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Starting TONIGHT! Antinous – Antinous is a tragedy — a tale about the fated love that grew between an adolescent and a middle-aged man. But it is also a story about politics, identity, power and powerlessness. It happened about two thousand years ago in Ancient Rome, when a Greek boy was brought to Emperor Hadrian’s palace following a devastating earthquake in his homeland. No one knows when or why, but Antinous became Hadrian’s page first, and, then his lover. Relationships between powerful men and promising youths were then tacitly permitted. Extending the bond beyond adolescence, however — and certainly, falling in love — was frowned upon. But they did fall in love. Very deeply. The Emperor outlived his young lover for seven years, becoming increasingly sick and prematurely old. He surrounded himself with statues of his page and ruled the Empire from his Villa in Tivoli, the place he had shared with him for years. This play, therefore, is a fantasy — an effort to imagine who this boy might have been, based on the few facts we know about him, and on the many images of him that have survived. Looking at them closely, we suspect that he was a lot more than an exceptionally beautiful boy. Antinous’ extant images give us some clues. In them we find an impertinent, temperamental, intelligent, melancholic, vulnerable young man.