Thursday, May 01, 2008

For Immediate Release, May 1, 2008






, Mike Daisey’s monologue about theater, failure, passion, and hope, will transfer directly from a sold-out, critically-acclaimed run at Joe’s Pub to a strictly limited 6-week engagement at Off-Broadway’s Barrow Street Theatre.  Created and performed by Mike Daisey and directed by Jean-Michele Gregory, the show begins performances at the Barrow Street Theatre on Friday, May 16Final performance at Joe’s Pub: Sunday, May 11.

Mike Daisey has been called “the master of the finest solo performers of his generation” by the New York Times.  In HOW THEATER FAILED AMERICA he 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 we’re making, the legacy we leave the future, and who it is we believe we’re speaking to.

HOW THEATER FAILED AMERICA earned rave reviews in its run at Joe’s Pub which began April 14th.  Variety wrote, “Surprising and poetic.  This piece should reach anyone who believes in live performance,” and Time Out New York declared, “Not only vastly entertaining, it’s also a call to action.” The New Yorker observed, “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,” and The New York Times hailed the show, “A sardonic rebuke to the corporate types who hold American theater hostage and a powerful sense of the wonder of theater.”

Mike Daisey’s many other monologues include
Invincible Summer, Monopoly!, TRUTH, The Ugly American, I Miss the Cold War, Great Men of Genius, Wasting Your Breath and 21 Dog Years.  Over the past decade, he has performed his unique extemporaneous monologues at venues such as the Public Theater, American Repertory Theatre, the Spoleto Festival, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, the Cherry Lane Theatre, Yale Repertory Theater, the Noorderzon Festival, Portland Center Stage, Intiman, Performance Space 122 and many more.  He has appeared as a guest on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” his work has been heard on the BBC, NPR and the “National Lampoon Radio Hour,” and his groundbreaking series All Stories Are Fiction is available through Audible.  Currently he is a commentator on PRI’s “Studio 360” and NPR’s “Day To Day,” a contributor to WIRED, Slate and Salon and a web contributor to Vanity Fair and Radar Magazine.  His first film, Layover, is being distributed by Lars von Trier’s company Zentropa and he stars in the Lawrence Krauser feature Horrible Child.  His first book, 21 Dog Years: A Cubedweller’s Tale, was published by the Free Press and he is working on a second book, Great Men of Genius, adapted from his monologues about genius and megalomania in the lives of Bertolt Brecht, P.T. Barnum, Nikola Tesla, and L. Ron Hubbard.  He is the recipient of the Bay Area Critics Circle Award, two Seattle Times Footlight Awards and a MacDowell Fellowship.

HOW THEATER FAILED AMERICA is presented by AJ Epstein as An Ethereal Mutt Production.  Lighting Design is by AJ Epstein.

HOW THEATER FAILED AMERICA will play May 16 – June 22 as follows: Friday & Saturday @ 7:30 PM and Sunday at 7:00 PM.  No performance Sunday, May 25.  The Barrow Street Theatre is located at 27 Barrow Street (at Seventh Avenue). Tickets are $30 and can be purchased online at or by phone at (212) 239-6200 or (800) 432-7250 (outside the NY metro area).  For group information please call (212) 367-7690.  The Box Office at the Barrow Street Theatre is open Tuesday – Sunday from 1:00 PM-8:00 PM.

**PLEASE NOTE: Each Sunday, a roundtable forum with theater artists and administrators will follow the performance.  Slated guest include: Eric Bogosian (Talk Radio), Robert Brustein (Founder of Yale Repertory Theatre and American Repertory Theatre), James Bundy (Dean, Yale School of Drama), Jim Nicola (Artistic Director, New York Theatre Workshop), Richard Nelson (Conversations in Tusculum), Lisa Kron (2.5 Minute Ride, Well), Maria Dizzia (Eurydice), Gideon Lester (Artistic Director, American Repertory Theatre), Maria Goyanes (Producer, 13P), Paige Evans (Lincoln Center) and others in direct conversation with working actors, technicians, designers and independent producers of the American theater.  The audience is invited to stay for the roundtable forums that will immediately follow Sunday evening performances.

For more information, please visit or

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