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Berkeley Rep Gives Lovers A Chance To Meet YOU, NERO Writer Amy Freed 6/15

During its world-premiere production of You, Nero, Berkeley Repertory Theatre invites theatre lovers to meet the real power behind the throne. Amy Freed, the local scribe who put words in the mouth of an emperor for her outrageous new comedy, is the guest of honor at Berkeley Rep's Page to Stage on Monday, June 15. At this free event, Artistic Director Tony Taccone interviews Freed about her successful habit of mixing history and comedy, which led to a nomination for the Pulitzer Prize. On Berkeley Rep's intimate Thrust Stage, they'll discuss her current show - and previous hits like The Beard of Avon and Restoration Comedy - before taking questions from the audience.

Theatres are usually dark on Mondays, but Berkeley Rep makes those evenings glow with Page to Stage, a series of talks which engage brilliant guests in sparkling conversation. Past programs have featured luminaries such as David Edgar, Will Eno, Danny Hoch, Sarah Jones, Tony Kushner, Delroy Lindo, Terrence McNally, Charles Mee, Rita Moreno, Itamar Moses, and Salman Rushdie. No tickets are necessary for these free events, but seating is limited. Each talk begins at 7:00 PM, and doors open at 6:45 PM for general-admission seating. Peet's Coffee and Tea offers a free tasting to all guests starting at 6:00 PM, and donors in Berkeley Rep's Supporter Circle get an opportunity to meet Freed at an exclusive reception catered by La Note.

Amy Freed, an artist-in-residence at Stanford University, is the author of Claustrophilia, Freedomland, The Psychic Life of Savages, Restoration Comedy, Safe in Hell, and Still Warm. Her work has been seen at New York Theatre Workshop, Playwrights Horizons, and respected regional theatres across the country, earning her the Joseph Kesselring Award, the Charles MacArthur Award, and a nomination for the Pulitzer Prize.

In her new comedy, not only does Nero fiddle while Rome burns, he fills the Colosseum with a flammable mix of sex and decadence. The egotistical emperor commands a washed-up scribe to create an extravaganza that flatters his regime. But to stage the script he must survive the real spectacle at the palace, where his mother, his mistress, and an entourage of eunuchs play an elaborate game of deceit and seduction. With You, Nero, Freed lets loose the tigers on a crumbling empire obsessed with shallow celebrities, violent sports, and sensational entertainment until Rome unravels like it's reality TV.

You, Nero runs through June 28 and is produced in association with South Coast Repertory, where it debuted in January. Berkeley Rep's Thrust Stage is located at 2025 Addison Street, near bus lines, bike routes, and parking lots - and only half a block from BART. For more information about Page to Stage or tickets to the show, call (510) 647-2949 or (888) 4-BRT-tix (toll-free) - or simply click berkeleyrep.org.


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