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Arts and Culture

Students’ Original Musical Adaptation of Comedy Lysistrata

By Maggie Barrett

Student perform original adaptation of the Greek comedy Lysistrata.

Student perform original adaptation of the Greek comedy Lysistrata.

Twenty AU students—including 18 graduating seniors—will perform their musical adaptation of Aristophanes’s classic Greek comedy Lysistrata at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 23, through Saturday, April 25, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 26, in the Katzen Arts Center’s Studio Theatre.  Tickets are $5.

The plot of the original play involves the heroine Lysistrata, wife of Spartan Lampito, convincing the other wives of Greece to withhold sex from their husbands to force the Athenian and Spartan men to stop fighting and end Peloponnesian War.    

Most versions of Lysistrata call for about 11 characters, but with AU's 2009 Department of Performing Arts class boasting its largest-ever graduating theatre and musical theatre class, the student playwrights added characters to ensure each senior  had a substantial role.  The result is a musical that’s spiced with new characters—a same-sex Spartan couple; the goddesses Hera, Aphrodite, and Themis; and the children of Lysistrata and Lampito.
The work is the final project of a DPA Senior Capstone course in which the students were challenged to adapt a nonmusical play into a musical. The musical theatre majors studied musical adaptations of plays written from the time of the ancient Greeks through the 20th century.

The students worked together in teams to address the design, writing, musical, financial, choreographic, and marketing needs of the production.

Lysistrata:  Leah Riklin of Newton, Massachusetts
Lampito:  Victoria Alexandra Mattiuzzo Seijas
Lysistrata and Lampito’s children:
Erika Hall of Foster, Rhode Island
Jeannie Hosler of St. Louis, Missouri
Hera:  Ariana Hodes of Concord, New Hampshire
Aphrodite:  Chelsea-Rae Abbate of the Bronx, New York
Themis: Mia Branco of Newton, Massachusetts