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February 27, 2014

CSU theatre department takes on Greek comedy

By Hannah Corcoran

“Lysistrata”, the newest production from Cleveland State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance, will be playing Feb. 27 until March 9 at the Allen Theatre Second Stage at PlayhouseSquare. 

“Lysistrata”, originally written by Aristophranes in 411 B.C., is directed by Allan Byrne, a theatre professor at Cleveland State University.

The play is a Greek comedy about a woman with a plan to end the Peloponnesian War, while fighting for equal treatment of women.  Lysistrata’s plan involves the women in Athens refraining from having sex with their husbands until a peace treaty is signed to end the war.

This version is a 1980s translation, according to Byrne.  It combines elements of modern style and ancient Greek style.

Music plays a starring role in “Lysistrata”.  There are 25 pieces of music in the play, ranging from Mozart to Louis Armstrong.

“The chorus really drives the play through,” Byrne said.

“Lysistrata” comments on war and the treatment of women in society by using humor.  The play is filled with sexual jokes and puns.

“It’s ultimately a very joyous play,” Byrne said.

According to Byrne, the Department of Theatre and Dance choses a different time period to do a play from every four years.  This year, it was time to do a play from the ancient Greek period.

“The students read the play in theatre history and were really excited about it,” Byrne said.  “They really wanted to do this play.”

The ensemble is made up of theatre majors and minors.

“Everyone has an equal contribution and stands out in part,” Byrne said.

The play is $5 for Cleveland State University students.