Photo Credit Howard Korn Photo Credit Howard Korn Photo Credit Howard Korn Photo Credit Paxton Winters Photo Credit Doug Baz

Acts of Violence


Acts of Violence is a public health project that presents scenes from Seneca’s Thyestes, a Roman tragedy that was written during the gruesome reign of Nero, as a catalyst for town hall discussions about the impact of political violence upon individuals, families, caregivers, health and human rights advocates, communities, and nations.

The selected scenes from Thyestes, authored in secrecy by Nero’s closest advisor, Seneca, at the height of Nero’s monstrous crimes against his family and humanity, depict extreme acts of political violence and vengeance during a tumultuous transfer of power, and provide an ancient perspective on contemporary social issues that could be ripped from today’s headlines. This unique participatory event is designed to generate open discussion among diverse audiences to raise awareness, foster compassion, and inspire action with regard to the consequences of political violence in communities throughout the world.


The premiere performance of Acts of Violence was presented by Outside the Wire at the Cambridge Health Alliance, with the participation of Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) Victims of Violence Program, the CHA Coordinated Care Program for Political Violence Survivors, the CHA Division of Social Medicine, and the CHA Center for Professional Development in April 2011, and has most recently been presented at Bard College in conjunction with The Human Rights Project.