DANBURY, CT - Mention February and most people think of Valentine’s Day. You know, that day when lovers profess their feelings for one another and shower each other with gifts and affection? Before you jump to the conclusion that the Western Connecticut State University department of theatre arts intends to stage a love story for its spring production, consider that it opens on Leap Day: February 29.
It only makes sense that it’s actually a comedy about withholding love and … err … affection as told by Aristophanes in 411 B.C.
WCSU will stage an adaptation of “Lysistrata” by Aristophanes for two weekends in February and March. Performances will be at 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 29 and March 1; at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 2; at 2 and 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 3; at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 4; at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 9; at 2 and 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 10; and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 11, in the Berkshire Theatre in Berkshire Hall on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. The public is invited. Tickets will be $20 plus ticketing fees. WCSU students with valid I.D. will be admitted free. Because of the subject matter, the show is recommended for mature audiences.
Co-chair of the Department of Theatre Arts Sal Trapani, known for his striking adaptations of many Shakespearean plays, has taken his creative sword to Aristophanes’ traditional Greek theatre to yield a timeless adaptation that is simultaneously classic and contemporary. Trapani’s original songs feature everything from disco to rock, musical theatre to gospel, and will have audience members dancing in the aisles — literally — with members of the cast.
As the men prepare to head off to war, the women, led by Lysistrata, wage their own battle — of the sexes. Apparently even in Aristophanes’ day, the quickest way for women to get their point across was by turning a cold shoulder to the amorous advances of the men in their lives. The only hope for the men was to comply with the social change the women demand: if you want to make love, stop making war.
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‘Lysistrata at WCSU
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The WCSU cast includes Aline O’Connor, of Colchester, as Lysistrata; Casey Perruzzi, of Stratford, and Amy Bentley, of East Lyme, as Cleonice; Alexis Willoughby, of Gaylordsville, and Keila Fontanez, of Peekskill, N.Y., as Lampito; Brianna Bagley, of Stafford Springs, and Katrina Abreu, of Stamford, as Myrrhine; Dana Clark, of Darien, as Ismenia; John Stegmaier, of Plainville, Anthony Mendoza, of Stratford, and Sean Spencer, of Westbrook, as Magistrates; Michael Grispin, of Mahopac, N.Y., as Cinesias; Conor Bartram, of Hamden, as Herald; Andrew Hendrick, of Fairfield, as Men’s Chorus Leader; Jessica Stark, of East Lyme, as Women’s Chorus Leader; and Audrey Twitchell, of Westport, as Reconciliation.
There are a Men’s Chorus and a Women’s Chorus to round out the cast.
The crew will include Sal Trapani as director, Pam McDaniel as producer, Frank Herbert as technical director, Elizabeth Popiel as scenic designer, Lisa Renee Jordan as costume designer, Tom Cuffari as musical director and arranger, Scott Cally as lighting designer, Matt Terzigni as sound designer and Casey Miko as production stage manager.
For tickets or more information, call the Box Office at (203) 837-TIXX or go to www.wcsu.edu/tickets.