces of the Moon is the sequel to All the Hours in the Day, the 24-hour monologue he performed in Portland at PICA’s Time-Based Art Festival in 2011
As a playwright, his transcript of The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs was downloaded over 100,000 times in the first week it was made available. Under a revolutionary open license it has seen more than sixty 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.
Since his first monologue in 1997, Daisey has created over fifteen monologues, including the critically-acclaimed The Last Cargo Cult, the controversial How Theater Failed America, the twenty-four-hour feat All the Hours in the Day, the unrepeatable series All Stories Are Fiction, the four-part epic Great Men of Genius, and the international sensation 21 Dog Years.
He has performed in venues on five continents, ranging from Off-Broadway at the Public Theater to remote islands in the South Pacific, from the Sydney Opera House to an abandoned theater in post-Communist Tajikistan. He’s been a guest on Real Time with Bill Maher, the Late Show with David Letterman, a longtime host and storyteller for The Moth, as well as a commentator and contributor to The New York Times, The Guardian, Harper’s Magazine, The Daily Beast, WIRED, Vanity Fair, Slate, Salon, NPR and the BBC. In a brief, meteoric career with This American Life, his two shows are the most listened to and downloaded episodes of that program’s eighteen-year history. He is currently at work on a second book, an anthology of his monologues, and he stars in the Lawrence Krauser feature Horrible Child. He has been nominated for the Outer Critics Circle Award, two Drama League Awards, and is the recipient of the Bay Area Critics Circle Award, five Seattle Times Footlight Awards, the Sloan Foundation’s Galileo Prize, and a MacDowell Fellowship.
In one of his most polished, searching, and relevant works, a resurgent Mike Daisey identifies and compares powerful strands of utopianism in Burning Man, Disney World, and the Occupy movement. At nearly 2 ½ hours with no intermission, the work is vintage Daisey energy. Downside: excessive profanity diverts from story.
Next weekend, Daisey performs another new monologue at Seattle Rep. FUCKING FUCKING FUCKING AYN RAND runs May 8-11. Tickets are $25.
This weekend and next, bomb thrower extraordinaire of the American theatre world Mike Daisey will be at Seattle Rep with two new monologues, AMERICAN UTOPIAS and FUCKING FUCKING FUCKING AYN RAND.
In the last six months, Daisey has premiered nine (count ’em) new monologues at New York’s Public Theater.
Every single one has been 100% sold out.
MY BIG BREAK
WHERE WATER MEETS WITH WATER
FUCKING FUCKING FUCKING AYN RAND
FASTER BETTER SOCIAL
ON LYING AND THE NATURE OF MAGIC
ON SWEARING AND THE POWER OF CURSES
FIVE TECHNICAL REHEARSALS IN INDIA
BRADLEY MANNING’S WAR
And now he’s coming back to where it (meaning his theatre career) all began – Seattle.
This weekend, AMERICAN UTOPIAS is on Wednesday – Saturday nights, and next weekend it’s FUCKING FUCKING FUCKING AYN RAND.