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See This: The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs

A new Stephens College play provides an alternative look at the iconic Apple founder

Photo by Peter Marek

Student director John Lampe oversees rehearsal of upcoming Stephens College production The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs.

February 14, 2013 | 12:00 a.m. CST

A new play at Stephens College will, as the Apple slogan suggests, encourage audiences to “think different” about the technology empire’s iconic founder.

The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs critiques society’s love affair with technology and devices — and the price others pay for this consumption. The play is loosely based on renowned playwright Mike Daisey’s encounters at the Apple factory in China and satirizes just how much the company shapes our daily lives.

The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs

WHERE: Warehouse Theatre, 104 Willis Ave.  
WHEN: Feb. 20-23, 7:30 p.m.
COST: $8; $6, student/senior
CALL: 573-876-7199

“It’s a show that’s intended to shake people by the shoulders,” the play’s student director John Lampe says. “The intention isn’t that after the show people will go outside and smash their iPhones. Instead, it’s a show to wake people up.”

Soon after Lampe began work on the play in early 2012, controversy broke. A broadcast on This American Life revealed that Daisey had embellished details of his experiences in China. Daisey amended the play and released a second version available for free download on his website.

This allowed Lampe to transform the one-man show into a four-person ensemble in which each person has his or her own monologue. The story is told in a parallel narrative, half of which takes place at the Foxconn technology factory in China, where the majority of Apple’s products are made. The rest of the story weaves in the rise and fall of Steve Jobs’ career with Apple.

Danielle Wineman, one of the show’s monologists, agrees with Lampe that the show is not meant to be reactionary. However, Wineman does believe the show will have artful implications. “It’s something that is definitely going to leave a mark on the theatrical world,” Wineman says.

Recommended for adult audiences due to strong language, the performance will have its mid-Missouri premiere this month at the Stephens College Warehouse Theatre.

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