Masquers Present New Take on 'Lysistrata'

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Fairmont State Masquers theatre group begins its new season with the Greek classic comedy, "Lysistrata," Aristophanes" satire about war and how to end it. Performances will be held Oct. 5-7 and 12-14 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 8 at 2 p.m. in the Wallman Hall Theatre. Call (304) 367-4240 for tickets.

The original play is set around 411 B.C. during the Peloponnesian War. In the original play, the women of battling Athens and Sparta get together and come up with an interesting way to end the war 'withholding sex from their husbands. For this production, the play "Lysistrata" is being presented by a group of carnies in the 1930s. It becomes, thus, a play within a play.

"I will be taking a Brechtian style approach," said Director Jeffrey Ingman. "The play is a high-end comedy, but I want it to be able to let the darker tones reflect the harsh reality of war. I'm putting it in carnival style: a group of carnies from the 1930s is putting on 'Lysistrata.' This gives me the opportunity to play outrageous sexual situations, but still keep it in high comical value. The intent of this play is not to offend the audience in regard to sexual content, but to punctuate the absurdity of war.

"When I read this play the first time, it was literally a laugh-out-loud comedy. In preparation for this production, because of the situation we are currently in, the real story started to show itself. The war element became more crystal-clear because we are currently at war, and the darker tones started to show up to me. Interestingly enough, currently in Colombia there are women who are having a sex strike to keep their husbands from fighting and killing each other, which runs very close to the story line in 'Lysistrata.'"

Two FSU seniors are part of the production: Lauren Zirk will be playing the lead role of Lysistrata, and Jason Young will be playing the magistrate. Other cast members include Patrick Sibbett, Michael Vozniak, Dana Sayre, Sarah Rowan, Valerie Phillips, Celi Oliveto, Steve McElroy, Kimmy Higginbotham, Dan Hawkins, Michael Fluharty, Darby DeWitt, Daniel Crowley and Crystal Conner. Puppetry, instruments, sound effects and most music is played live by the cast of "carnies."

This play is recommended for mature audiences due to sexual content and adult themes. For tickets, call the Box Office at (304) 367-4240.