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Mike Daisey
American Utopias

Nov 1–11, 2012

16

Mike Daisey
Photo: Ursa Waz

Co-presented with the Chicago Humanities Festival

“Enthralling and supremely theatrical with incomparable comic verve. . . why be a journalist if you can spin stories like these?”
—Chicago Sun-Times

“Superb. . . Mike Daisey is a keen cultural observer with a ruthless streak.”
—Chicago Tribune

“Masterful and bombastically funny. . . a voluble and valuable raconteur.”
—Time Out Chicago

Mike Daisey, the passionate and hilarious storyteller who draws his unlikely insights from field research and autobiography, premieres his latest monologue. The MCA introduced Daisey to Chicago audiences four years ago with his haunting If You See Something Say Something; now he returns with a distinctly American vision of utopia—or as he puts it, “how we create civic spaces for ourselves in which we act out our dreams of a better world.”

He takes us along as he pursues the story—from Disney World and its theme park perfection to the drug-fueled anarchic excesses of the Burning Man Festival, from the Masonic underpinnings of our nation’s capitol, to Zuccotti Park, where in the unlikeliest place a new movement is born.


Downloads

Program Notes



About the artist

Daisey has created over fifteen monologues since 1997, including The Last Cargo Cult; How Theater Failed America; the twenty-four-hour long All the Hours in the Day; All Stories Are Fiction; the four-part epic Great Men of Genius; and 21 Dog Years. His works explore topics such as Nikola Tesla, Apple, the Department of Homeland Security, the history of the New York transit system, 9/11, and Walmart. He has performed in venues on five continents, ranging from Off-Broadway at the Public Theater to remote islands in the South Pacific, from the Sydney Opera House to an abandoned theater in post-communist Tajikistan. He’s been a guest on the Late Show with David Letterman, as well as a commentator and contributor to the New York Times, This American Life, WIRED, Vanity Fair, Slate, Salon, NPR and the BBC. His first film, Layover, was shown at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010, and he recently completed a feature film of his monologue If You See Something Say Something, which MCA presented in 2008.

More about Mike Daisey


Artists up close

Post-show talks
Thu, Nov 1, and Thu, Nov 8
Audience members are invited to stay after the performance for an insightful discussion with the artists.

Chicago Humanities Festival: Truth Be Told: Mike Daisey in Conversation
Sun, Nov 4, 1:30–2:30 pm
Chicago Cultural Center, Claudia Cassidy Theater, 77 E Randolph St

Tickets $5, contact Chicago Humanities Festival
This freewheeling discussion with Daisey is part of Chicago Humanities Festival and covers his body of work and career, the lines between art and journalism, and his entanglements with This American Life and its fallout.


Funding

Generous support for American Utopias is provided by Mary Ittelson.