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Video:Professor Ted Blake Performs From Richard Byrne's A PAIR OF SHOES

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A Pair of Shoes offers viewers a monologue by a classics professor who takes his class on a journey through The Decline and Fall.

Video:Professor Ted Blake Performs From Richard Byrne's A PAIR OF SHOES

Ancient Rome is the story we turn to, again and again, to understand ourselves. And social media platforms label Donald Trump as an "orange-haired Caligula," or a Nero fiddling as America burns. But would Edward Gibbon - who literally wrote the book on this topic (The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire) in the late 18th Century - agree?

A Pair of Shoes - a new short play by Richard Byrne - offers viewers a monologue by a classics professor who takes his class on a journey through The Decline and Fall to ponder what ancient Rome really tells us about 2020.

Watch now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URaeh6j4pgk

Professor Ted Blake's distance-learning students are dubious about their assignment to read the unabridged version of Gibbon's book. But he wants to introduce his students to a parade of cruel and foolish emperors, and a feckless and doomed Senate. "The pages of this book are stained with blood," he says. "

Blake says our hope is within us. "History doesn't work without us," he tells the class. "We can't escape it. But it can't escape us. We animate history. We are the makers of it."

A Pair of Shoes features Madukah Steady as Professor Ted Blake. It was directed by Andrew Bellware of Pandora Machine Films and produced by Laura Schlachtmeyer. The play recording is a coproduction by 920 Productions and Pandora Machine.

The play was shot in a completely socially-distant manner, with the actor in Boston, the director in Jersey City, and the producer in Washington, DC - using a hybrid of Zoom and other audio equipment.

Richard Byrne's plays have been produced by Taffety Punk Theatre Company, WSC/Avant Bard, and in the 2019 capital Fringe Festival. He has won first prizes in the A.E. Hotchner Playwriting Festival and the Prague Post Playwriting Festival. More at https://www.richardbyrneplays.com/



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