Skip to main content Skip to footer site map



The Ensemble Studio Theatre, which probably has more plays per square inch in development than any other institution on the planet or Eleventh Avenue, has a play-making program entitled First Light underwritten by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation that challenges and broadens the view of science in the popular imagination.

Though there are ten plays in this year's First Light series April 8 through May 2 <>, Ensemble Studio Theatre's Artistic Director William Carden is so excited about Notes Toward The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, written and performed by Mike Daisey, that he ordered up a press release announcing it even though it is a work-in-progress and not ready for review.

Notes Toward The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs performs for one nite only, Thursday, April 22, at 7:00pm, at the Ensemble Studio Theatre, 549 West 52nd Street on planet Earth just east of Eleventh Avenue.

According to Mr. Daisey, Steve Jobs is the rarest of creatures, a Willy Wonka-esque showman whose obsessions have fueled and shaped the entire landscape of technology.

Apple stands alone as a peculiar, idiosyncratic company that embraces simplification, minimalism, convergence and industrial design. Simultaneously it is also renowned for stubbornness, blindness, willful ignorance and arrogance. The wedding of these traits into a unified aesthetic comes from the mind of one person whose profound effect on our way of life cannot be underestimated: Steve Jobs.

From the graphical user interface to the iPod, from iPhones to buttonless mice, Apple's footprint on our world is almost immeasurable.Mike Daisey <> has been called "the master storyteller" and "one of the finest solo performers of his generation" by The New York Times for his 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.

When a new telescope focused on the heavens becomes operational, the initial images are called First Light. For twelve years, The Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science & Technology Project has led a pioneering nationwide effort to commission, develop and present new plays.

The EST/Sloan Project has premiered over 100 plays, dance and performance pieces selected from proposals and submissions from around the country. The EST/Sloan Project is designed to stimulate artists to create new theatrical works exploring the worlds of science and technology and to challenge the existing stereotypes of scientists and engineers in popular culture. The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation < > believes that a carefully reasoned and systematic understanding of the forces of nature and society, when applied inventively and wisely, can lead to a better world for all. The Foundation makes grants to support original research and broad-based education related to science, technology, and economic performance; and to improve the quality of American life.

Ensemble Studio Theatre <> is a not-for-profit developmental Theatre Incorporated in 1972 with two primary goals: to nurture individual theatre artists and to develop new American plays. Under the guidance of the late founder Curt Dempster, the theatre's membership grew from a core of 20 artists to a flourishing community of over 500 theatre artists of the highest caliber. Among them are winners of accolades and higher awards including Pulitzer Prizes, Oscars, Tonys, Emmys, and Obies. E.S.T. is a lifelong artistic home for its member playwrights, directors, actors, designers, technical personnel and administrators. Each year, the Ensemble produces over 300 projects, including readings, workshops, and fully produced mainstage full-lengths.

Admission is free, but a suggested $10 donation at the door is hoped for. The information number is 212-247-4982 or, via email,


Related Articles View More Off-Broadway Stories

Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes & More

More Hot Stories For You