New Amy Freed play added to Berkeley Rep season

[show’s dates have changed since original posting: Previews begin May 15, opening is May 20 and closing is June 28]

Local playwright Amy Freed (above) will collaborate once again with director (and former Berkeley Repertory Theatre artistic director) Sharon Ott on a new play that has just been added to the Berkeley Rep season.

You, Nero will play on the Thrust Stage May 15 through June 28, 2009.

The play will star Danny Scheie as Nero, emperor of Rome, famous for playing the fiddle while his city burned. In Freed’s comedy, not only does he fiddle, but he also fills the Colosseum with sex and decadence as he commands a washed-up scribe to create an extravaganza that flatters his pitiful regime.

This marks the third collaboration between Freed and Ott, who have paired previously on The Beard of Avon and Restoration Comedy.

Nero, a co-production with South Coast Repertory, marks the second show Ott will direct for Berkeley Rep this season. She is at the helm of Crime & Punishment, in a new adaptation by Marilyn Campbell and Curt Columbus, in February of 2009.

“You, Nero is the perfect way to end the coming year, on a high note of incisive, satiric wit,” said Berkeley Rep artistic director Tony Taccone. “Modern American life bears a remarkable resemblance to Nero’s Rome, and Amy Freed mines the parallels to wonderful comic effect.”

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