Theatre Program to Put on Greek Comedy "Lysistrata"

Gwen O’Brien
Director of Media Relations
Saint Mary’s College
(574) 284-4579

March 8, 2012 (Notre Dame, Ind.)–The Saint Mary’s College Theatre Program is proud to announce Lysistrata as their spring production. Performances will take place in Little Theatre, Moreau Center for the Arts, at 7:30 p.m., Thursday-Saturday, March 29-31 and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 1. Click for a campus map.

Lysistrata is a comedic account of one woman’s determination to bring an end to the Peloponnesian War. It was written in 411 BC 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. However, in the process, the women provoke a battle between the sexes in a primarily male-dominated society.

Theatre professor Mark Abram-Copenhaver is directing the play. He describes the production as “a combination of burlesque, circus, Looney Tunes, and stand up comedy.”

Abram-Copenhaver said he selected the play because he wanted to do something from the Greek theatre era. Lysistrata seemed like the perfect choice for a women’s college, he said, because it is and always has been a women’s play. The cast consists of 18 women, all of whom are primarily theatre students.

“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. “This changes the nature of Lysistrata’s comedy and satire. It makes light of men and men and women’s relationships.”

There is a disclaimer to include about this particular play. “This play is naughty. It always has been and was written to be risqué and bawdy. It is not for kids,” Abram-Copenhaver explained.

Elizabeth Carian ’12 plays the lead of Lysistrata who is the instigator of everything that happens in the play. "We’ve been rehearsing since mid-February and have really come together as a cast … Everyday at rehearsal we discover something new, something outrageous, something hilarious. I’m thoroughly enjoying playing my part,” Carian said.

Abram-Copenhaver also talked about what makes this dramatic comedy unique. “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,” he said.

The theatre program puts on two full-scale productions each year. When choosing each production the faculty keeps the students in mind. Abram-Copenhaver explained that in the students’ four years, his goal is for them to have experience with a variety of different types of theatre.

Tickets may be purchased online or by visiting the Moreau Center box office Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to  5 p.m. or calling (574) 284-4626. Ticket prices are as follows:

Adults: $13

Senior Citizens: $12

SMC/ND/HCC Faculty and Staff: $10

SMC/ND/HCC Students: $8

About Saint Mary’s College: Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind., is a four-year, Catholic, women’s institution offering five bachelor’s degrees and more than 30 major areas of study. Saint Mary’s College has six nationally accredited academic programs: social work, art, music, teacher education, chemistry and nursing. Saint Mary’s College ranks among the top 100 “Best National Liberal Arts Colleges” for 2012 published by U.S.News and World Report. Founded in 1844, Saint Mary’s is a pioneer in the education of women, and is sponsored by the Sisters of the Holy Cross.