Playwright Mike Daisey releases monologue on royalty-free license

February 22, 2012

Ahead of his return to the Washington area this summer, playwright Mike Daisey released the transcript of his monologue on the ‘Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs’ on a royalty-free license.

Daisey’s decision to release his work for wider performance comes as Apple partner Foxconn — the main company addressed in Daisey’s work — begins to open its doors to media outlets such as Nightline, which produced a segment based on three days of reporting at a Foxconn plant. Foxconn is also undergoing audits from the Fair Labor Association, an independent nonprofit.

In an interview with the Post, Daisey said that he encourages people to adapt the story any way they see fit. “They can make it an opera. They can perform it with five characters,” he said. “I’m really interested in the future of the theater as a place for communal action and a place where interesting communication happens.”

The playwright, whose work was the subject of a This American Life episode in January, announced his decision to post the play online on his personal Web site Tuesday. Just 12 hours later, he posted a link to a recording of an actor in Kurdistan who had produced his own version of the opening monologue. Daisey said he’s heard from a variety of other groups who have decided to produce the show with their own twists including one writer who wants to make it a traditional stage play, a self-described “hot all-girl ensemble” from upstate New York and at least two companies in Germany who have plans for their own versions.

Daisey himself is due to return to the Wooly Mammoth Theater in the Penn Quarter neighborhood this July, the same theater where he debuted the show in 2010.

Related stories:

Mike Daisey’s ‘Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs’ to make D.C. comeback

Apple supplier Foxconn hid underage workers before FLA inspection, says labor rights NGO

Apple report reveals labor, environmental violations

Apple suppliers get independent audits

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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