You, Nero, running to Jan. 1, 2012, on the in-the-round Fichandler Stage, stars Danny Scheie, reprising the role of Nero after starring in both the South Coast Repertory and Berkeley Repertory Theatre productions of the play. Also returning to their roles are Susannah Schulman as Poppaea and Kasey Mahaffy as Fabiolo. Marc Vietor (Kennedy Center's Company, Broadway's Present Laughter, directed by Martin) joins the cast as Scribonius.
Arena favorites include Helen Hayes Award winner Nancy Robinette as Agrippina (Arena's Death of a Salesman, Shakespeare Theatre Company's The Heir Apparent), Laurence O'Dwyer as Burrus (Arena's Trouble in Mind, Helen Hayes Award winner for Arena's The Fantasticks) and John C. Vennema as Seneca (Arena's A Time to Kill).
Here's how Arena bills You, Nero: "Rome collapses beneath Nero's outrageous narcissism, a forgotten playwright tries to restore order through the art of theatre. Amid the chaos of crime, lust and politics, convincing the world's most famous debaucher to choose virtue over vice proves to be a Herculean task. Amy Freed's wild romp questions whether well-crafted drama and intellect are any match for decadence and good old-fashioned bloodshed."
Pulitzer Prize finalist Freed (Freedomland, The Beard of Avon) is an Arena American Voices New Play Institute resident playwright.
Arena Stage is at 1101 Sixth St., in Southwest Washington, DC. For more information, visit www.arenastage.org.