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IUP to stage updated version of Greek comedy

on April 22, 2013 10:50 AM

Theater-by-the-Grove at Indiana University of Pennsylvania will close its 2012-13 season with “Lysistrata,” by Aristophanes, at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and May 1-4. A 2 p.m. matinee will be offered on Sunday.

Performances will be presented on the Waller Hall Mainstage of the IUP Performing Arts Center.

The TBTG production will provide a radical updating of this 2,600-year-old Greek comedy.

Originally written and set in ancient Greece during the Peloponnesian War, this bawdy comedy offers a surprisingly progressive view of gender relations and anti-war sentiment.

Translator Sarah Ruden provides a racy and hilarious 21st century version of Aristophanes’ combination of jokes, music and ridicule. “Lysistrata” was first performed in Athens in 411 B.C. and, due to its popularity, has survived more than two millennia and seen countless adaptations.

Aristophanes, the great comic playwright of ancient Athens, authored approximately 40 plays between 425 and 388 B.C., 11 of which survive today. His major satirical target was the ongoing war with Sparta, but Aristophanes lambasted many other aspects of everyday city life.

Aristophanes’ gift for mockery is fully evident in “Lysistrata,” as the titular heroine leads the women of Greece in a sex strike to bring an end to the war. Behind the hilarity, however, resides a deeper and relevant message for modern audiences.

Director Jason Chimonides said, “Our approach to the play seeks to explore how contemporary college students relate to and intuitively interpret the universal themes embedded in the script: most essentially, that men are no longer going to rule our world, politically. They are not going to call the shots. To students coming of age in a radically interconnected and increasingly democratized world, the play gains a fascinating new resonance.”

Tickets for “Lysistrata” are available online at and in advance at the Hadley Union Building, located on Pratt Drive of the IUP campus.

Tickets may also be purchased with a credit card, Monday through Friday, by calling the HUB box office at (724) 357-1313. Seats remaining will be sold at the door starting 45 minutes before each performance. Tickets are priced at $14 for regular admission, $12 for senior citizens and groups of 15 or more, and $8 with a university I-card.

For more information, contact the Lively Arts at (724) 357-2787 or email

Theater-by-the-Grove is produced by the Department of Theater and Dance of the College of Fine Arts. It is funded, in part, by the IUP Student Cooperative Association.

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