The Hilo Community Players presents Lady Lily’s LYSISTRATA for two weekends (6 performances) at the East Hawaii Cultural Center on Fridays & Saturdays, January 18, 19, 25 & 26 at 8:00pm and Sundays, January 20 & 27 at 4:30pm.
LYSISTRATA is a bawdy anti-war comedy by the ancient Greek playwright Aristophanes, first staged in 411 BCE. It is the comic account of one woman's extraordinary mission to end the Peloponnesian War. Lysistrata convinces the women of Greece to withhold sexual privileges from their husbands as a means of forcing the men to negotiate a peace. Some consider it his greatest work, and it is probably the most anthologized.
The reason for its enduring appeal is simple: sex and politics. The heroine and her militant sisterhood take two actions to make their men stop fighting: first, they stage a sex strike - the withdrawal of sexual favors until peace is declared; second, they occupy the Acropolis, freezing the funds necessary to keep the war going.
Aristophanes knew that his audience would find both these strategies ludicrous and treat his play, with its slapstick and doubles entendres, as an extravagant fantasy - for women to assert themselves in a public arena at that time was pure Theatre of the Absurd.
Aristophanes wrote his play just a year after thousands of young men from Athens lost their lives in a disastrous attempt to defeat Sparta's allies in Sicily - a military catastrophe and civic trauma that some have likened to the American experience in Vietnam or Iraq. It was a sensitive time to produce an antiwar play. Yet Aristophanes got away with it by pushing things beyond the bounds of the strictly credible. Lysistrata has a serious story to tell. But like all good comedies, it knows when to stop taking itself too seriously.
Tickets are $20 and are on sale at www.hiloplayers.org and at the door.
*all online cc sales will have at $1 surcharge*
Rated NC17. ID’s will be checked at the door. This performance is not recommended for children under 17.