Mike Daisey seems determined to drag American theater, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century:

In a groundbreaking move, after over 200 performances in 18 cities over 19 months, a transcript version of THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY OF STEVE JOBS is available for free download, and has been released under an open license so that it may be performed by anyone, anywhere, royalty free.

Download it here.

Daisey’s monologue tells the story of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, and the tremendous human costs associated with the manufacturing of Apple products. He has been performing it all around the world since 2010, but it was when This American Life broadcast an excerpt in January that the story really exploded into public consciousness. Mainstream American media (and Apple’s PR department) have been playing catch-up ever since.

The transcript has had over 27,000 downloads in the first 24 hours. And someone (in Kurdistan!) has already recorded the opening scene and posted it online:

The public response has been overwhelmingly positive, the response from the media (and the theater establishment) not so much. In his introduction to the transcript, Daisey notes:

We’ve been asked if we are afraid of what will happen when these words are free, if we’re afraid of what will happen to this work?

We’re not afraid at all. We’re truly excited to see what people will make. One of the most powerful forces for humanism is that we are capable of doing things that are not motivated by profit—something corporations are incapable of. We’re delighted to throw away the royalties and control in favor of real openness, so that the work will bloom everywhere.


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