Tuesday, May 07, 2013

World premiere of JOURNALISM by Mike Daisey comes to Portland for one night on May 21 | portland theatre scene:

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 last year) 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 often under the Daisey microscope, he 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 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.