Patron Services: 858.550.1010

La Jolla Playhouse presents The Trump Card, Created and Performed by Mike Daisey, Directed by Isaac Butler

The Trump Card

October 4 – 9, 2016

Created and Performed by Mike Daisey
Directed by Isaac Butler

Mike Daisey takes on the reigning world heavyweight of self-mythologizing, the short-fingered vulgarian who captured a nation’s heart through bullying, charm, one-syllable explosions, and occasionally telling the brutal truth: Donald J. Trump. Daisey tells Trump’s story from his earliest days, tracking him as he makes himself into a new American archetype – the very first rich man famous exclusively for being rich. Instead of dismissing Trump as a simple con artist and huckster, Daisey breaks down what makes Trump tick – and in doing so illuminates the state of our American Dream and how we’ve sold it out.

Content warning: strong language.

Children under the age of 6 are not permitted in the theatre during performances unless otherwise posted.

Patron Services will be happy to answer any questions you have at (858) 550-1010.

Credits for The Trump Card

The Trump Card Tour Coordinator: Morgan Gould

La Jolla Playhouse:
Production Supervisor: Lindy Luong
Production Coordinator: Laura Zingle
Sound Board Operator: Dylan Nielsen
Light Board Operator: Mextly Almeda

Press and Reviews for The Trump Card

“Compelling… Theatrically dynamic and innovative.”

“A platter of mischievous joy about a vulgar and potentially dangerous joke.”

“His ability to spin layered, entrancing oral stories amounts to a superpower.”

“His audience was rapt and uncomfortable. There were sharp intakes of breath when Daisey revealed particularly ugly facts about the Trump family; there was audible shifting in chairs when Daisey asked liberals why they did not see Trump coming.”

“Scary and hilarious...Daisey is one of the best storytellers in the country.”

“You see a bit of Trump in Daisey and, ultimately, a bit of Trump in yourself.”

“A passionate, well-argued, and hilarious evisceration.”

“So funny you’ll want to cry.”

About Mike Daisey

“Enthralling and supremely theatrical. Why be a journalist if you can spin stories like these?"

“A charismatic performer, his shows have the insightful hostility of the best comedy.”

“The master storyteller—one of the finest solo performers of his generation.”

“Daisey's skill is that he is able to talk about the historical and make it human, the personal and make it universal, so that the listener is both informed and transformed.”

Mandell Weiss Forum

The Mandell Weiss Forum is a 400-seat thrust stage theatre, with audience members surrounding the stage on three sides. It contains a rehearsal hall, two courtyards and an outdoor "lobby." Built with sleek industrial materials and intersecting geometric shapes, it has a long free-standing entry wall with massive reflective smoky-glass panes that generate the illusion of being both within and outside of the partition.

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Children under the age of 6 are not permitted in the theatre during performances unless otherwise posted.

Thirsty Thursday

Thirsty Thursdays

Thirsty Thursday

October 6, starts at 7:00 pm

Join us before your performance for complimentary beer tastings from Stone Brewing Co. Presented by La Jolla Playhouse in partnership with James’ Place. Includes two 3-oz beer tastings.

Foodie Friday

Foodie Friday

October 7, starts at 6:00 pm

Lil' Miss Short Cakes will be providing delectable gourmet cupcakes for purchase before the performance.

Sonic Saturday

Sonic Saturdays

Sonic Saturday

October 8, before the evening performance

Enjoy live music by JP Hennessy before the show.

Meet the Creative Team

MIKE DAISEY (Creator and Performer) who has been hailed as “the master storyteller” and “one of the finest solo performers of his generation” by The New York Times, is the preeminent monologist in the American theater today. He has been compared to a modern-day Mark Twain and a latter-day Orson Welles for his provocative monologues that combine the political and the personal, weaving together secret histories with hilarity and heart. He’s known for art that reinvents the form, like his critically acclaimed 29-night live theatrical novel, All the Faces of the Moon, a forty hour performance staged at the Public Theater in New York City. He has toured across five continents, ranging from remote islands in the South Pacific to the Sydney Opera House to abandoned theaters in post-Communist Tajikistan. He’s been a guest on Real Time with Bill Maher, the Late Show with David Letterman, a longtime host and storyteller with The Moth, as well as a commentator and contributor to The New York Times, The Guardian, Harper’s Magazine, Newsweek, WIRED, Vanity Fair, Slate, Salon, NPR and the BBC. In a brief, meteoric career with This American Life, his appearances are among the most listened to and downloaded episodes of that program’s history. He has been nominated for the Outer Critics Circle Award, two Drama League Awards, and is the recipient of the Bay Area Critics Circle Award, six Seattle Times Footlight Awards, the Sloan Foundation’s Galileo Prize, and a MacDowell Fellowship.

As a playwright, his transcript of The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs was downloaded over 100,000 times in the first week it was made available. Under a revolutionary open license it has seen more than 150 productions around the world and been translated into six languages. Years later there are productions being staged all over the world every night from in Germany to Sao Paolo to mainland China. He is currently at work on his second book, Here at the End of Empire, which will be published by Simon and Schuster, and a 25-night full-length theatrical monologue adaptation of Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States. You can find him on the web at, and listen to his free podcast All Stories Are Fiction, where you can hear many of his stories, on Soundcloud or at iTunes.

ISAAC BUTLER (Director) most recently wrote and directed Real Enemies, a collaboration with the composer Darcy James Argue and the video artist Peter Nigrini, which was commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music for the 2015 BAM Next Wave Festival. Named one of the top ten live events of 2015 by the New York Times, Real Enemies will tour America, Europe and Australia in 2016. Previous directing credits include Brooklyn Babylon (BAM NextWave & tour), Greg Moss’s Reunion and Corey Hinkle’s Notes on a Disappearance (Playwrights Center), Clay McLeod Chapman’s olume of smoke (Virginia Commonwealth University, The Firehouse Theater, The Kraine Theater and others), and Joshua Conkel’s milkmilklemonade (Under St. Mark’s). He also directed the US Premiere of Line Knutzon’s First You’re Born, the first ever production of a contemporary Danish Play in English in the United States. His writing has appeared in The Guardian, Slate, The Fiddleback, American Theatre, Time Out New York, PANK, Blunderbus, The LA Review of Books and others. His first book, The World Only Spins Forward, a history of Angels in America co-written with Dan Kois, will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2018.