RISE at Theatre 54 @ Shetler Studios
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RISE is an opera-infused play intertwining the tale of Rome's most infamous anarchist Emperor with the extravagant ambition of four modern-day misfits. In a decaying Roman Empire, debauchery and ruthlessness are de rigueur, but Boy-King Elagabalus's excesses and flagrant disregard for religious tradition and sexual taboos shocks even the most callous citizens. Placed on the throne by the conniving machinations of his mother and grandmother, Elagabalus marries a sacred Vestal Virgin, skewers the national religion, and flaunts his exploits with men and women of all classes. On the outskirts of LA, aspirations run high. Brick Richards has been a top player in porn for ten years, and his manager Myrna Malone desperately wants to convince him to transition to mainstream movies before his star fades. Myrna's assistant Glenn wants something different from Brick: a great, sweeping romance to make life complete. Glenn's roommate Mia doesn't care about sweeping romances, she just wants to achieve her dream of launching the next big cosmetics line, and maybe Myrna or Brick can make that happen? Through human history, one conflict is timeless: when personal ambition eclipses all other considerations, crossed desires lead to double crossing.