Theatre and Dance director said their newest production, Lysistrata, is “a sexually charged power grab of epic proportions.” In a new, modern translation, the one-act play is more than a comedy about sex, and it will run Oct. 31 – Nov. 9 in Alex and Faye Spanos Theatre.
Lysistrata was first performed 2,500 years ago in ancient Greece. Comic playwright Aristophanes wrote the play during a time of war between Athens and Sparta, which many Greeks opposed. To bring about peace, the female main character Lysistrata led women in the city to all withhold romantic relations with their husbands, seeking power over them and the cities’ wealth.
Director Suzy Newman said the women in the play have little power in their society, yet are still affected by every other character’s decisions. Newman said the play is inspirational in the way that it brings out the element of protesting in order to enact change.
“It’s a group of people using the only power that they have to get something that they desperately want,” Newman said.
The modern translation by Ellen McLaughlin gave Newman license to put her own spin on it, something that a director does not always get the chance to do. However, Newman said her favorite part of directing Lysistrata is working with the student actors.
“Every time you get in the rehearsal room, everything else just goes away and you just get down to work,” Newman said. “It’s so fun to work on language and to tell stories.”
Liberal studies sophomore Nicki Butler will play the lead role of Lysistrata. Although she said gender equality has progressed since ancient Grecian times, women still deal with a feeling of inferiority – something she has felt throughout her life.
“When I play Lysistrata, I try to channel that feeling and energy because I know that women have so many strengths and capabilities, and that’s something that women have to remind themselves of daily,” Butler said.
Newman said students who are hesitant to buy tickets to Lysistrata should consider how funny, fast-moving and short this one-act play will be. She said students can come on opening night and even dress up for Halloween.
“Just take a chance on it,” Newman said. “It gives you a feeling that you can’t get anywhere else.”
Lysistrata tickets are available now at tickets.calpoly.edu at $12 for students and $20 for adults.