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Mike Daisey Performs 'How Theater Failed America' at Kirk Douglas Theatre March 18-21

As part of Center Theatre Group's DouglasPlus, Mike Daisey performs his acclaimed monologue "How Theater Failed America" for four performances only at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, opening Wednesday, March 18 and continuing through Saturday, March 21 (all performances are at 8 p.m.). A special roundtable discussion will be held following the March 20 performance on the state of American theatre. Daisey will also workshop a new piece, "The Last Cargo Cult" on Sunday, March 22 at 3 p.m.

In "How Theater Failed America," directed by Jean-Michele Gregory, Daisey sinks his razor-sharp wit into his workplace in this monologue about theatre, failure, passion and hope. In this controversial piece Daisey makes the case that theatre has lost its audiences and its way by valuing buildings above artists, growth over artistry, and corporations over individuals. The Washington Post called the monologue " . . . a funny, surprisingly supple performance about life in the theatre, the ecstatic highs and the aching, humiliating lows, rendered here with explosive humor and a dark edge of tragedy."

Daisey, called "one of the finest solo performers of his generation" by The New York Times, makes his first appearance in Los Angeles with this cautionary piece. Joining him in the March 20 roundtable, which is presented in conjunction with LA Stage Alliance, will be Michael Ritchie (Artistic Director of Center Theatre Group), Nancy Keystone (Artistic Director of Critical Mass Performance Group), Terence McFarland (Executive Director of LA Stage Alliance), Dámaso Rodriguez (Artistic Director of Furious Theatre Company and Associate Artistic Director of Pasadena Playhouse) and Ron Sossi (Artistic Director and Founder of Odyssey Theatre Ensemble).

The workshop presentation of Daisey's "The Last Cargo Cult" will take place at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 22 (followed by a post-workshop discussion). Also directed by Jean-Michele Gregory "The Last Cargo Cult" is about the true-life unbelievable tale of a religion created by Pacific Islanders around abandoned WWII bases that await the return of Americans. Stories of belief and trust from this "cargo cult" are woven against the current international financial crisis and its implications. Daisey uses each culture to illuminate the other in an honest attempt to find, between the seemingly primitive and the achingly modern, a human answer.

Mike Daisey is the creator and performer of 14 groundbreaking monologues which weave together autobiography, gonzo journalism, and unscripted performance to tell hilarious and heartbreaking stories that cut to the bone, exposing secret histories and unexpected connections. These theatrical works, including "Great Men of Genius," "All Stories Are Fiction" and "21 Dog Years," have been performed around the world at venues such as the Public Theater, American Repertory Theatre, the Spoleto Festival, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, the Cherry Lane Theatre and Yale Repertory Theatre. His first film, "Layover," is being distributed by Zentropa, a feature film of his monologue "If You See Something Say Something" will be released this year and he stars in the Lawrence Krauser feature "Horrible Child." His first book, "21 Dog Years: A Cubedweller's Tale," was published by the Free Press and he is working on a second book, "Great Men of Genius."

DouglasPlus is Center Theatre Group's new programming at the Kirk Douglas Theatre and includes an eclectic mix of theatre choices, ranging from fully-staged or minimally-staged events to workshops and readings.

DouglasPlus also includes the works of Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas ("Before I Forget"), Corbin Popp and Ian Carney's cutting-edge blend of puppetry, technology and dance ("Darwin"), Los Angeles playwright Michael Sargent ("The Projectionist") and Hip-Hop theatre artist Matt Sax ("Venice").

Funding for DouglasPlus is provided by The James Irvine Foundation's Artistic Innovation Fund and the Leading for the Future Initiative, a program of the Nonprofit Finance Fund, funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

The Douglas is located at 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232.

Tickets to "How Theater Failed America" are $20 with tickets to "The Last Cargo Cult" priced at $5. Tickets to both are general admission and available by calling CTG Audience Services at (213) 628-2772, in person at the Center Theatre Group box office at the Ahmanson Theatre, on-line at, and in person two hours prior to curtain at the Kirk Douglas Theatre box office.



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