The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, written by Mike Daisey, examines the controversy of globalization through the rise and fall and resurrection of Apple, illuminating how Steve Jobs and his obsessions shape our lives. It follows the trail all the way to Shenzhen, China to investigate the factories where millions toil to make iPhones, iPads and MacBook Pros, shining an all-too-needed light on the very human price we pay for our high-tech toys.
In January 2012, portions of the monologue were aired on This American Life. The episode, titled “Daisey and the Apple Factory,” became the most downloaded in the show’s history. Two months later, Ira Glass officially retracted the episode, having discovered that some of the claims made by Daisey had been “dramatized.” Daisey admitted to lying.
After the firestorm, Daisey revised his work removing the contested details and standing by his assertions that the conditions in Apple’s supply chain violate China’s own labor laws and remain unethical. Daisey made the script public to anyone who wished to perform it with this caveat: “The transcript is a theatrical blueprint which can amended or changed as you see fit.” Lyras mounted a version of the production in Los Angeles, directed by Robert McCaskill.