Posts Tagged ‘Lysistrata’

2019 Fringe Festival Spotlight: Theater Classics in the Fringe

Posted August 27th, 2019

In creating something original and new, artists often look to the past. This year’s Fringe Festival includes a host of theatrical works based on the literary canon. Shakespeare! Homer! Ibsen! Brecht! It’s the classics, Fringe-style.

A Literal Doll House
This deconstruction of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll House features the entire play acted out by a girl playing with literal dolls. Do not be fooled: There is more to this show than meets the eye. A struggle that rings true throughout the ages. This is not a one-woman show.
More info and tickets here

An Iliad
Jason Greenfield                           
This new adaptation by Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare based on Robert Fagles’s translation of The Iliad telescopes Homer’s Trojan War epic into a gripping monologue which captures both the heroism and horror of war. Crafted around the stories of Achilles and Hector, in language that is by turns poetic and conversational, An Iliad brilliantly refreshes this world classic. Directed and performed by Jason Greenfield.
More info and tickets here

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Weekender-ish (May 23-27)

Posted May 23rd, 2013

Is Thursday the weekend? Sure, especially when there’s things like Hidden City Festival, and a few not-to-miss musical talents are playing a spectacular show tonight.

Japanese Man, AKA Skye from Fleet Foxes, is playing tonight at PhilaMoca, 12th and Spring Garden Streets. His sound is ambient and ethereal, and if that’s too non-descript, can be summed up in two words: space magnets. Playing alongside is Air is Human, a Tortoise-like outfit and Nick Millevoi, a virtuoso guitar player in the local Philly sound scene.

Hidden City Festival makes a beautiful use of vacant yet charged cityscapes. Ranging from abandoned swimming pools to century-old synagogues, artists by the likes of Dufala Brothers, Ruth Scott Blackson, and the Ars Nova Workshop reanimate these historical institutions and landmarks to cosmic effect. While events are going on today and Friday, Saturday night kicks off the festival with a block party at 12th and Wood Streets, from 7pm to 11pm.

FortMifflinweb_2_Peter Woodall

Raunchy and hilarious Greek theater beats the Jersey Shore any day, or at least matches it somehow. Aristophane’s tale of the war of the sexes, classic comedy Lysistrata, is given a contemporary spin at the Walnut Street Theater by way of the Simpatico Theater Project. Catch the play this weekend between rainy beach trips, or skip the sand altogether and engage in some of the vibrant accompanying discussions on sex, gender roles, and sex.


Fifth Grade Lysistrata

Posted April 10th, 2012

Theater artist Domenick Scudera has a regular Festival Blog column about his experiences in the performing arts.

Aristophanes, funnyman for all ages.

Upon college graduation, I landed a job as an elementary school drama teacher. I had no experience teaching, no experience working with children, and no formal training in drama. But I figured my Judy-Mickey-let’s-put-on-a-show mentality would get me through any rough times.

The job seemed easy enough: match a play with what the kids are learning in the classroom and mount the play on the school’s tiny stage. However, this was no ordinary school. This was an exclusive, private school for rich kids. The curriculum was arts-centered and hoighty-toighty. For each year of schooling, the students were introduced to a different culture and all their studies that year centered on that culture. So, for instance, sixth graders might study the Italian Renaissance by building miniature St. Peter’s Cathedrals and performing an adaptation of Machiavelli’s The Prince.

Fifth grade focused on the Greeks. As the fifth grade students were busy tackling Socrates’s philosophies and sculpting busts of Athena, I set about finding an appropriate play for them to perform. I quickly discarded the idea of performing a Greek tragedy. A nine-year-old Medea or Oedipus? No. My vague knowledge of Greek theater afforded me another idea: a comedy! I had never actually seen or read a Greek comedy, but the thought of working on something funny appealed to me. I went to the library, took out an anthology, and started reading.

If I was going to stage a Greek comedy, I figured it should be the best and the funniest. I quickly learned that Aristophanes is considered the greatest Greek comic writer and that Lysistrata, an anti-war comedy, is considered his greatest play. Perfect! The students could work on this show and study the Peloponnesian War, with a nice message about peace thrown in. There were lots of female roles—an essential consideration when choosing a play for the students. In fact, it had a terrific female lead, a real role model for the girls. Sounded good to me. Lysistrata it was.

When I mentioned to some of my new colleagues that I was working on Lysistrata with the fifth graders, I encountered a few quizzical looks. “Really?! Um . . . can’t wait to see that!” I detected some cynicism, but dismissed it. I was going to knock their socks off with my stunning new interpretation of this Greek classic.

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