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Culture

University in Missouri Presents Ancient Greek Comedy Lysistrata

December 6, 2017

WEBSTER GROVES, MO – The Webster University Conservatory of Theatre Arts presents the Greek comedy “Lysistrata,” where one woman comes up with a unique solution to end the Peloponnesian War, webster.edu reports.

The Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University is a professional training program for acting, musical theatre, directing, theatre studies and dramaturgy, design, technical theatre and stage management. Located in St. Louis in Webster University’s Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts, the Conservatory has been training theatre students for the professional world for over half a century.

Performance Dates, Times
Dec. 6–10, Dec. 13-17
7:30 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m.
Stage III, located in Webster Hall

Lysistrata (/la??s?str?t?/ or /?l?s??str??t?/; Attic Greek: Λυσιστράτη, Lysistrate, “Army Disbander”) is a comedy by Aristophanes. Originally performed in classical Athens in 411 BCE, it is a comic account of a woman’s extraordinary mission to end the Peloponnesian War by denying all the men of the land any sex, which was the only thing they truly and deeply desired. Lysistrata persuades the women of Greece to withhold sexual privileges from their husbands and lovers as a means of forcing the men to negotiate peace—a strategy, however, that inflames the battle between the sexes. The play is notable for being an early expose of sexual relations in a male-dominated society.

Additionally, its dramatic structure represents a shift from the conventions of Old Comedy, a trend typical of the author’s career. It was produced in the same year as the Thesmophoriazusae, another play with a focus on gender-based issues, just two years after Athens’ catastrophic defeat in the Sicilian Expedition. At this time, Greek theatre was a profound form of entertainment, which was extremely popular for all audiences as it addressed political issues relevant to that time.

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