Lysistrata: Call for Participants
The 2024 CAMP play will be Aristophanes’ beloved 411 comedy Lysistrata, in which the title character organizes a sex-strike in hopes of ending the war between Athens and Sparta. The translation will be Diane Arnson Svarlien’s new, fully metrical version. This will be a minimalist, script-in-hand production, but it will be musical! —with new, original settings of the songs by music director Jerise Fogel and others.
First-time participants are welcome and encouraged! Actors from every background are welcome, and no previous experience is required. There are singing, non-singing, and silent roles, and ways to get involved with the creative team behind the scenes (design, costuming, etc.). Anyone who wants to join the team is welcome. Also, if you play an instrument, we would like to hear from you! Please let us know what you play and at what level.
Dramatic roles include:
- Chorus of Old Men (singing, speaking)
- Chorus of Old Women (singing, speaking)
- Lysistrata: the ringleader! (singing, speaking)
- Athenian women (speaking): Calonike, Myrrhine, unnamed women
- Spartan woman (speaking): Lampito
- Athenian Magistrate (speaking)
- Cinesias, an Athenian husband (singing, speaking)
- Spartan Messenger (speaking)
- Spartan Delegate (singing, speaking)
- Athenian Delegate (speaking)
- Second Athenian (speaking)
Performers will be asked to participate in a zoom table reading at some point in the fall, and live run-throughs in Chicago beginning on Wednesday, January 3rd and continuing Thursday and Friday for a Friday performance. If you are interested in participating, please send as soon as possible an email to email@example.com expressing your interest and what type of role (whether acting, acting/singing, instrumental, or behind-the-scenes) you would like. If you would like a singing role, please submit a short video of yourself singing any song of your choosing. For acting roles, please also submit a video of yourself reading either passage I or passage II below, plus passage III if you are interested in the role of Lysistrata or that of a Chorus member. If you prefer, we are also happy to meet with you live on zoom. We want to know what you sound like and look like; for singers, your voice types will help determine the music. The deadline to submit your clip(s) will be August 31st, 2023 (sooner if you would like your vocal range to influence the composers!).
(please submit either I or II regardless of what role you would like; submit III as well if you are interested in being a Chorus Member or Lysistrata. If you are unsure how to approach these passages, you can find some different examples read in meter by the translator HERE. Fast forward to the 1:38 mark to hear the metrical samples. The text of the passages in the video is HERE).
Laconians, come closer. Stand right here.
And you guys over here. That’s right. Now listen.
I am a woman, but I have a mind
and sense. My intellect is pretty good,
and I have listened in on conversations 5
of older men. That was my education.
Now that I have you all together here,
I’m going to accuse you—yes, both sides!
and rightly so! When holy sacrifices
are performed at the Olympic games, at Pytho, 10
at Thermopylae—I could go on; there’s more!—
on those occasions, like blood relatives,
you act together, sprinkling lustrations
from the same vessel! Then you turn around—
not for any lack of barbarian foes— 15
and kill Greek men, destroy Hellenic cities!
And this concludes the first part of my speech.
... Oh yes, we men promote the wickedness
of women, and we teach them lavish excess,
and that is why they cultivate these counsels.
We’ll go to someone’s workshop, and we’ll say:
“Goldsmith, you know that necklace that you worked on? 5
The other evening, while my wife was dancing,
the rod got loosened from its little hole.
I have to sail to Salamis today;
if you have time, could you stop by tonight
and get the rod back into the hole for her?” 10
III. (anapestic tetrameter)
In the old days, we used to endure and keep quiet, no matter what men would get up to.
That’s because we were wise, and restrained, and of course because men had a rule about
the rule was that we weren’t allowed to. But really, you couldn't describe us as happy.
Sitting inside, we could hear you quite clearly; we knew you were using bad judgment
about serious matters! Yes, things that were huge! But we’d hide our distress, put a smile on,
and we’d ask for the news: “In Assembly today, what did you all decide? The inscription—
you know—the inscription, the peace treaty?” Then, all our husbands would snap at us:
What do you care? Be quiet!” And so, I’d shut up.