NPR's "This American Life," a popular radio show which recently devoted an hour to Mike Daisey performing his hit monologue THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY OF STEVE JOBS, retracted the show today amid accusations that sections of Daisey's account of his trip to Apple's factories in China were fabricated. The retraction has caused a firestorm in the theatrical community, provoking a planned Chicago performance of the piece in April to be cancelled.
AUI will proceed with its planned two-weekend run of THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY OF STEVE JOBS, but the performances will include newly created material commenting on the ongoing controversy, written by the show's performer, Cody Daigle.
NPR has discovered that sections of Daisey's story about his trips to China and the factories were fabricated or re-purposed from other stories. And the show's penultimate story of factory horrors has been discounted by Daisey's Chinese translator.
"Part of what makes AGONY/ECSTASY such an incredible show is its passionate defense of revealing the truth," said Daigle. "With our performances starting at the moment this story is breaking, we thought it was only appropriate to include this bit of truth-telling in with Daisey's amazing piece."
AGONY/ECSTASY was released to the public in February by Daisey, and theatre companies are encouraged to create freely and adapt the show any way they deem appropriate. Over the four performances, the new material will be updated to reflect the changes as the story develops.
"I don't think this discounts the very powerful core of Daisey's work," Daigle said. "But it does create an interesting counterpoint."
"We were proud to offer this piece to local audiences because of its relevance and its power," Marie Diaz, president of AUI, said. "So being able to tell this new story makes our production even more exciting. This is breaking news on the stage of Theatre 810. We couldn't be more eager to share this with Acadiana."