by Rachel Swan
Monologist Mike Daisey will open a new performance at Berkeley Repertory Theatre this Sunday, to coincide with his current production, The Last Cargo Cult. The new play hones in on the life and work of Apple CEO Steve Jobs , who just announced a medical leave of absence this week, one year after undergoing a liver transplant for pancreatic cancer. Daisey expressed sympathy for Jobs in a blog post published yesterday, but insists that the show must go on. In characteristically pungent prose, he promised a show that will rival Cargo Cult in scope and shrewdness. He'll use Jobs as a launchpad not only to discuss vicissitudes in the tech industry, but also to show its global impact — specifically in the factories of Southern China, which he investigated in the process of researching this play.
Daisey describes Jobs as a modern day "Willy Wonka" who has transformed our technological landscape at great cost. And that's just the icing on a treatise that's packed with provocations. According to Gawker reporter Ryan Tate, Daisey will also hand out contact info for the CEO, so that audience members can send a little criticism of their own. Even the play's title — The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs — expresses a whole knot of complicated feelings. If early reviews are to be trusted, it's certainly no hagiography.