Friday, January 02, 2009

Monologist Mike Daisey Presents 'How Theater Failed America' at Woolly Mammoth -

"The American theater as an institution is an institution," he says. "And it's lost track of the human element that makes theater successful."

Daisey, one of the most compelling monologists working today, addresses what he sees as a dire situation in his one-man show "How Theater Failed America," which opens Wednesday at Woolly Mammoth Theatre.

The problem, he says, is this: When times got tough, local troupes and companies made the wrong cuts. Repertory theaters stopped employing their own actors and developing distinctive productions. They gave up trying to sustain themselves with ticket sales and grew ever more dependent on corporate donors and wealthy benefactors. They bought real estate and built bigger, glitzier houses while community artists increasingly starved.

"This has been a very insidious process that's poisoned a large amount of American theater and has huge ramifications," says Daisey, who has been performing the show for a year now, to a loud and inharmonious response from the theater community.

Daisey, last seen in Washington with the enthusiastically received production "If You See Something Say Something," says his intention is to sound "a wake-up call."

11:33 AM