(Illustration by Aubrey Breardsley, 1896) A depiction of the beautiful Lysistrata, soon to make her way to Walton Auditorium.
by Sumanth Maddirala ‘18
At each term’s end, the stage of Walton Auditorium is blessed with a performance produced by many fine actors and technical theater students. This year, the Theater Production staff has decided to truly entertain the audience by making comedy the central theme throughout each show. Last term brought the farce See How They Run to the stage. However, this term we are blessed with not one, but two classic productions.
The first, Lysistrata, takes place in the age of war, similar to that of the Peloponnesian era from classic history. The story is centered around four women who, along with many others, decide to stop having sex with their husbands until they agree to sign a peace treaty to bring the war to a close.
Meanwhile, the second production, The Frogs, pokes fun at the deceased playwrights Euripides and Aeschylus, whom the God of Wine Dionysus brings back to life with the hope of reviving good poetry.
Both these productions are ancient Greek classics, and the George School theatrical team is attempting to replicate these traditional comedies to demonstrate that these shows can truly transcend time and place. Ancient Greek plays often poked fun on the basis of two recurring themes: the gods and the politicians. This is well reflected in both plays as Lysistrata consistently taunts political leaders, while The Frogs recurrently pokes fun at the Greek gods, namely Dionysus.
Last term’s production, See How They Run, featured a house setting. For the upcoming shows, however, the stage crew has decided to use a traditional Greek setting. The stage scene will be characterized by a traditional Greek Wall as the background, carved with several niches and complemented with traditional Greek architecture. In terms of lighting effects, Lysistrata will have very few to resemble a more natural lighting scheme. However, The Frogs, which takes place in Hell, will have several flashy lighting effects to flare up the show.
There’s a lot to look forward to in this two-in-one package of theater productions. The audience may be delighted to know that, in addition to having the exact same backdrop and stage elements, both shows will feature the exact same cast: a whopping ensemble of forty actors! Both plays will run for an hour, and will be separated by an intermission. When asked what the audience should be looking forward to in the coming shows, Mo West, the faculty director of the shows replied that, “they should be most looking forward to laughing!”
Get ready for two hours of classical nonstop comedy and entertainment, because Lysistrata and The Frogs will be coming to George School from Thursday, February 16 through Saturday, February 18 only at Walton Auditorium.