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Mike Daisey - How Theater Failed America

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Published on Mar 3, 2009

Excerpts from Mike Daisey's "How Theater Failed America" from its Off-Broadway run, directed by Jean-Michele Gregory. Master storyteller Mike Daisey sinks his razor-sharp wit into a subject he knows well: the American theater, from the sublimely crass to the genuinely ugly. From gorgeous new theaters standing empty as cathedrals, to successful working actors traveling like migrant farmhands, to an arts culture unwilling to speak or listen to its own nation, Daisey takes stock of the dystopian state of theater in America: a shrinking world with smaller audiences every year. Fearlessly implicating himself and the system he works within, Daisey seeks answers to essential and dangerous questions about the art were making, the legacy we leave the future, and who it is we believe were speaking to.

"A funny, surprisingly supple performance about life in the theater, the ecstatic highs and the aching, humiliating lows, rendered here with explosive humor and a dark edge of tragedy." WASHINGTON POST

"This piece should reach anyone who believes in live performance." VARIETY

"His transfixing delivery underscores his central point: theatre is a wave, not a particle, and the current system isn't doing it—or us—justice."
THE NEW YORKER

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