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.

NERO 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.

World Premiere: Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, April 2024
Rough-Cut Screening: The Exponential Festival, January 2024

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 Carsen Joenk
Sound Recording by José Gorritti
Sound Assistance by 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).