Geva Nextstage play examines Steve Jobs

06:24 AM, Jan 20, 2013

Actor Remi Sandri stars in The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs at Geva. (Chris Holden)/


Written By Debbie Waltzer

If you go

What:
The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs.
When: Thursday through Feb. 10, with performances this weekend at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday; 3 p.m. next Sunday.
Where: Geva Theatre Nextstage, 75 Woodbury Blvd.
Cost: Tickets start at $30.
For tickets: (585) 232-4382 or gevatheatre.org.

If you own an Apple product, or have ever thought about buying an Apple product, or have a neighbor, grandmother or grandchild who uses an Apple product, then you might want to check out Geva Theatre Center’s upcoming production of the one-man The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs.

Written by Mike Daisey, who has been dubbed by The New York Times as “one of the finest solo performers of his generation,” the 80-minute monologue focuses on the murky relationship between our seemingly insatiable appetite for all things technological and the ugly reality of unethical working conditions that exist at Foxconn, the Chinese manufacturing plant that makes Apple products.

Yes, Daisey got into some trouble for distorting some of the facts in his original piece, released in 2008. But the 2011 version, referred to as TATESJ 2.0, has been embraced and performed in six languages at more than 40 theaters around the globe, including venues in Beijing, Hong Kong and Shenzen (the site of the Foxconn manufacturing facility).

Geva’s rendition features actor Remi Sandri, 51, who was last seen locally as The Ghost of Jacob Marley in the recent production of A Christmas Carol. The Atascadero, Calif., native also has appeared in Geva’s stagings of A Chorus Line, My Fair Lady and The Importance of Being Earnest and on television in episodes of Law & Order, Conviction and Deadline.

Through humor and colorful storytelling, the show “gives audience members an opportunity to learn how our machines are made,” says Sandri, an Apple enthusiast who owns an iPhone.

I hope that this theater piece will lodge in people and open them up to new possibilities,” he adds. “The play raises questions about whether or not we have a responsibility to learn about the abuses that can be connected to the manufacturing processes associated with our gadgets. This show encourages all of us to look at our products with new eyes.”