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.

The NERONIA is a hybrid event that includes both a screening of this theatrical production presented jointly with live, community-driven, cultural invocations of a post-white supremacist world.

Read more about our Whiteness on Fire” series here.

Free Rough-Cut Screening: NERO – Act 2
February 1, 2024

7:00pm – 8:30 PM EST
The Brick Aux / The Exponential Festival
Free RSVP Here

NERO-Act 2 Rough-Cut Screening will feature a screening of KPB’s new work-in-progress, NERO, followed by a panel examining the innovations in hybrid theater and pandemic art with Diep Tran (Editor, Playbill), Juan Michael Porter (Senior Editor, TheBody.com), Theresa Buchheister (Artistic Director, The Exponential Festival) and Kyoung H. Park (Playwright/Director, NERO).


Juan Michael Porter II

Juan Michael Porter II serves as the senior editor of TheBody.com and TheBodyPro ― making him the first person openly living with HIV to hold the position―and is the former managing editor of BroadwayWorld Dance. He has written for PBS, SF Chronicle, Philadelphia Inquirer, Christian Science Monitor, NY Observer, TDF Stages, Playbill, American Theatre, Time Out NY, Queerty, and Dance Magazine. Juan Michael is a Dorian Award voter, a proud alumnus of the National Critics Institute and Poynter’s Power of Diverse Voices workshop, and the first Black man in history to serve as a Drama Desk Award nominator.

Diep Tran
Diep Tran

Diep Tran is an arts journalist and editor based in New York City. She is currently the Editor in Chief of Playbill. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, NBC News, New York Magazine, Time Out New York, Backstage, CNN, Salon, Primetimer, Broadway News, New York Theatre Guide and other publications. Her previous day jobs include being features editor of Broadway.com and senior editor of American Theatre magazine. In 2023, she was named on Gold House’s A100 list as one of 100 most impactful Asians. She loves musical theater, period dramas, and sci-fi/fantasy TV shows.

Theresa Buchheister
Theresa Buchheister

Theresa Buchheister (They/Them) is a Kansan New Yorker and founder and co-director of Title:Point, founder and Artistic Director of The Exponential Festival, and co-founder of Vital Joint. Theresa directs, produces, performs, curates, facilitates and writes for theatre and theatre-adjacent performance realms. Their work has been seen at The Ontological Theater, The New Ohio, Dixon Place, HERE, Housing Works, NACL, The Brick, Silent Barn, Vital Joint, The Parlour, Target Margin’s The Doxsee, on rafts, in warehouses, in trucks, in bars.

Kyoung H. Park
Kyoung H. Park

Kyoung H. Park is a North Korean playwright/director, born and raised in Santiago, Chile. As Artistic Director of Kyoung’s Pacific Beat, he has devised disOriented (“Kyoung’s most intensely personal play”—American Theatre Magazine), TALA (“an epic tale of the historical, hysterical, and personal” — New York Theater Review), PILLOWTALK (“very much of this moment”—The New York Times) — and produced over 40 community-based, experimental projects including performances for new media. His work has been featured in ABC News/Univision, Lambda Literary, Howlround, The Brooklyn Rail and The Korea Times.

Creative Team & Crew
Written and directed 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
Set and Props design by Yoon Choi
Lighting and Video Animation design by Marie Yokoyama
Choreography by Unkle Dave’s Fight-House / Sean F. Griffin
Direction of Photography by Sanae Ohno
Camera Operator: Ketak Dhiman
First Assistant Camera: Gleydi M. Santana
Focus Puller: Alvaro Nieto
Sound design by José Gorritti
Sound Assistance by Carsen Joenk, Noah and Joshua Szeimberg
Costume design by Andrew Jordan
Hair and Make-Up by Sabrina De La Torre
Stage Management by Sarah Samonte
Assistant Direction by Ishmael Thaahir
First Assistant Director: Lindsay Darcy
Assistant Music Production by Kaila Saunders
Dramaturgy by Jess Applebaum
Community Engagement by Joe Tolbert, Jr.
Artistic Advisement by
Betsy Theobald Richards

Learn more about NERO
“Fellows Spotlight: Kyoung H. Park”, Hannah Kloepfer, Dramatist Guild Foundation. Sept. 10, 2020.
“Playwright Kyoung H. Park on Peace, Theater and the Artist’s Duty”, Theodore Pavlich, Lambda Literary. May 13, 2019.

Development Credits

NERO received public readings with the Ma-Yi Theater’s Writer’s Lab (February 2015), Sol Project (February 2016), New Ohio Theater’s Producer’s Club (October 2017), supported by a 2019-2020 Dramatist Guild Fellowship and based on research conducted at the George W. Bush Presidential Archives in Dallas. NERO’s workshop production was developed with generous support from the Howard Gilman Foundation, Jerome Foundation, MAP Fund, and Venturous Theater Fund of the Tides Foundation.

The World Premiere of NERO was developed with support from Pregones/PRTT, and its ASAP/Artist Space At Pregones initiative, and with seed funding from the Ford Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and Mosaic Network & Fund. NERO received workshop screenings at Hillel Plaza – Flatbush Junction and at The Exponential Festival 2023.

Production design support provided by the Edith Lutyens and Norman Bel Geddes Design Enhancement Fund, a program of the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York (A.R.T./New York).

NERO is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).