Red Earth Theatre brings a reading of Aristophanes’ anti-war comedy ‘Lysistrata’ to the stone arches at Tlaquepaque Thursday, June 20, 7:30 p.m., outdoors in the Patio de las Campanas. What can mere women in 5th century BC Greek culture do to stop their men from going away to war? They have the answer and it requires a certain a fortitude of character and passionate commitment to peace.
This translation by Jeffery Henderson does not shy away from the heart of the story when the women, led by the indomitable Lysistrata, elect to withhold the very thing their men want most (and they too, truth be told) in the name of stopping the endless cycle of war in which their country is embroiled.
Written 21 years into the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC), an ancient Greek war fought by the Delian League led by Athens against Spartans, Aristophanes elected to write a lighthearted comedy to express his grief over the thousands of Athenians who had recently lost their lives in the defeat at Syracuse.
In 2003, The Lysistrata Project reached over 56 countries with 919 readings as a worldwide theatre event for peace, embracing the farcical idea of withholding sex as a means to end war to make a serious statement.
Today, productions can be found throughout the country and perhaps the metaphor of war can be extended to include how we treat our environment.
Actors in this reading include Ashlee Threlkeld as Lysistrata, Kaia True as Myrrhine, Terra Shelman as Calonice with Tiffany Grimm, Cathy Ransom, Esther Henselmans, Sandi Schenholm, Connie Patrick, Gale Grove and Nell Benson.
The men are represented by Dave Belkiewitz, Lawrence Cohen, Dylan Marshall, Mitch McDermott, Mike Cosentino, Larry Rosenberg and Cody Miller.
Director Kate Hawkes was honored to play Lysistrata for the 2003 Lysistrata Project in the Portland Oregon reading, where she lived before coming to Sedona in 2008. She believes that reading this play fully meets the mission of Red Earth Theatre, to provide a platform to inspire and nurture many voices through live performance, and encourage dialogue exploring the human experience in our diverse communities.
Red Earth brings a wide variety of live theatre to the Verde Valley, most recently the production ‘Darkside’ by Tom Stoppard, and is honored to present this monthly series of live theatre at Tlaquepaque. Taking July off, Red Earth returns in August with the Monsoon Show and will kick off the next season with a full production of Shakespeare’s ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ in September.
Presented with good humor and tongue in cheek, ‘Lysistrata’ will encourage you to contemplate the ways of relationships and behavior of humanity in the context of our world – from 2,500 years ago to today.
Suggested donation $10 at the door. Not Suitable for Children.
More info at redearththeatre.org.