Posted by apangburn in Classical Theatre, Improbable Fictions
Have you ever laughed at a joke that was blatantly overtly sexual, or a fart joke, and had a friend or parent chastise you? “That humor is so crude and disgusting! Find something more civilized!” And then, if it’s your parents, they sometimes go off and mutter about the way things are going downhill these days, and how back in their day humor was all clean…
The literary among you may well counter with Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales,” citing the string of fart jokes in the Miller’s Tale. But the theatrical among you would do better to thank the Greek playwright Aristophanes for making crude humor a classic in his play Lysistrata, which the staged reading troupe Improbable Fictions performed at the Kentuck Art Center during the artistic week leading up to the Druid City Arts Festival.
Directed by Steve Burch, a professor of theatre at UA, Lysistrata is a comedy written in frustration over the long, bloody Greek civil war between city-states Athens and Sparta, the Peloponnesian War. In the play, the women of Greece who have been left behind by their warring husbands and lovers, have become increasingly frustrated. The Athenian woman Lysistrata (Natalie Hopper) has decided to put an end to the fighting by forcing the men to make peace. So she convinces the other Greek women to withhold from their men something they desperately would want: sex.
The comedy that erupts from there often involves the rather strong sexual desires of both the men and the women. While the women attempt to pull off ridiculous antics to convince Lysistrata to let them leave their siege of the Acropolis, the men have slightly more… obvious problems.
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