NERO is a hybrid event that includes both a work-in-progress screening of this theatrical production followed by a panel discussion on the themes of the play.
NERO is a Shakespearean, five-act “streamplay” theatricalizing the history from George W. Bush’s War on Terror to our present day as the rise and fall of Nero’s Roman Empire. Set in 64AD in Rome’s Palace of the Frogs, this “state of the nation” tragicomedy invites Black, Indigenous and People of Color to examine how white male supremacy is the root of American Imperialism.
Written, Directed and Edited by Kyoung H. Park
Performed by David Gelles, Claudia Acosta, Yadira De La Riva, Ariel Estrada, Zach Lusk, Ash Mayers, Sade Namei, Kaila Saunders, Imran Sheikh and Ishmael Thaahir
Original Music by Helen Yee
Direction of Photography by Sanae Ohno
Set, Video and Props design by Yoon Choi
Lighting and Video Animation design by Marie Yokoyama
Fight, Dance and Intimacy Choreography by UnkleDave’s Fight-House / Sean F. Griffin
Sound design by Carsen Joenk
Costume design by Andrew Jordan
Stage Management by Sarah Samonte
Dramaturgy by Jess Applebaum
The panel discussion will be a conversation with NERO artists on creating hybrid-theatre in pandemic times. Featuring Kyoung Park, actors from the film, dramaturg Jess Applebaum, and more to be announced.
Kyoung’s Pacific Beat (KPB) is a peacemaking theater company based in Brooklyn whose mission is to work with artists, non-artists, and local communities to transform experiences of oppression into peace messages through public performance. Founded by playwright/director Kyoung H. Park, KPB collaborates with an interdisciplinary and multicultural ensemble of artists--our Mondragons--to uplift communities of color to create a culture of peace through non-violent practices that provide social cohesion, spiritual healing, and radical knowledge. The dramaturgical question behind our work is: why make theater in times of war?
Since 2011, KPB has devised three full-length plays—disOriented (2011), TALA (2015), PILLOWTALK (2018)—and created over 35 community-based, experimental projects including performances for new media. KPB’s work centers stories of (im)migration, queerness, trauma and the ways these intersect in communities of color; it’s described as “intensely personal” by American Theater Magazine and “very much of this moment” by the New York Times. KPB was a resident company at Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, The Tank, Bushwick Starr, Baryshnikov Arts Center, New Ohio, BRIC Arts Media, LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, Performance Project @ University Settlement, Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral (Santiago, Chile), Ewha Women’s University (Seoul, South Korea) and toured to CAATA’s “Radical Acts Festival” (Victory Gardens, Chicago).
Image credit: Andrew Jordan
Content Warning: Profanity, rape and sexual violence. For Mature Audiences only.