Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mike Daisey on the truth and facts of ‘The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs’ - The Washington Post:

Inarguably, Daisey was timely about injecting himself into a pressing issue, putting himself out front in his own larger-than-life voice. It’s something too few artists can say in the country’s play-it-very-safe theater.

“If anybody’s going to get into trouble, Mike would be the one,” Shalwitz says with a laugh. Daisey, Shalwitz adds, is “an indispensable American artist” who is “only tackling huge topics now.”

The period of vilification led to what Daisey calls a “dark time,” when “everything was on the table” — quitting the theater, getting divorced, worse.

“One could argue easily that I’m still in it now,” Daisey says, picking his words carefully. “But at a certain point, when something is disruptive enough, you’re sort of in it forever, in the sense that there’s a new equilibrium. Part of figuring out where you’re at — you never come back to exactly where you were.”

Last month in Boston, Daisey workshopped a new monologue at the annual Theatre Communications Group conference.

“It was a nerve-racking group,” Daisey says, but Shalwitz, who was on hand to deliver a speech of his own, was heartened: “I saw him starting to get his courage back.”

Gregory says repairing relationships with audiences will take time, but that she feels she and Daisey are “through the tunnel”: “This whole thing, terrible as it’s been, I have a sense that it has renewed a fertility of ideas. I kind of wonder if this won’t be an explosive year where we do four new things. . . . Everything’s getting back on line.”