So, I said I was going to comment on the Mike Daisey controversy. I feel like I can't say anything that won't have already been said, argued, defended, etc. But here's a draft of what might be the prologue for the production of "The Agony & The Ecstasy Of Steve Jobs" that we've been planning on performing since just after he released the script to the public, written by me with some edits by co-performer Amy Salloway. This is not the prologue we will present, but a draft:
In 2010, in regional theatres around the country, critically acclaimed solo storyteller Mike Daisey began performing his monologue about the origins and cost of our love of technology, “The Agony and The Ecstasy of Steve Jobs.”
Last year the play garnered a lot of attention as a result of Steve Jobs’ death. After he saw the play, Ira Glass invited Daisey to broadcast 39 minutes of his 2 hour-long-show on the popular radio show and podcast “This American Life.” The episode ran on January 6, 2012, and was the most downloaded episode in the history of the “This American Life” podcast. On Feb. 21, 2012, Mike Daisey decides to release the script, royalty free, and two days later, we had all jumped on board to perform a reading of it here in the Twin Cities because we believed in the message at the heart of the play: Think about where your shit comes from.
Just over 3 weeks later, on March 16, 2012, with a couple of Hacktor’s Collective rehearsals in the bag news broke on the internet that staff members of “This American Life” had uncovered fabrications and exaggerations in Daisey’s story, even though they’d previously run their standard fact check. The international theater community erupted with debate about the lack of truth-telling in story, what is journalism, what is non-fiction. Add to that, Mike Daisey had been confirming the embellishments he made in his show on different media outlets. He also had printed in his playbills “This is a work of Non-Fiction.”
Tonight, we are going to perform Daisey’s play as it was released on Feb. 21, with some directional choices to accommodate a cast of more than one. We will be pointing out the non-truths that Ira Glass and team uncovered in The Retraction episode, so you will know where the embellishments in the play are and what the truth is. We haven’t done any further fact-checking on any other parts of the play, so take Daisey’s words outside the sections at Foxconn how you will.
The reason we chose to continue to do the play, in the face of calls to boycott by our theatre colleagues around the world, is because we believe in the theme that overrides all the controversy about truth-telling in story: consider the origins of your purchases. Everything starts somewhere, usually in the hands of another human being.
So, we are still doing the show. Here is the Facebook invite with all the information.