As a new year dawns, we are delighted to announce a national tour for our monologue, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY OF STEVE JOBS, which opens this week in the Bay Area at Berkeley Rep, and will go on to major engagements in both Washington DC and Seattle, running from now until late May.
This is a very special show for us—I don't think Jean-Michele and I have ever worked as hard as we have bringing this piece to light, or have poured as much of ourselves into the work as we have into this story. This monologue is the apotheosis of years of journalism, travel, research, investigation, sweat, and tears...and I believe it tells an untold and deeply necessary story for our time.
On the one hand is the story of Steve Jobs—his genius, his egotism, and his vision, a real life Willy Wonka whose obsessions have shaped our daily world. It explores the mysteries of the cult of Apple, the dream of a laptop so thin you can cut a sandwich with it, and the idea that if you control the metaphor through which we see the world, then in our age now, you can control the world itself.
This story of technology and its pleasures is told against the landscape of southern China, where I witnessed firsthand the true human cost of creating all of our marvelous tools. This behind-the-scenes journey into the heart of the forges where iPods, iPhones, laptops, and all our technology spills forth illuminates a place where workers throw themselves to their deaths from high-rises in modern-day workhouses, where workers die on the production line of overwork, where they sleep in cement cells with dozens of women and men crammed in rooms like labor camps—a landscape of our own making.
Today Steve Jobs announced he is stepping down from Apple for health reasons. It is almost impossible to imagine Apple without him, and there's a palpable sense of loss and change as the tech industry struggles to know what this will mean for its future.
We stand at a crossroads, and it is my sincere belief that this story, capturing both his genius and his stubbornness, his brilliance and his ridiculousness, can help turn our attention to how the tech industry can grow up and begin to take responsibility for its decisions. Now is the best moment for us to look deeply and actually begin to see there's something more significant than the next iPhone's release, the next keynote presentation. Now is the moment to start waking up.
This is the best work I have ever created, and I hope you'll consider coming to be part of the story.
Be seeing you,