Mike Daisey, who wrote The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, has said he plans to make his script available for performance by any other performer, at any time, anywhere in the world without paying royalties.
“The monologue will be released as a PDF, and it comes with very open licences and you can perform it forever, without paying royalties, wherever you want,” he told the New York Times.
The Guardian reports that Daisey is due to premiere the monologue in Europe at the HighTide festival in May. It combines details about the life and career of Steve Jobs with an account of Daisey’s own visit to a factory in Shenzhen, China where Apple products are produced.
Daisey’s announcement that he will post a full script online, and allow anyone to perform it
Nonetheless, HighTide’s artistic director Steven Atkinson welcomed the news. “Mike believes theatre has a social role, and like any good artist, they want their work to impact upon audiences. So this action, whilst unusual, is typical of Mike –
Reviewing the original production, the New York Times’s critic Charles Isherwood wrote: “Anyone who sees Mr Daisey’s show – and anyone with a cellphone and a moral centre should – will find it hard to forget the repercussions that our casual purchases can have in the lives of men and women (and children) half a world away.”
The Guardian also reports that Daisey had planned to post the script on his blog on Monday, but he delayed the process in order to respond to a major – unrelated – announcement by Apple. Instead, he posted an apology, promising that the script “is coming soon”.
He has also granted permission for those hoping to produce the play to deviate from the script in any way they choose. However, he outlined a few requests, including: “It would be nice if you let me know where it is happening.”
Atkinson maintains any such productions will not lessen the impact of Daisey’s own performance. “The text itself is only part of what makes The Agony … an extraordinary piece of theatre. It’s Mike himself that is unmissable.”