Earlier today, we had our first stumble-through of The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, by Mike Daisey. Broadway World shared an article about the show this morning, but the article can’t capture the fun we are having in the theatre. When Remi Sandri arrived for rehearsal on day one, the cast (just Remi) was outnumbered by the staff in the room (artistic director Mark Cuddy, stage manager Frank Cavallo and yours truly, dramaturg). In a regional theatre like Geva, that doesn’t happen often!
Now, normally, Mike Daisey performs his own work. He spends a great deal of time researching something, then creates an outlines and speaks extemporaneously, from behind a desk. No two audiences ever have the exact same experience. But, in an unusual move for the monologist, Mike Daisey released the script for this monologue about a year ago, because he felt so strongly that the story – about what happens in the factories where our technology is made – needed to be shared widely. And when the artistic staff here read it (on our iPads), we were captivated. We decided to produce the show in our Nextstage Theatre. And then, Mike got into a bit of hot water on NPR, and ended up releasing a second version of the show. I promise to talk about that more in an upcoming post, because today, I’m just thinking about how much fun I’m having in rehearsals. This script tells a great story, and it is really fun to experiment with this storytelling format – especially as we investigate what it really means for Remi to play the part of Mike Daisey. Somehow this is different than playing just a character. Here, Remi is playing another performer, one who himself plays several different roles throughout the investigation of the Foxconn plant in Shenzhen, China.
But watching Remi tell the story isn’t as complicated as all of that sounds – it’s captivating. More soon – I promise!