Agony, ecstasy and a Daisey

by Anna Purdy

The doyenne of downtown Lafayette theater, Cody Daigle, returns this weekend with his one-man performance of Mike Daisey's The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs.

Daigle is a working playwright who proves to people everywhere that, yes, you can make a living writing for the theater without having to live in a cith with a subway system. Last night at Artmosphere he staged brief and free reading of this play. It's a piece that is thoughtful and funny while being informative and not preachy. Daisey writes about his love of technology and all Apple products which led him to explore the mythos of Steve Jobs, both the fascinating maverick and the unabashed tyrant. This led Daisey all the way to the Foxconn corporation in Shenzhen, China where literally half off the world's electronics - not just Apple products - are made. Daisey drew the ire of Apple and directly Steve Jobs for exposing the sweatshop conditions of Foxconn, a company so large it maintains no less than 25 cafeterias simultaneously for its thousands upon thousands of workers, many of whom would be considered "tweeners" by our standards.

But this isn't the whole of the play. The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs celebrates Jobs and how exactly the late technology maven achieved his fame and glory. In the end the play is about honesty and facing the fact that it isn't the passive who make history.

Daisey did something unusual with this work. After performing it for a long time and receiving accolades, rather than retain the rights and ask for royalites Daisey published the play in its entirety and said it was up to the public for the taking. Lafayette is one of the first cities to take advantage of this.

Reserve tickets by calling 484-0172. Performances run for this and next weekend only at Theatre 810 with Saturday matinees at 2 p.m. and Sunday evening performances at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10. Go here for more information.