The Agony & Ecstasy Of Steve Jobs Goes Open Source

By

Mike Daisey performing
Mike Daisey performing "The Agony & Ecstasy Of Steve Jobs"

Playwright Mike Daisey has released the transcript of his influential monologue, The Agony And The Ecstasy Of Steve Jobs, under a royalty-free license.

The move will allow Daisey’s hit play about the conditions in Apple’s Chinese factories to be performed anywhere in the world without restriction.Indeed, Daisey claims that more than 500 groups and individuals in 13 countries have contacted him because they want to stage it.

“No one has done this before,” said Daisey in an email to Cult of Mac.com. “Theater doesn’t do a lot of things like this, and certainly not with a transcript that could have been sold — I had offers from two publishers — for real money.”

Daisey said there’s interest from three major theaters in Germany, a mid-size theater in Spain and two in France. There’s an actor who is planning to perform it in Kurdistan, a group in Nova Scotia that is adapting it, and a group in New York planning to turn it into a full-on play.

“There’s a lot,” says Daisey. “It’s going to be interesting.

Daisey has been performing  The Agony And The Ecstasy Of Steve Jobs for more than a year in 18 cities around the country (Read our review). It just finished an extended run at New York’s Public Theater and is headed to the Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington DC.

The play has received favorable reviews from critics and widespread media attention. It was turned into a powerful segment on NPR’s “This American Life”, and preceded investigative reports by the New York Times detailing the exploitative and hazardous work conditions in factories where products for Apple and others are assembled.

Daisey has said his play has hit a note like non of his others. Indeed, the demand for him to perform it prompted him to release the transcript. The negative attention appears to be having an effect. Last week, Apple hired the non-profit Fair Labor Association to audit its plants and make public its findings, and Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has pledged to reform conditions in the Asian supply chain.

Daisey’s transcript can be downloaded from this page (scroll down to the download link). “We’re asking people to link to the download page, as I’ll be adding translations, etc. over time,” explained Daisey.