ABOUT THE SHOW
Mike Daisey takes us all over the map to pursue the story: from Disney World and its nostalgic theme park perfection, to the drug-fueled anarchic excesses of Burning Man, to Zuccotti Park, where in the unlikeliest place the Occupy Wall Street movement was born. Gun-play, giant glittery dildos, raving animatronic presidents, and brutal police actions come together to paint the landscape of our new American dream. After record-breaking performances in New York, Chicago, and Boston, American Utopias returns to where it all began at Woolly Mammoth!
HOWARD’S POV: Mike Daisey has developed a special relationship with Washington audiences by always challenging us to make unexpected connections and to see our world in new ways. American Utopias asks how our nation, which began with Utopian zeal, continues to nourish or to squash the Utopian impulse today. I'm honored to welcome Mike and Jean-Michele back for their fifth show at Woolly—one of their most captivating.
Run time may vary and is approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes with no intermission.
We have a surprise waiting for audiences prior to the performance—a sensory treat with the spirit of Walt Disney, the anarchy of Burning Man, and a dash of Occupy.
Audience members are invited to come early and experience the attraction for themselves. Buy the ticket, take the ride!
What the critics are saying...
“Talent will out. I’m drawn to the combination of ego, intelligence, poetic skill and rigorous self-examination that spills out from behind the wooden desk that has become his pulpit. AMERICAN UTOPIAS is a travelogue that wittily locates what’s strange in the familiar, and what’s recognizable about the exotic. Any tour of locales near or far he decides to lead, sign me up.”
- The Washington Post
“Vivid, fearless…Daisey views the everyday world as his source material and his stage. There's no fantasy here yet it’s astoundingly theatrical. There's nothing like seeing Daisey do what he does best.”
- Broadway World
"Warning: this show could cause you to crack your ribs laughing."
- Woman Around Town
“Takes his monologue game up a level…Daisey plants the seed of an idea through his storytelling, the crafting of which he has truly become the master.”
- We Love DC
“There’s really nobody who does it better than Mike Daisey…a brilliant storyteller, a sharply original theatrical talent, and a fiercely clever thinker.”
“A glorious, thoroughly engaging, ever conflating romp through and outside the bubble. The point is to risk the ridiculous in order to achieve even a moment of nobility. And that Daisey does, and does wonderfully.”
- MD Theatre Guide
Show Art by Carolyn Sewell.
HOUSE LIGHTS UP
We need your help! Pull out those old videos and photos of your vacations at Disneyland and Disney World to send our way. If you would like to participate, please fill out this form (LINK: to google form) with your name, contact information, what exactly you will be sharing (photo/video), and some release information. We will be in touch with upload instructions. Thank you so much for your submission!
Submissions now closed.
ABOUT THE CREATOR AND PERFORMER
Mike Daisey has been called “the master storyteller” and “one of the finest solo performers of his generation” by The New York Times for his groundbreaking monologues which weave together autobiography, gonzo journalism, and unscripted performance to tell hilarious and heartbreaking stories that cut to the bone, exposing secret histories and unexpected connections. His controversial work, The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, was recognized as one of the year’s best theater pieces by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Seattle Times, Seattle Weekly, San Jose Mercury News, and The San Francisco Bay Guardian.
As a playwright, his transcript of The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs was downloaded over 100,000 times in the first week it was made available. Under a revolutionary open license it has seen more than forty productions around the world and been translated into six languages. The first Chinese production opened last year in Beijing, and will tour to Hong Kong and Shenzhen this year.
Since his first monologue in 1997, Daisey has created over fifteen monologues, including the critically-acclaimed The Last Cargo Cult, the controversial How Theater Failed America, the twenty-four-hour feat All the Hours in the Day, the unrepeatable series All Stories Are Fiction, the four-part epic Great Men of Genius, and the international sensation 21 Dog Years. Other titles include If You See Something Say Something, Barring the Unforeseen, Invincible Summer, Monopoly!, Tongues Will Wag, I Miss the Cold War, and Teching in India.
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 Real Time with Bill Maher, the Late Show with David Letterman, a longtime host and storyteller for The Moth, as well as a commentator and contributor to The New York Times, The Guardian, Harper’s Magazine, The Daily Beast, WIRED, Vanity Fair, Slate, Salon, NPR, and the BBC. In a brief, meteoric career with This American Life, his two shows are the most listened to and downloaded episodes of that program’s eighteen-year history. He is currently at work on his second book, an anthology of his monologues, and he stars in the Lawrence Krauser feature Horrible Child. He has been nominated for the Outer Critics Circle Award, two Drama League Awards, and is the recipient of the Bay Area Critics Circle Award, five Seattle Times Footlight Awards, the Sloan Foundation’s Galileo Prize, and a MacDowell Fellowship.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Jean-Michele Gregory works as a director, editor, and dramaturg, focusing on extemporaneous theatrical works that live in the moment they are told. Working primarily with solo artists, for over a decade she has been Mike Daisey’s chief collaborator, directing his monologues at venues across the globe including the Public Theater, the Sydney Opera House, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, the Spoleto Festival, T:BA Festival, Under the Radar Festival, and many more. She has also directed New York storyteller Martin Dockery (Wanderlust, The Surprise), as well as author and performer Suzanne Morrison (Yoga Bitch, Optimism). Her productions have received the Bay Area Critics Circle Award (Great Men of Genius), nominations from the Drama League and Outer Critics Circle (If You See Something Say Something), and five Seattle Times Footlight Awards (21 Dog Years, The Ugly American, Monopoly!, The Last Cargo Cult, and The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs).
American Utopias runs March 25 - April 21, 2013; Tickets start at $35, and can be purchased through the Woolly Mammoth Box Office at 202-393-3939, online, or in person at 641 D Street, NW (7th & D). For directions and parking information, please visit www.woollymammoth.net.
PWYC = Pay What You Can
OPEN = Opening Night