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Mike Daisey’s R-Rated Monologue, “The Story of the Gun,” Explodes Some Cherished Shibboleths

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

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

In The Story of the Gun, a world-premiere production now playing in the Elizabeth Price Kenan Theatre as part of PlayMakers Repertory Company’s PRC2 second-stage series, tart-tongued monologuist Mike Daisey sits behind a desk and relates his experience with a gun. He tells how that — and his other experiences in life — affect his views on a conversation he feels this country is not having about the issues surrounding ownership and use (or abuse) of guns.

Daisey has a great opening, veritably reaching out and grabbing us by the throat and then making us laugh. And he is very funny, but also a bit more profane than might really be necessary. Some PlayMakers patrons will no doubt grow weary of the despicable MF word, and its younger sibling flies at us a tad often also.

Mike Daisey talks change, and pulls back the veil from some of our cherished shibboleths. He uses local events knowledgeably; and his analogy of firing a handgun to sexual fulfillment, while not original, is very effective and explosively funny. Sharing his association with guns as a child in northern Maine makes the point that he knows what it feels like to fire a weapon, be enticed by weapons, and understand a weapon intimately.

Daisey’s delivery is completely conversational, as if he were in our living room. The Story of the Gun is not so much a performance from a stage as it is a cozy chat. It is so casual that one doesn’t feel the hand of Jean-Michele Gregory, who directs Daisey in these efforts, a testament to her skills.

The current premiere of The Story of the Gun , which was commissioned by PlayMakers Repertory Company producing artistic director Joseph Haj, can be seen at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Center for Dramatic Art through Jan. 12th.

SECOND OPINION: Jan. 10th Raleigh, NC CVNC review by Alan R. Hall:; Jan. 10th Durham, NC Five Points Star review by Kate Dobbs Ariail:; Jan. 10th Durham, NC Indy Week review by Byron Woods (who awarded the show 4 of 5 stars): and Jan. 8th mini-preview by Byron Woods:; Jan. 9th Chapel Hill, NC WUNC 91.5 FM/North Carolina Radio (student newspaper) interview with Mike Daisey, conducted by Phoebe Judge:; 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: (Note: To read Triangle Arts and Entertainment’s online version of the Jan. 10th Triangle Review preview by Robert W. McDowell, click

PlayMakers Repertory Company presents THE STORY OF THE GUN, a world premiere created and performed by Mike Daisey, at 7:30 p.m. Jan 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).


Martha Keravuori is a life-long theater artist — an actress, director, and stage manager — in North Carolina, around the country, and overseas. She has a theater degree from UNC-Greensboro, and has been active in the arts in Raleigh for the past 40 years. Martha is the retired executive director of the North Carolina Theatre Conference. Chuck Galle returned to Raleigh last year after a 17-year absence. He was active in community theater for many years, and directed the troupe of maximum-security inmates at Raleigh’s Central Prison known as the Central Prison Players. In New England, he performed on stage, on TV, and in films. He is the author of Stories I Never Told My Daughter — An Odyssey, which can be ordered on his website: Chuck Galle and Martha Keravuori review theater for Boom! Magazine of Cary. Click here to read more of their reviews for Boom! Magazine and here to read more of their reviews for Triangle Review and Triangle Arts and Entertainment.

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Categorised in: A&E Theatre Reviews, Lead Story, Reviews

2 Responses

  1. Is this play pro-gun or anti-gun? I’m a gun blogger and I would like to know. Do you have any compelling youtube videos? Maybe a press release?

  2. I would say that he does remarkably well at leaving pro or anti gun to the audience. His position is that talking about guns is impossible because we have relied, on each side, on buzz words that prevent us from thinking about the actual issues. He is thought provoking. Whichever side you favor.