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Lysistrata speaks to the modern political climate

Lysistrata shows audiences that politics can be funny, yet relevant in today's world. (Northern Review photo/Jennifer Kolb)

A war montage is played, while the tune of America The Beautiful plays in the background. Women come out and comfort each other, a few at a time – holding hands and hugging – while their eyes, filling with tears, are fixated on war scenes of past.

This moment on stage was moving for the audience, but there was a deeper, more moving experience for cast and crew. As they developed Lysistrata they had a serious heart-felt conversation about the serious and emotional side of this play. The cast and crew developed a closeness and deeper relationship during the production of this play unlike others.  Input from the team helped constant conversations adding to the modern political conversational touches to the show especially addressing current political climate. The production of Lysistrada brought the whole company together.

Eli Underwood, who held the role as The Police Commissioner of Public Safety, went on to say:

“It was really amazing because our cast was able to care about these issues and sit down and talk about them. And, to discuss with Joan [Robbins] what we wanted in the play and what would be funny in the play.” said Eli Underwood, who held the role as the police commissioner of public safety. Even director Joan Robbins said the play was a team effort:

“It is completely dependent upon various collaborators who come together to create an artistic product. A production is created by director, actors, designers, light designers, costume designers, in this case production designer It was a really, really great company, they were all very excited about the project, it was a very high level of commitment, they worked very hard.”

Everyone involved with the production worked together to make the show professional. The cast, and crew, the director along with many others, worked hard together to collaborate a special show. 

“It was like no other production that I have ever directed, personally. It was a real challenge and extraordinary exciting set of collaborations."  said Robbins when asked about the production of Lysistrata.  

The play Lysistrata is a political satire. Aristophanes wrote the play and it was to be performed in Athens in the city of Dionysia, which hosts the biggest civic festivals of the year.

“Absolutely a political satire. A way of critiquing and questioning and even condemning politicians, and public figures and policies. So, for me, the challenge was, this very old play, which was in its day was a topical political satire," Robbins said. 

“Because it is about a political and sexual war and it applies so heavy to this time period.  I enjoyed playing that part, the most memorable part of all is actually being able to perform it.”

Underwood mentioned how rehearsal was difficult; as playing his role there was a lack of a huge audience to play with and feed off of. He went on about his role, Robbins, and assistant director Nick Sabakata shared that while in rehearsals with the cast, the idea for Underwood’s character, a cameo for political figure Donald Trump, developed and was to be outrageous.  It was tied with modern political culture, bringing the theme of a political satire full-circle and current with the political themes in this year’s election. 

“Because it is about a political and sexual war and it applies so heavy to this time period.  I enjoyed playing that part, the most memorable part of all is actually being able to perform it.”

Robbins mentioned to Underwood (about Trump), “He says a lot of things, then takes them back later. The police commissioner sounds kinda high on himself, a lot like the current political figure Donald Trump. Underwood’s reply to Robbins idea was:

“That would be such a good character to fit with, it would be so amazing to play it.”




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