Mike Daisey
American Utopias

  • Edlis Neeson Theater
    First Floor, Accessible via the Griffin Entrance on Pearson Street
    220 E Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

Featured image

Mike Daisey
Photo: Ursa Waz


Enthralling and supremely theatrical with incomparable comic verve… why be a journalist if you can spin stories like these?
—Chicago Sun-Times


Mike Daisey, the passionate and hilarious storyteller who draws his unlikely insights from field research and autobiography, premieres his latest monologue. The MCA introduced Daisey to Chicago audiences four years ago with his haunting If You See Something Say Something; now he returns with a distinctly American vision of utopia—or as he puts it, “how we create civic spaces for ourselves in which we act out our dreams of a better world.”

He takes us along as he pursues the story—from Disney World and its theme park perfection to the drug-fueled anarchic excesses of the Burning Man Festival, from the Masonic underpinnings of our nation’s capitol, to Zuccotti Park, where in the unlikeliest place a new movement is born.


Artists Up Close

Post-Show Talks
Thu, Nov 1, and Thu, Nov 8
Audience members are invited to stay after the performance for an insightful discussion with the artists.

Chicago Humanities Festival: Truth Be Told: Mike Daisey in Conversation
Sun, Nov 4, 1:30–2:30 pm
Chicago Cultural Center, Claudia Cassidy Theater, 77 E Randolph St
Tickets $5, contact Chicago Humanities Festival

This freewheeling discussion with Daisey is part of Chicago Humanities Festival and covers his body of work and career, the lines between art and journalism, and his entanglements with This American Life and its fallout.

About the Artist

Mike Daisey has created over fifteen monologues since 1997, including The Last Cargo Cult; How Theater Failed America; the twenty-four-hour long All the Hours in the Day; All Stories Are Fiction; the four-part epic Great Men of Genius; and 21 Dog Years. His works explore topics such as Nikola Tesla, Apple, the Department of Homeland Security, the history of the New York transit system, 9/11, and Walmart. He has performed in venues on five continents, ranging from Off-Broadway at the Public Theater to remote islands in the South Pacific, from the Sydney Opera House to an abandoned theater in post-communist Tajikistan. He’s been a guest on the Late Show with David Letterman, as well as a commentator and contributor to the New York Times, This American Life, WIRED, Vanity Fair, Slate, Salon, NPR, and the BBC. His first film, Layover, was shown at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010, and he recently completed a feature film of his monologue If You See Something Say Something, which MCA presented in 2008.


Masterful and bombastically funny … a voluble and valuable raconteur.
—TimeOut Chicago


Generous support for American Utopias is provided by Mary Ittelson.