Where do we draw the line between utopias and dystopias?  The blurring of those boundaries made national news this week when a vacation cruise for 4200 people turned into a fetid, sweltering nightmare. It’s this paradox of the utopian ideal that the controversial monologist Mike Daisey takes on in his performance American Utopias. From Burning Man to Disney World, Daisey criss-crosses the country to find out how we use public spaces to create our idea of a better world.

American Utopias is onstage at Arts Emerson. Jared Bowen sat down with Daisey to talk about his work.