The Fires of Nero (A Protest Piece)
Over the past year, I have devoted a good amount of my time researching and then writing about Imperator Nero of Rome. My fascination with Nero began in Theatre History when I read Thyestes by Seneca the Younger. Later in the class I would write a paper arguing that Seneca wrote Thyestes as a protest piece. This was because Nero was a ruler that lacked Stoic values.
More than that, he was just a downright awful person. He killed off his family, friends, and got rid of anyone who could possibly challenge him for the throne. Not only that, but he lived a decadent, unruly life full of debauchery and lust.
Why would I write about such a man? I think it is important for people to see the dangers of abusing power and those that abuse it. By the end of the play, Nero is left with very few of his allies and friends. It's not until after the play that his actions will catch up with him.
I think that today, with the election coming to a close, a piece like this is relevant. To today's audience a Musical about the Antichrist might seem funny, but the overall message is the same. No one man should have that much power.
Not too long ago we had a table reading of the play and we have great success! Now we are shooting for a staged reading of the play on or before Inauguration Day. Someone said that one way to protest the Inauguration is to not watch it. This will answer that call and more.
I am excited to already be working with some incredible artists. The composer for this piece will be Sam Mullooly, a good friend of mine from Illinois Wesleyan University. Sam and I collaborated on projects in our Electroacoustic Music class. The Director will be Kayla White, another friend from Wesleyan. Kayla and I have been going back and forth on script revisions for a while now. Also on the revisions team has been Luke McLoughlin (the composer for Turn That Thing Around), Jaime Cohen (Co-writer of Haven't Got A Clue [A Madrigal Dinner Performance]), Kieran Meyer (A writer, check him out at kieranmeyer.com), my lovely boyfriend Chris Richardson (check out his youtube channel ChrisVigilante), the "Best of our Buddies" Olivia Foster-Gimbel, and many others too!
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Thanks so much everyone, and I'll talk to you digitally again soon!
Aaron Harris Woodstein