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Friday June 16, 2017 in Books


By Sean Devine

One commercial – maybe one man – fundamentally changed how we elect our leaders.

Daisy presents the moment in TV history when the age of negative advertising was dropped into our lives. As a nation contemplates war, distracted by the packaging of a seemingly peaceful U.S. president, the Doyle Dane Bernbach advertising agency is immersed in a crisis of its own. At the nexus of it all sits the eccentric sound man and legendary communications guru Tony Schwartz.

Set during the 1964 U.S. presidential election, while brutal race riots erupted across America, a group of Madison Avenue ad men working for President and presidential candidate Lyndon Johnson unleash the most powerful political commercial ever conceived, the “Daisy” ad. War was the objective. Peace was the bait. Everyone got duped.

Daisy is a further example of Canadian playwright Sean Devine’s use of historic events to shine new light onto contemporary questions.

Cast of 5 men and 1 woman.

ISBN 13: 9781772011852 | ISBN 10:
5.5 W x 8.5 H inches | 192 pages
$19.95 CAN / $19.95 US
Rights: World
Drama | Backlist


The play has “intrinsic quality … Daisy is an interrogation of the current political arena, which is fun to watch … Daisy also works as an exploration of Tony Schwartz, the sound geek adman known for his groundbreaking theories on sound and media. … Daisy evokes. The audience informs. And together, the two resonate.”
Broadway World

“Sean Devine’s Daisy is a play that asks a timely question: Do ads manipulate the fears we already have, or do they actually change minds? … The play ultimately tells us that it is ‘easier to provoke voters than educate them,’ and the post-run letters from critics of the infamous commercial prove that point. Yet Devine’s play makes you feel less vulnerable to such ‘provocations’ and leaves you wondering if ads really have the power to get presidents elected.”
Houstonia Magazine

Daisy is a story that, through history’s irritating tendency to repeat itself … resonates so deeply with our current moment that it should be required viewing for all registered voters.”
Seattle Weekly

“All the science-y stuff and big ideas about the way the body responds to language and images makes Daisy more than just a particularly well-timed dive into the unfortunately relevant presidential compaigns of Johnson and Goldwater [in the 1960’s].”
The Stranger


Winner, BroadwayWorld Seattle Critic’s Choice Award for Best New Play (2016)

Nominated for the Gregory Award for Outstanding New Play (2016)

About the Contributors

Sean Devine

Sean Devine is a Canadian playwright, actor, and artistic director of Horseshoes and Hand Grenades Theatre.


Sean Devine

Copyright Talonbooks 1963-2018



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