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OPEN AUDITIONS: Majesticpiece Theatre presents Lysistrata Slams the Doors

MAJESTICPIECE THEATRE PRESENTS: Lysistrata Slams the Doors

By Aristophanes

Directed by Cory Warren

Adapted by Cory Warren for the digital stage

To be performed Saturday, June 13th at 7:30pm on Facebook Live

Dress rehearsal Friday, June 12th at 7:00pm

Readthrough on Wednesday, June 10th, at 7:00pm


From the director:

Having long been a fan of this play, written nearly two and a half thousand years ago, when given the chance from the Majestic Theatre, I jumped as a chance to present a new production of it. This decision was made the Friday before the death of George Floyd, and as director, I was seriously considering choosing another play, for fear of doing a work about civil disobedience and protest at a time in which we are living through the events that have transpired over the last few weeks. But as I began to work, adapting from a text believed by scholars to have been written by Oscar Wilde, I knew that this play was the right choice.


Synopsis:

After 30 years of war between the various Greek armies, Lysistrata of Athens decides the time has come for action. Calling to her cause woman from the many states of Greece, she sets out to bring the men to their knees by women refusing to do the same themselves. Until the men agree to forge a lasting peace, and end the Peloponnesian war once and for all, the women of Greece will deny them their "wifely responsibilities". A battle of the sexes to end the bloodshed, in a new adaptation, civil disobedience is placed at the forefront, as desperation and self- sacrifice reveals the inner steel one would be a fool to ignore any longer.


Please choose ONE of the following sides. Record a video on your phone or computer of you reading the side, and email it to cm.warren@yahoo.com by 5PM on Monday, June 8th. Feel free to include what role you’re interested in within the body of the email.


Some guidelines:

- Perform while seated, trying to frame yourself from the shoulders up. This is what you’ll look like in the video chat during the performance, so we’ll want to see how well you can emote in this limited space.

- Props and costume pieces are encouraged! Whatever you have lying around. Just keep in mind that we can only see your torso and head!

- Actors of any gender, age, race, or ability are invited to audition for any role. We will be casting ten performers and two Emergency Backup Actor, an understudy for all roles who can hop into the digital performance at any time to cover for another actor who might be experiencing technical difficulties.

- In order to participate in the performance, you’ll need a stable internet connection; a smartphone, computer, or tablet that can run Zoom; and a pair of headphones.

- If you have any questions, feel free to email and ask!


CHARACTERS

Lysistrata: The leader of the rebellion.

Calonicé: Lysistrata’s friend.

Lampito: A fierce woman from Sparta.

Ismenia: A Boetian woman, mute because of an unspoken trauma, who finds her voice.

*Ismenia is an expressive role, with only one spoken line, but much opportunity for gravitas and humor.

Myrrhiné: A woman who finds her own power through Lysistrata’s cause.

Stratyllis: An older woman of Athens, who stands her ground against cruelty and violence.

Old Man: The leader of a band of men trying to storm and retake the Acropolis.

Magistrate: A official of the law, who seeks to disabuse the women of their rebellion.

Herald: A messenger of tidings.

Cinesias: The husband of Myrrhiné, driven by his lust to seek her out.

Narrator: What is Majesticpiece theatre without one?


SIDES

Lysistrata:

For nearly thirty years, this war has dragged on. We have watched from afar as our husbands, our fathers, our lovers, and our sons have taken up arms against each other, fighting to spill blood, seize land, and defend one's pride. It has carried on so long, that now those which we sent to the front of the line, to face the gravest of dangers, were not even alive when this war ignited. And do they know why they fight it? Do any of us remember what caused it.


Calonicé:

Spartans? You can’t be serious. The Gods have afflicted your mind. The Spartan Women... if they could be called as such. Why would they agree to anything? They look at us, and see us as weak, ornaments to be dressed up in yellow frocks, kept at home by our men to stoke the fire, bear their children, and bend to their wills.

Myrrhiné:

Wait. You guys get enjoyment out of it? I mean, sure, it is something you do, but it never seemed like that big of a deal. And do we not owe it to our husbands?


***


I will brave everything with my dear allies, on whom Nature has lavished virtue, grace, boldness, cleverness, and whose wisely directed energy is going to save the State.


Lampito:

You do realize they're men; they will just find it somewhere else. When my husband left for battle, I went out to procure myself a leathern consolation, a full eight inches. It is not like we could stop them from seeking it out from the local brothel. They are hungry wolves when deprived.


Old Man:

Break the door down, Men of Athens. Do not stop, even for the chafing of your shoulders under the weight of the olive stocks. To believe that once more we would be called to break free our Citadel from the knavery of unworthy usurpers, and lo, to have to free it from the vindictiveness of our own wives. The shame they bring! Do we not allow them to dwell within OUR houses, and sate themselves on OUR bread?


Stratyllis:

What do you mean by setting the acropolis ablaze, Old Death-in-Life? Do you intend to cremate yourself? And I will continue to extinguish it. By Artemis, I will call forth the arrows of her virginal rage to strike you down.


***


Oh dear, was the water to hot? You men, you are too emotional. I simply was watering you, to help you bloom anew. Such Dainty little flowers are thee, it seems.


Magistrate:

Ah, what din they do raise up, banging on their pots and their tambourines, keening for want of Adonis. Were you at the last assembly day? Demostratus, whom heaven confounds! was saying we must all go over to Sicily — and lo! his wife was dancing round repeating: Alas! alas! Adonis, woe is me for Adonis! Demostratus was saying we must levy hoplites at Zacynthus — and lo! his wife, more than half drunk, was screaming on the roof: "Weep, weep for Adonis!" Do you not blush, you women, for your wild and uproarious doings?


Cinesias:

Oh! I beseech you, go and call her to me! Quick, oh! be quick! Life has no more charms for me since she left my house. I am sad, sad, when I go indoors; it all seems so empty; my victuals have lost their savour. Desire is eating out my heart!


***


Myrrhiné, my little darling Myrrhiné, what are you saying? Come down to me quick. Not want you! Why, here I stand, stiff with desire! Oh! Myrrhiné, Myrrhiné, in our child's name, hear me; at any rate hear the child! Little lad, call your mother.


Narrator:

Welcome all to Majesticpiece Theater's production of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata. Set during the

fiery passions of the Peloponnesian War, a group of women, dismayed by the prolonged fighting - now in its third decade - endeavors to force the hands of their husbands and lovers to bring an end to it, and achieve peace, all by waging a battle of their own. But as to the tactics they choose to employ, I will not say. Instead, let us join our Heroine, Lysistrata, as she paces the flagstones of a public square, steeling herself for the task at hand.

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