Mike Daisey

The Agony & Ecstasy of Steve Jobs

November 5 - 22
Waldron Firebay


Mike Daisey’s razor-sharp black comedy investigates how Steve Jobs’ personal obsessions shaped today’s tech-centered culture.

Playwright Mike Daisey

Playwright Mike Daisey

The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs follows a trail all the way to China to investigate the factories where millions toil to make the Apple products that so many of us use daily.

Daisey playfully tweaks his/our love affair with the iPhone, iPod, etc. before investigating the human cost of creating these wildly popular gadgets.

Daisey is fascinated by Steve Jobs himself, but goes a step further than the recently released Jobs’ documentary and the currently running Hollywood biopic, asking not only how this real-life Willy Wonka changed the world to his liking – but at what cost to the rest of us?

Age recommendation: 15+ (some mature language)
Run time: 1 hour and 40 minutes
Show Location: Ivy Tech Waldron Rose Firebay


CARDINAL STAGE’S PRODUCTION OF The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs:

  • is produced in partnership with IU College of Arts and Sciences’ 2015 Themester: @Work: The Nature of Labor on a Changing Planet. Themester is a campus-wide program that combines academic courses, lectures, exhibits, and other events and is intended to engage the IU community in a collective learning experience about a timely issue. Cardinal’s previous Themester-related productions include Of Mice and Men, The Birthday Feast, Lord of the Flies, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Grapes of Wrath. The goal of the IU/Cardinal partnership is to bring the Themester theme out to the wider Bloomington community.
  • brings West Coast-based actor David Knell to Bloomington to portray the narrator in The Agony & The Ecstasy of Steve Jobs. A Broadway performer, Mr. Knell’s television and film credits include Spring Break, Splash, Turner and Hooch, and Total Recall.
  • is Daisey’s original version of the script, which after being performed to great acclaim on NPR’s This American Life, was subsequently pilloried on a later episode by host Ira Glass. Glass and his team sharply questioned the truthfulness of Daisy’s depiction of what he saw in China. Daisey wrote a modified “2.0” version, but Cardinal Stage is performing the first version – warts and all.


“Mike Daisey, in addition to providing us with a riveting, hilarious, but ultimately gut-wrenching piece of theatre, may actually end up being singularly responsible for bringing Goliath to its knees.” – Michael Moore, Filmmaker

“Anyone with a cellphone and a moral center should see this show.” – Charles Isherwood, the New York Times