Classical Laughs: ‘Lysistrata’ at University Theatre
Ancient Greek Comedy is a Timeless Take on the War Between the Sexes
April 13, 2009
A Greek revival is coming to campus this month when director Kathy Lingo and UT Dallas students bring Lysistrata to life in the University Theatre.
The play by Aristophanes is a comic account of one woman’s extraordinary mission to end the Peloponnesian War. Lysistrata persuades the women of Greece to withhold marital privileges from their husbands as a means of forcing the men to negotiate peace, a strategy that inflames the battle between the sexes.
Lingo coordinates a cast of 27, one of the largest full theatrical productions ever at UT Dallas. Casting calls were “open,” with Lingo evaluating each applicant and casting them in the appropriate role.
“I wasn’t seeking the lead. I tried out and told Kathy to put me wherever,” said Stephanie Cogan, a psychology and child development major who plays the title role. “I just enjoy theater and the collaborative process.”
“Students are involved in theater for the lights, excitement and thrill, but theater at UT Dallas proves to be much more for students,” said Lingo. “My goal is to first help them find their self-confidence, then give them a great experience with Lysistrata that will whet their appetites for more theater work.”
Ciro Faienza, an art and performance and arts and technology double major who plays men’s chorus leader Dromiceiomemos, has some stage experience in local venues but wishes to continue honing his craft. He sees writing, acting and directing in his future.
“Acting is the most energetic and gratifying art form,” said Faienza.
Lingo agrees, and views theater as a craft which brings together many disciplines.
“The human condition is the topic most explored in history, theater and literature,” said Lingo. “The best way to learn about literature is to live it and that is what theater allows. You no longer just read it. The actor must translate it and become it. The character is then breathed to life through the actor.”
Lysistrata is Aristophanes’ comic account of one woman’s unique plan to end the Peloponnesian War. (Photo by Tina Biriski)
Lysistrata runs at 8 p.m., Thursday-Saturday, April 16-25, in the University Theatre. Admission is $15. Thursday night performances are free; donations will be accepted for the Arts and Humanities Scholarship Fund. Due to content, Lysistrata is recommended for adult audiences. For more information, visit ah.utdallas.edu.