Lysistrata was a play about a group of women who decide to take matters into their own hands in order to get their husbands to stop fighting a war and make peace with the other parties. They did so by restraining from sex and “beating up” the men every time they tried to commit an act of war. Also, the women seized the treasury in order to put themselves in control of the country’s financial management. The women teased and tortured the soldiers and men until they had no choice to give up, and make peace with the other countries. (? 11) The audience feels an atmosphere of humorous tension between the women and men. (? #5) The stage was used in a very basic, open manner. The background/walls were designed to portray city scenery, with a cafe, pawn broker shop, whiskey shop, etc. , closely stuck together. (? #7) The rest of the stage was wide open space in the middle, allowing much room for free movement and physical play. (? #2) Seeing and hearing what was going on onstage was very easy as the actors all projected their voices very well, and the colors were vibrant and differentiated well.
Every sound from the men’s grunts and groans to the women’s soft giggles from the top of the treasury was easily heard. (? #3) The costumes followed. The colors of the women’s dresses did not blend with the background, and neither did the camouflage, army-depicting outfits of the men. Also, the women wore usual makeup, just as any woman would (blush, mascara, eye liner), while the men wore none. (? #8) The lighting of the play was very stable, not changing much throughout the play. The spotlight remained on the front of the stage, but the dim tone of it provided a mood of change.
A mood as though something new was going to be established was presented. (? #9) Though the actors never directly speak to the audience, there is one scene where one of the soldiers turns to the audience when talking to his crew in a motivational manner. Other than that, the closest thing to interaction with the audience is the actors walking through the stair aisles between the seats in the audience. (? #6) The play moved at a very efficient pace. It allowed for a sensible plot of a good length.
The play lasted only a little over 65 minutes. The rhythm was formed by a back and forth bashing between the men and women, where the men would decide to stand up to the women and repeatedly are knocked back down. (? #4) Though all the men and women were in conflict with each other, some characters were more involved than others. The major characters, such as Lysistrata, have a bigger role. She, started the whole strike on sex, gathering the women and putting them to an oath to restrain from it until peace is restored.
The minor characters however, such as the Spartan Envoy, were seen and added humor, but did not a play a huge role in the plot. He for instance took the order to have the peace treaty signed by the others. Without the Spartan Envoy however, Lysistrata would’ve never called off the strike. (? #10) My favorite performer in the play was Cinesias, as he was a hilarious character. His struggle with his sexual needs to be fulfilled caused him much frustration as his wife kept intentionally delaying what he wanted to get pillows, blankets, etc, just to live up to the oath. ? 1) Lysistrata does seem to present a message that what the government is doing is not working, and needs a change. The wars being fought aren’t as complicated as they seem to us, and maybe it’s simply that a fresh pair of eyes needs to look at these situations. It also passes a message that men can sometimes get ahead of themselves and almost look foolish, regardless of how highly they think of themselves. This is also the feeling it leaves you with. (? 14). All in all, this play exceeded my expectations, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.