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SMC opens spring show

Meaghan Daly | Friday, March 23, 2012

With a production advertised as “Not suitable for children, mothers, or the faint of heart,” the Saint Mary’s College Theatre Program’s spring production will be the ballyhoo burlesque women’s translation of “Lysistrata.”

Mark Abram-Copenhaver, Saint Mary’s College theatre professor, said “Lysistrata” is a comedic account of one woman’s determination to bring an end to the Peloponnesian War.

“It is a combination of burlesque, circus, ‘Looney Tunes,’ and stand-up comedy,” he said.

Abram-Copenhaver said the piece was written by Aristophanes and was originally performed in ancient Greece. The main character, Lysistrata, persuades the Grecian women to withhold sexual privileges from their husbands in an attempt to negotiate peace. In the process, the women provoke a battle between the sexes in a male-dominated society.

Abram-Cophenhaver said “Lysistrata” was the perfect choice for a women’s college because it is, and always has been, a women’s play.

“All of the actors on stage will be played by women, or women in masks imitating the behavior of men. That’s part of the fun,” he said. “It makes light of men and men and women’s relationships.”

Additionally, a play from ancient Greece gives the audience a different experience than a modern play, he said. Those watching the play gain an understanding of the culture of the time period it was written.

“When the audience laughs at a joke, they are essentially laughing at a joke from 2,500 years ago. Even though it was a different time, it links us all together,” Abram-Copenhaver said.

Senior Elizabeth Carian, who plays Lysistrata, said her character instigates events in the play. She said rehearsing antics for the performance is always enjoyable.

“We’ve been rehearsing since mid-February and have really come together as a cast,” Carian said. “Everyday at rehearsal we discover something new, something outrageous or something hilarious.”

Abram-Copenhayer said while the performance is engaging, is not family-friendly entertainment.

“This play is naughty. It always has been and was written to be risqué and bawdy,” he said. “It is not for kids.”

Performances will take place in Little Theatre, Moreau Center for the Arts, at 7:30 p.m., March 29 through 31 and at 2:30 p.m. on April 1.