video archive


A HREF="script.html">script


about the project

about the characters


conceived and created by Antoinette LaFarge + Robert Allen

stage direction by Robert Allen

script by Antoinette LaFarge

visual design by Antoinette LaFarge with Amy Kaczur;
with additional material from "Democracy-The Last Campaign" by Margaret Crane | Jon Winet

sound design by Maria de los Angeles Estevez and Jeff Ridenour

costumes by Nicole Evangelista

lighting design by Christina L. Munich

character development and additional text by The Plaintext Players

online direction by Antoinette LaFarge


Germania Servius: Kim Weild
Marcus Tullius Cicero: John Mellies
Petronius Arbiter: Kevin Keaveney
Poppaea Sabina: Helen Wilson
Quintus Roscius: Alan Goodson

  • Indi McCarthy, unflappable project manager.
  • Nohema Fernandez, and Eleanore Stewart, without whose generous support this project could not have been realized.
  • Jon Winet and Margaret Crane, who contributed documentary video footage from their "Democracy-The Last Campaign" project.
  • Andrew Johnson, for expert help with a multitude of set design and construction issues.
  • The UCI Production staff for their crucial assistance in getting the project up and running.
  • UCI's Networking and Academic Computing Services, especially Allen Schiano, Sylvia Bass, and David Mussoff, for setting up and overseeing the streaming video and associated web site.
  • Mike Miller of the UCI Instructional Technology Center for expertise on streaming video equipment.
  • Lonnie Alcarez, for expertise on lighting issues.
  • Tom Ritchford, for critical JAVA coding.
  • The Institute of Cultural Inquiry, which has supported this project from its inception.
  • The Plaintext Players, who originated the characters and some of the text for this piece.
  • Our stalwart crew: Susan Evon (stage manager); Alison Knight (light board operator); Evita Rapadas (video operator); Blake Anthony (sound board operator); Brandon Kikuyama (web camera); Crystal Chou (costume assistant and house camera); and Michelle Barr (house manager)


    Germania Servius: Lise Patt
    Marcus Tullius Cicero: Richard Foerstl
    Petronius Arbiter: Richard Smoley
    Poppaea Sabina: Marlena Corcoran
    Quintus Roscius: Joe Ferrari
    Baritus: Ursula Endlicher
    The.Eastern.Revolt: Heather Wagner
    Greek.Scribe: Anonymous


    ROBERT ALLEN (co-creator, stage director) is Head of Movement in the Theater Arts Department at California State University, Long Beach. His recent projects include Zwischen Fear und Sex: Fünf Proben (Hellerau, Germany, 2002); Twilight by Anna Deveare Smith (Cal State Long Beach, 2002); How I Got That Story by Amlin Gray (NY, August 2001); The Roman Forum (Side Street Live, LA, 2000); Dear Anton (Chekhov Now Festival, 1999); The Creditors (New York International Fringe Festival, 1999); "August in January," a festival celebrating August Strindberg's 150th birthday (Theater 22, 1999); Le Ménage (LaMama E.T.C. 1998); Still Lies Quiet Truth (New York International Fringe Festival, 1998); and The Good Night (Theatre for the New City, 1998). Robert has an M.F.A. in Theater from Columbia University, where he studied directing with Anne Bogart. His work as a director is grounded in prior experience as a choreographer and performer in German Tanztheater, working with Reinhild Hoffmann (a contemporary of Pina Bausch) and other German directors. Robert also possesses an M.F.A. in modern dance from UCLA and a B.F.A. in visual art from the San Francisco Art Institute.

    ANTOINETTE LAFARGE (co-creator, script, visuals) is Assistant Professor of Digital Media at the University of California, Irvine. An artist and writer with a special interest in virtual and fictive realities, she is the director of the Plaintext Players, an Internet performance group that uses net-based virtual worlds to stage their performances. In addition to The Roman Forum Project, she has scripted two other theatrical pieces based on her work with the Plaintext Players, Still Lies Quiet Truth (New York International Fringe Festival, 1998) and The Roman Forum (Side Street Live, LA, 2000). Upcoming projects include a collaborative multimedia performance work, Reading Frankenstein (Beall Center, Irvine, CA, May/June 2003). Her writing has appeared in several books as well as in such periodicals as Wired, Leonardo, and Gnosis. She is also the founder-director of the Museum of Forgery, a virtual institute dedicated to the aesthetics of forgery. She has an M.F.A. in Computer Art from the School of Visual Arts, New York. Her domain is

    NICOLE EVANGELISTA (costume designer) has designed costumes for such productions as The Roman Forum (Side Street Live, LA, 2000), The Embraceable Me (Rachel Reiner Productions, NY, 2000), Richard II (The Eleventh Hour, NY, 2000), Finding Louise (Oberon Theatre Ensemble, NY, 2000), Between Sets (Julliard Dance Division, NY, 2000), and Cherie (The Live Bait, Chicago, 1999). She received the Joseph Jefferson Award for Most Outstanding Costume Design of 1999. She is currently working on costuming for several movies.

