Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mike Daisey Discusses ‘The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs’ -

MIKE DAISEY, one of the great solo storytellers of contemporary theater, has traveled the world performing sharp, polemical and extemporaneous monologues about, national security, James Frey and a host of other subjects. He brings his latest piece, “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs,” to the Public Theater from Oct. 11 through Nov. 13.

Half of the show profiles Mr. Jobs, Apple’s former chief executive, the brilliant micromanager who acknowledged in 2004 that he was battling pancreatic cancer. The other half describes Mr. Daisey’s trip to Shenzhen, China, where he posed as a wealthy businessman to infiltrate factories where Apple products and other electronics are made. He says he witnessed inhumane conditions and interviewed workers outside of factories who said they were as young as 12.

Mr. Daisey spoke by phone recently with Catherine Rampell about what defines a “tech geek” and how his exposure to Chinese factories has changed his relationship with his beloved iPhone. These are excerpts from that conversation.