, the new play by San Francisco’s promising young playwright Christopher Chen, begins with Chinese dissident artist Lin Bo, who created a jail cell in his New York City apartment and rented it out on Airbnb for $1 a night. Or did he? In Caught
, it’s never clear exactly what’s “real” and what’s fiction. The play was inspired by the This American Life
controversy in which monologist Mike Daisey presented his The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs
, which talks about the working conditions of Apple employees, as nonfiction — when it was actually greatly exaggerated. As New York Times
’ Laura Collins-Hughes wrote after the play’s New York premier last month, Caught
is “partly about American storytellers — artists and journalists alike — as tourists of suffering, exploiting the pain of people elsewhere for a more prominent spot in the cultural conversation.” Shotgun Players is performing Caught
at Ashby Stage (1901 Ashby Ave., Berkeley) through September 25, followed by repertory performances.