    AMY KACZUR (videographer) is an interdisciplinary artist currently working in video, film, and digital technologies. Recent works include White Flight (2001), Desire Dogs (2001), Effigy for a Good Life (2000), Hypnovator (2000), Snoots and Tales (1999), and Nursing/Mother (1999). Recent exhibitions include Athens International Film and Video Festival (Ohio University, Athens); Film and Video Annual (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston); NO-TV & Movies #20 (RCTV, Rochester Community Television, the Media Center @ Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, NY); Narration: Emblem and Sequence in Contemporary Art (Hilles Gallery, Creative Arts Workshop, New Haven); Centered on the Center (Huntington Beach Art Center, Huntington Beach, CA); Indomitable (The Beall Center for Art and Technology, University of California, Irvine). She received her M.F.A. from the University of California, Irvine (2002) and her B.F.A. from Tufts University (1983).

    ALAN GOODSON's (Quinstus Roscius) Southern California credits include numerous productions at East L.A. Classic Theatre, Open Fist Theatre Ensemble, The Fountain Theatre, Shakespeare Festival/L.A, The Laguna Playhouse, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, 24th Street Theatre, San Diego Repertory Theatre, and San Diego Public Theatre. Alan has also played leading roles at Vienna's English Theatre, at the Cafe Theatre, Frankfurt, and in his own theatre group based in Vienna. He has performed in over a dozen films, including HBO's The Simon Wiesenthal Story and The Train, both with Ben Kingsley.

    KEVIN KEAVENEY (Petronius Arbiter) has been performing for several years in New York's off-Broadway and downtown scene. The Roman Forum Project marks the eighth time he has worked with Robert Allen, previously having appeared in How I Got That Story (August 2001); The Roman Forum (Petronius Arbiter, 2000), Strindberg's Creditors (Gustav, 1999), The Secret History of the Lower East Side (1998), and Still Lies Quiet Truth (Baron Samedi, 1998). Kevin was nominated for a Best Actor Pixie Award for his role as Orson Welles in the recent online film Orson Welles Sells His Soul to the Devil. Kevin has a degree in theater from Yale University.

    JOHN MELLIES (Marcus Tullius Cicero) is from Kansas, where he began acting. He recently recieved his MFA in Acting from California State University, Long Beach, where he appeared in many productions, including Pilgrims, The Colonel Bird, The Third Lie, and Knights of the Round Table. This is his second project with Robert Allen. The first was Ordnung und Unordnung, a summer workshop in Dresden, Germany. John also directs The Flea-Bitten Varmints, a comedy/sketch group, and works at the Queen Mary in Long Beach.

    KIM WEILD (Germania Servius) is an actress, director, choreographer, and teacher with an extensive history of developing and performing movement based theatre pieces. Her interest in the intersection between theatre and dance first began while performing with The New York City Ballet and continued with 10 years of collaboration with Beatrice Lees, a pioneer in improvisational movement. She began developing movement-oriented theatre pieces as early as 1986 when she worked with Robert Wilson in the Richard Strauss opera Salome, developed in New York City and performed at Teatro alla Scala in Milan. As an actor and dancer she has worked with George Balanchine, Max Stafford-Clark, Andre Gregory, Edward Gorey, Andrea Haring, Tina Landau, Beatrice Lees, Judith Malina, Bradford Mays, Charles Mee Jr., Larry Moss, Mike Nichols, George Morrison, Diane Paulus, Sabrina Peck, Abraham Pulido, Richard Schechner, Paul Sills, Tadashi Suzuki and Robert Wilson, in theatres all over the world, most notably: The Royal Court Theatre, The Moscow Art Theatre, Teatro alla Scala, Lincoln Center, Circle In The Square, The Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Wolftrap Center for the Performing Arts, The Kitchen and The Performance Garage. Kim has trained extensively with The SITI Company and has worked with both the Suzuki Method and Viewpoints for over 15 years. Along with teaching in Los Angeles, she has taught at: CalArts, UC Irvine, CalState Fullerton, UC Riverside, Mark Taper Forumís P.L.A.Y. program, The Lookingglass Theatre Company, Integrity Productions and Sowelu both in Portland, Oregon and at The National Theatre Workshop of the Handicapped. She and Anthony Byrnes are co-founders of Burning Wheel, a theatre company based in Los Angeles dedicated to strengthening the Los Angeles theatre community through ongoing training sessions with world class artists. On the web:

    HELEN WILSON (Poppaea Sabina) is a native Los Angelina who has an M.F.A. in acting from UCLA. She has appeared in Hot l Baltimore, Tango, The Enchanted, and Too True to Be Good at the Old Globe Theatre (San Diego). Other stage credits include Summer Vacation Madness (Mark Taper Forum), Camino Real (dir. Marshall Mason), Voice of the Turtle (dir. George Schaefer), and The Subject Was Roses. Helen received L.A. Dramalogue Awards for Matka, How the Other Half Loves, and Brontë. Voiceover credits include My Fellow Americans, Escape from L.A., and Star Trek Voyager.

    SUSAN EVON (stage manager) is a technical theater major at California State University Long Beach. The Roman Forum Project is her 13th production as stage manager. Her experiences ranges from Macbeth to Bye Bye Birdie to a recent production of the Vagina Monologues. This past summer she worked with the Loud*R*Mouth Theatre Company on Parallel Lives at the Edison Theater in downtown Long Beach. She starting her career in stage management and hopes it takes her on great travels.