Theater & art

Truth in theater talk includes Mike Daisey

Mike Daisey in “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” in New York.
Stan Barouh/The Public Theater via AP
Mike Daisey in “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” in New York.

Monologist Mike Daisey, whose dramatic inventions in “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” ignited controversy when they came to light this year, has signed on to be part of a panel discussing documentary theater, activism, and onstage truth June 23 in Boston.

Moderated by Emily Mann, director of the current Broadway revival of “A Streetcar Named Desire,” the talk will take place at the national conference of Theatre Communications Group. Also slated to be on the panel are playwright Nilaja Sun (“No Child . . . ’’); KJ Sanchez, who heads the New York theater company American Records; and director Ping Chong (“Blind Ness”).

Daisey’s hit show, which intertwined stories about the late Apple cofounder with purportedly firsthand accounts of Chinese tech-factory labor conditions, turned out to be less factual than Daisey had claimed, as the public radio program “This American Life” disclosed in March.


Shortly after that, New York’s Public Theater — where Daisey’s piece had just wrapped up the second of two successful runs — held a panel discussion titled “Truth in Theater” without him. On his blog, Daisey wrote: “what a thing it was not to be there, to have been asked not to come, and what a strange feeling to know that it was my trespasses that had made the conversation necessary in the first place.”

Since then, he’s availed himself of the opportunity to address the issue in various forums, including theaters in Washington, D.C., and England. Boston, it seems, will hear him out, too.

Laura Collins-Hughes can be reached at