The University Theatre presents
by Aristophanes
translated & adapted by 
Jeffrey Henderson

September 29 - October 8, 2000

Directed by
J. E. R. Friedenberg

 Scenic Design by 
 Mary Wayne-Thomas

Costume Design by
Dixon Reynolds

 Lighting Design by 
 Frank Ludwig

Stage Manager
Jennifer Wynne*


Anita Woolley

Melissa Jones

Julia Schmidt

Erin Lichtenstein

Women’s Choral Leader Kate Lambert

Men’s Choral Leader 
Joey Picard

Jason Romaine

Nick Kinder*

Spartan Herald 
Lee Briggs*

Kate Roberts

Women’s Chorus 
Lindsay Barr
Emily Conrad
Jen Deluca
Lauren Raimer
Katie Shaver

Men’s Chorus 
Brian Gibson
Jeff Margevich*
Austin Vanassa
Adam Winck

* Member of The Anthony Aston Players


The action occurs in Athens in the spring of 411 bce and is performed without intermission.



Technical Director
Douglas W. Brown

Costume Shop Supervisor 
Lisa Weller

Audience Services Coordinator 
Shanda Smith

Assistant Stage Managers
Cambra Overend, Matthew Verga*

Master Carpenter 
Sarah Storminger*

Scenic Carpenters
Aaron Bokros*, Matthew Fuller*
Joseph Gera*, Briana Keeling
John Stallings, Michael Wright

Scenery & Props Crew
Brian Cinc, Roderick Eason
Jonathan Fenton, Scott Francis, Matthew Hale,Greg A. Herzog, Brett Hickman, Sean McGuire, Jess McKay, Ryan Ramsey, Ryan Sbarra, Ben Snow, Elodie Sutton, John Zboyovski

Paint Crew
John Beaver, Detra Chamber
Catie Griffin, Kerry Hollingworth, Melissa Jordon, Carol Merritt, 
Marie Szczurowski, Lea Ternes,
Lamont Thompson, Jeffrey Tierney

Hair & Makeup Design
Patricia Mueller

Costume Shop Assistants 
Kate Lewis, Laura Maready, 
Corinne Zadik*

Costume Construction Crew
Shontay Hayes, Bridget Henry
Natalie Hines, Kevin Lerch, Brent McGuirt, Ashley Moore
Nicole Patterson, Adrienne Sheffler, Laura Weir

Tracey Stephens

Master Electrician
Matt Fuller*

Lightboard Operator
Lauren Thompson*

Electrics Crew
Rupen Amin, Will Andrews
Thomas Norton, Samantha Rogers
Karl Sondermann, Parks Underdown
Poster Design Kelly Murdoch-Kitt*

Bill Ray III

Webpage Photography
Jonathan Christman

Publicity Assistant
Kelly Murdoch-Kitt*

Box Office & Front of House Staff
Ali Ayala*, Alannah DiBona, 
Alexandra LeCrone, Everett Long
Jonathan Loudin, Noreen Walsh, Lutrell Williams

Front of House Crew 
Steve Arndt, Lindsay Childers
Amber Love, Nick Meserve, Angie Meyer, Kendra Stewart, Lili Vo

Theatre Office Assistants 
Nick Kinder*, Cambra Overend,
Maya Sanford, Amber Wiley*

 * Member of The Anthony Aston Players


Lillian Shelton
Patricia Marshall
North Carolina School of the Arts
UNC Chapel Hill
Winston-Salem Little Theatre


Aristophanes was an ardent pacifist and strong advocate of the democracy. At the time Lysistrata was performed (411 bce), Athens was in the 20th year of a war with Sparta (and allies) and had recently suffered one of the most significant losses of the war — the loss of a fleet of more than 100 triremes off Sicily.

The causes of the conflict, like many internecine conflicts, lie rooted in the 6th and 5th century and the attempts of the Persians to conquer the region. The Spartan and Athenian forces, working in tandem, had successfully repelled these attempts. Now, these former allies were pitted against one another both militarily and politically — land vs. sea and democracy vs. oligarchy. 

Women in Athens were perhaps little more than domestic slaves. They had no voice in the politics or governance of the land and were stereotyped as wanton and fond of drink. To conceive of women acting in concert to end the war was absurd and laughable. These were not 20th century women with rights and voices; these were chattel, tending the hearth and giving birth to the men who would rule the state.

This then is Aristophanes’ ‘happy idea’ that this powerless group, these women, could use the only tool available to them — their bodies — and force an end to this devastating conflict. The women in the play, Lysistrata, Myrrhine, Calonice and Lampito, have never known a time without war, a time when young men were not serving their country – often with their lives.

It is an act of absurd desperation. Aristophanes, in using humor (base and vulgar though it is) to address the real issues of the war and its decimating effect on Athens, is desperately trying to find a way to show the men – Athens’ rulers – the folly and cost of this war.

Sex sells, then as now, and humor can sometimes disarm prejudice. We hope you will watch this unfold on both levels – enjoying the humor and recognizing the argument.

— John Friedenberg

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Webpage by Jonathan Christman- 10/2/2000 Access count: