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Mike Daisey’s New Monologue, “The Story of the Gun,” Will Premiere at PlayMakers on Jan. 8-12

PlayMakers Rep will present "The Story of the Gun," a world premiere created and performed by Mike Daisey, Jan. 8-12 in the Elizabeth Price Kenan Theatre at UNC (photo by Ursa Waz)

PlayMakers Rep will present “The Story of the Gun,” a world premiere created and performed by Mike Daisey, Jan. 8-12 in the Elizabeth Price Kenan Theatre at UNC (photo by Ursa Waz)

PlayMakers Repertory Company will present the world premiere of Mike Daisey’s latest no-holds-barred monologue, The Story of the Gun, created and performed by Daisey and directed by Jean-Michele Gregory, on Jan. 8-12 in the Elizabeth Price Kenan Theatre in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Center for Dramatic Art. UNC’s professional-theater-in-residence will present this piece by the controversial monologuist as part of its PRC2 second-stage series, with a post-show discussion between the creative artists and the audience after each performance.

According to PlayMakers Rep’s news release:

“In The Story of the Gun, Daisey, no stranger to controversy, tackles his most provocative subject yet: America’s relationship with guns. Throwing easy answers and partisan bickering out the window, Daisey’s performance promises to cut through the political static with his trademark blend of hilarious comedy, brilliant observation, and pitch-perfect timing.

“‘I programmed The Story of the Gun this season for the same reason that I programmed Assassins — to engage in a meaningful conversation with our community about guns and how deeply woven they are in our idea of ourselves as Americans,’ says PlayMakers producing artistic director Joseph Haj. ‘We are a nation of roughly 300 million people and 300 million guns. I think that’s worthy of interrogation.’

The New York Times calls Mike Daisey ‘the master storyteller … one of the finest solo performers of his generation.’ ‘A monologuist who always threatens to burst out of his chosen form — funny, literate and provocative,’ says the Chicago Tribune. ‘A mesmerizing performer who spins words into comic and emotional gold,’ agrees The Oakland Tribune.”

“‘Mike is one of the most clear-eyed, artistically courageous and compelling artists around,’ Haj added. ‘I knew, by commissioning him to wrestle with this issue, he’d create something that challenges our assumptions with scathing, hilarious, and insightful observations from multiple points of view. To share the work of two master storytellers in Mike Daisey and Stephen Sondheim, each of them looking at the question of guns in our culture using their own unique talents, allows us to put together two plays that are both thought-provoking and hugely entertaining.’ …

“Joe Haj contacted me shortly after the Newtown shootings to find out if I might be working on anything about guns in America,” recalls Mike Daisey. “Like many other Americans, I have complicated feelings about the role guns have played in both our history and our identity, and at his invitation I decided to work through these ideas and feelings in the best way I know how: a new monologue. I’m excited to premiere this work at PlayMakers.”

Completing PlayMakers‘ 2013-14 PRC2 lineup will be Hold These Truths: A Journey of Belief, Betrayal, and Reconcilation by Jeanne Sakata (April 23-27). Next up in PlayMakers Rep’s Mainstage Season is classic Noël Coward comedy Private Lives (Jan. 22-Feb. 9.)

SECOND OPINION: Jan. 10th Raleigh, NC CVNC review by Alan R. Hall:; Jan. 9th Chapel Hill, NC WUNC 91.5 FM/North Carolina Radio (student newspaper) interview with Mike Daisey, conducted by Phoebe Judge:; Jan. 8th Durham, NC Indy Week mini-preview by Byron Woods:; Jan. 7th Chapel Hill, NC Daily Tar Heel (student newspaper) preview by Rebecca Pollack:; and Dec. 18th Charlotte, NC Charlotte preview by the BWW News Desk:

PlayMakers Repertory Company presents THE STORY OF THE GUN, a world premiere created and performed by Mike Daisey, at 7:30 p.m. Jan 10 and 11 and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Jan 12 in the Elizabeth Price Kenan Theatre in the Center for Dramatic Art, 120 Country Club Rd., Chapel Hill, NC 27514, on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus.

TICKETS: $15 and up, except $10 UNC students and $12 all other students and a 10 percent discount for UNC faculty and staff and a 10 to 20 percent discount for U.S. military personnel and their families.

BOX OFFICE: 919-962-PLAY (7529) or

GROUP RATES: 919-962-PLAY (7529),, or







Mike Daisey (American monologist, actor, and author, born 1976)): (official website) and (Wikipedia).

Jean-Michele Gregory (New York-based director): (American Repertory Theater bio).


Robert W. McDowell has written articles for The News & Observer, The Raleigh Times, Spectator Magazine, CVNC, and Triangle Arts and Entertainment, all based in Raleigh. He edits and publishes two FREE weekly e-mail newsletters. Triangle Review provides comprehensive, in-depth coverage of local performing-arts events. (Start your FREE subscription by e-mailing and typing SUBSCRIBE TR in the Subject: line.) McDowell also maintains a FREE list of movie sneak previews. (To subscribe, e-mail and type SUBSCRIBE FFL FREE in the Subject: line.)


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