Chicago audiences laughed, nervously, when Theater Wit invited master storyteller Mike Daisey to Chicago last fall to perform his prescient show The Trump Card, one-night-only, just three weeks before the presidential election.
Today, Theater Wit announced it is bringing Daisey back November 16-18, 2017, to perform three new shows, each a different, of-the-moment response to the current state of the U.S.A.
The preeminent monologist in the America theater today, Daisey will tackle 1) the normalization of the Trump administration, 2) the history and current state of the press, and 3) white supremacy. See one, two or all three shows, and you’ll see why The New York Times hailed Mike Daisey “one of the finest solo performers of his generation.”
Theater Wit is located at 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. Tickets, $26-$38 per show, go on sale date October 3. See all three shows with a Three x Daisey Pass for $75. For tickets and information, visit TheaterWit.org or call
Show details follow:
This Is Not Normal
Created and performed by Mike Daisey
Thursday, November 16, 8 p.m.
In this haunting sequel to his critical smash The Trump Card, Mike Daisey addresses the precariousness of our current moment. He crafts a portrait of the cultural and global forces that have helped lead America into the hands of a demagogue—and explains the push toward normalization that always accompanies the rise of strongmen. Part instruction guide, part historical warning, and part dark comedy, Daisey addresses the fever gripping all of us, and how quickly that fever becomes fascism.
The End of Journalism
Created and performed by Mike Daisey
Friday, November 17, 8 p.m.
In one brutal evening Mike Daisey tells the story of how journalism in America ended. From the rise of FOX News, to the disruption of newspapers, to how Facebook became the arbiter of truth, he peels back the layers to find the world we’ve made for ourselves. Built out of years of interviews with journalists, this monologue is no polemic or horror story. Instead, Daisey digs deeper at a pivotal moment—the moment we take stock of what has failed and why, and begin building new ways to make journalism matter in our lives.
The White Man’s Burden
Created and performed by Mike Daisey
Saturday, November 18, 8 p.m.
Like nearly a third of all Americans, Mike Daisey was born and has lived as a white man, which means he’s had the privilege of not examining what that means in his work until now. On this night he unpacks this legacy—a dark history of sexual and racial violence that defines every part of what it means to be a white man, and the uncomfortable questions it raises. Can there be manhood without violence and power? What does it mean to be a good man? What can we answer for? Beyond guilt and sorrow, Daisey tells an unflinching story about manhood, whiteness, and himself.
About Theater Wit
Theater Wit, Chicago’s “smart art” theater, is a major hub of the Chicago neighborhood theater scene, where audiences enjoy a smorgasbord of excellent productions in three, 99-seat spaces, see a parade of talented artists and mingle with audiences from all over Chicago.
In addition to Mike Daisey, Theater Wit’s 2017-18 season opens with Significant Other by Joshua Harmon, author of Wit’s 2015 smash hit Bad Jews, about a gay man in New York whose girlfriends are all getting married, co-produced with About Face Theatre (November 2–December 10, 2017). Chicago's favorite holiday performer, Mitchell J. Fain, returns with a mainstage production of This Way Outta Santaland (and other Xmas miracles), his holiday tell-all blend of storytelling, improvisation, cabaret and cocktails. 2018 opens with Wit’s world premiere of The Antelope Party, Eric John Meyer’s comedy about adult fans of My Little Pony (January 5-February 24, 2018). Spring sees the Chicago debut of Women Laughing Alone with Salad, Sheila Callaghan’s meta-feminist satirical comedy about friendship, salad, sex, bodies, yoga, salad, men, envy, diets, salad, uppers and salad (March 9-April 29, 2018).
The best way to secure seats to Mike Daisey is to sign up for a Theater Wit Membership. Wit’s “all the theater you can eat” deal lets members see as many plays at they want in any of Wit’s three spaces for one low monthly fee of $29/$22 for students, and come with exclusive perks. This includes shows presented at Theater Wit by top storefront and visiting companies, including 2017-18 resident companies About Face, Kokandy Productions and Shattered Globe.
To purchase a Membership, inquire about Flex Pass options or buy single tickets, visitTheaterWit.org or call the Theater Wit box office, 773.975.8150.
About Mike Daisey
Mike Daisey, who has been hailed as “the master storyteller” and “one of the finest solo performers of his generation” by The New York Times, is the preeminent monologist in the American theater today. He has been compared to a modern-day Mark Twain and a latter-day Orson Welles for his provocative monologues that combine the political and the personal, weaving together secret histories with hilarity and heart. He’s known for art that has reinvented the form, like his critically acclaimed 29-night live theatrical novel, All the Faces of the Moon, a 40-hour performance staged at the Public Theater in New York City.
He has toured across five continents, from remote islands in the South Pacific to the Sydney Opera House to abandoned theaters in post-Communist Tajikistan. He’s been a guest on Real Time with Bill Maher, the Late Show with David Letterman, a longtime host and storyteller with The Moth, as well as a commentator and contributor to The New York Times, The Guardian, Harper’s Magazine, Newsweek, WIRED, Vanity Fair, Slate, Salon, NPR and the BBC. In a brief, meteoric career with This American Life the two episodes dedicated to him are among the most listened to and argued about in that program’s history. He has been nominated for the Outer Critics Circle Award, two Drama League Awards, and is the recipient of the Bay Area Critics Circle Award, six Seattle Times Footlight Awards, the Sloan Foundation’s Galileo Prize, and a MacDowell Fellowship. As a playwright, his transcript ofThe Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs was downloaded over 100,000 times in its first week. Under a revolutionary open license it has seen more than 200 productions around the world and been translated into six languages. Years later there are productions being staged all over the world every night from Germany to Sao Paolo to mainland China. His monologue The Trump Card was similarly recently staged by over 25 theater companies across America as a national piece of political theater, and performed by Daisey himself on an 18 city whistlestop tour last fall, culminating in bringing the show to Broadway at Town Hall, which was filmed and livestreamed by Slate and can still be watched online today.
He is currently at work on his second book, Here at the End of Empire, which will be published by Simon and Schuster, and an 18 night full-length theatrical monologue inspired by Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States.
You can find him on the web at mikedaisey.com, and listen to his free podcast All Stories Are Fiction, where you can hear many of his stories, on Soundcloud or at iTunes.
About Mike Daisey:
“The master storyteller—one of the finest solo performers of his generation.”
-THE NEW YORK TIMES
“A charismatic performer, his shows have the insightful hostility of the best comedy.”
-THE NEW YORKER
“Enthralling and supremely theatrical. Why be a journalist if you can spin stories like these?"
-CHICAGO SUN TIMES