Worlds Elsewhere Theatre Company Presents:
Worlds Elsewhere Theatre Company Presents: Lysistrata by Aristophanes, Translated by George Theodoridis, Directed By Ilana Greenberg-Sud.
The Greek city-states are at war, but Lysistrata, a woman of Athens, thinks the war is wasteful and stupid, and wants it to end. But her wants are no mere idle musing! She has a plan to make the men in power listen, but she can’t do it alone.
In a socially distant, modern-dress presentation of Aristophanes’ classic comedy, translated to the vernacular by George Theodoridis and edited by Ilana Greenberg-Sud, we’ll learn just how much has and has not changed since the days of Ancient Greece.
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Company Artistic Statement
Theatre, given its nature as a medium made of people in space, has always been a first victim during times of plague.
When the COVID-19 pandemic spread through the world at the start of the year 2020, theatres closed, and millions were left unemployed.
Worlds Elsewhere Theatre Company was founded during this terrifying time. It is our mission to create theatre without a theatre — to create a space online that can serve as a theatrical one. Our company shall create an online space that serves the same function that theatre has served for millennia — as a place of catharsis and healing.
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About This Production
I picked Lysistrata, in part, because it’s a revered Classical comedy that centers the actions of women. More generally, it’s a story of people who aren’t on the front lines of a conflict taking steps on their own to end it. As someone with a long-lived love of charitable and activist theatre, this means a lot to me. Even though the primary adversity we’re facing in the United States (and in many other parts of the world) at the moment is not an open armed conflict, I believe that the important messages about listening to women and the power of peace are relevant and resonant in our present crises.
As we worked our way through the script, I found myself occasionally wincing, as the text did not always live up to my high school memory of how feminist or progressive it was. And yet…what still rang true for today continued to speak so much more loudly than that which seemed antiquated. I chose this modern language translation to capitalize on those elements, and made additional small changes to encourage the audience to see themselves and the problems of the modern world in the show. What I hope to accomplish with this production and the choices that I’ve made as director (besides uproarious laughter) is to remind our audience that everyone has the power to bring about a more peaceful world — especially women.
The ancient Greek world, as portrayed by Lysistrata, has a very binary concept of gender. It is the goal of this production to present this play while still honoring a modern, complex view of gender, so casting decisions were made with the intention of presenting the conflict of the play while still respecting the gender diversity of our cast and audience. We cast the show with a weighting towards the stated preference of our auditioning performers, doing our best to avoid excessive reliance on traditional gender performance.
— Ilana Greenberg-Sud
Worlds Elsewhere Theatre Company
The Greek city-states are at war, but LYSISTRATA, a woman of Athens, thinks the war is wasteful and stupid, and wants it to end. She collects a group of women representing all of Greece (her neighbor, CALONIKI; MYRRHINI, a young Athenian wife and mother; LAMPITO from Sparta; ISMENIA from Boeotia; and THE CORINTHIAN) and suggests a solution: a sex strike. The women of Greece will refuse to have sex with their husbands and lovers until the men end the war. Despite being hesitant, the women agree and swear an oath to refuse all sexual contact until peace is achieved.
To support their cause, the OLD WOMEN OF ATHENS have taken over the Acropolis, keeping the men from accessing the treasury that pays for their war. The OLD MEN OF ATHENS (DRAKIS, PHILOURGOS, PHADRIAS, STRYNIDOROS) attempt to burn down the Acropolis to drive the women out, but are rebuffed by the women, led by STRATYLLIS and including NIKOTHIKI, KALLYKI, RHODIPPI, and KRYTILLI. The MAGISTRATE, accompanied by SKYTHIAN ARCHERS (police) arrives to see why the women are rebelling and convince them to stop, and is humiliated by Lysistrata and her followers before being chased off.
The old men and old women clash again, insulting each other but not accomplishing much.
Lysistrata reappears, bemoaning the fact that many of the women are so desperate for sex they are willing to abandon the cause under the flimsiest of excuses. She begs, persuades, and hounds them into staying, and they eventually agree.
CINESIAS, husband of Myrrhini, arrives with their CHILD and servant MANES to try to persuade her to come home and take care of her “responsibilities’’ as a wife and mother. Lysistrata encourages Myrrhini to tease but ultimately deny her husband, and she does, riling him up and then leaving without alleviating his…condition.
Drakis and his men commiserate over their shared problem with Cinesias. A SPARTAN HERALD arrives, afflicted with the same malady, and begs to meet with the Athenian council to discuss peace.
The men and women face off once more.
Two SPARTAN DELEGATES arrive, ready to talk peace. POLYCHARIDES and another ATHENIAN DELEGATE arrive as well, and the men commiserate before calling for Lysistrata to state her terms and help them negotiate. Lysistrata distracts them with a nude LADY PEACE (The Corinthian, holding a map of Greece). The delegates agree to peace talks and leave the stage.
The delegates celebrate the successful peace talks by getting roaring drunk, chasing off VAGRANTS who have gathered at the gates. Lysistrata and the others celebrate accomplishing their goal, and the imminent return of conjugal relations. The Athenian and Spartan delegates thank the gods for their success, and the play ends.
Cast and Crew
- Emily Clark (Female Chorus; she/her) is an LA-based actor, producer, teacher, director, and YouTuber. Her web series, Stealing Focus, delves into all things Musical Theatre, including reviews and history lessons. She premiered with Worlds Elsewhere in A Midsummer Night’s Charity Stream as Titania. Some favorite shows include Annie (Miss Hannigan), Jane Austen’s Emma Frankenstein (Emma), Mr. Burns: a post-electric play (Edna, LA Premiere), Matt & Ben (Matt Damon), HAiR (Jeanie), and Assassins (Squeaky Fromme). Graduate of UC Santa Cruz, Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, and the Upright Citizens Brigade. Artistic Director of The Unknown Artists, Sacred Fools Theater Company Associate Member. Twitter: @emilyabclark
- Morgan Stutler (Male Chorus; he/him) is an aspiring voice actor and printer technician originally from Michigan, who moved to Richmond, Virginia in early 2018, and has been happy to join Worlds Elsewhere as he works towards a proper presence online. A student of Italian swordsmanship and martial arts, a gamer, LARPer, singer and student of history, Morgan streams on Twitch @MrMorphine482, and is reachable on Twitter @MrMorphine482.
THE WIVES OF GREECE
- Regina Renée Russell (Lysistrata; she/her) is a New York-based actress, writer, and director. Originally hailing from the Bronx and a graduate of Cornell University (B.A. Theatre Arts) and East 15 Acting School in London (M.F.A Acting), Regina’s favorite recent roles include: Trainee: Brimstone Valley Mall, Elaine the Lady of Shallot: The Table Round and The Siege Perilous, Exeter: Occupy: Harry Henry V, Persephone: The Love and Death Trilogy, Hero: Much Ado About Nothing, and Nedriss Narr: Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple. She debuted with WETC as Helena in A Midsummer Nights’ Charity Stream. A lifelong lover of voice acting, listen to Regina continue to fulfill her childhood dreams in the audio drama Primordial Deep as LCDR Talise Asherah, premiering this Halloween. My life matters. Please vote! She can be found on Instagram @reggirenee and Twitter @reginarenee594.
- Meredith Cook (Caloniki; she/her) is making her Worlds Elsewhere debut! She is an actor and playwright, based out of Southern California. Currently, she is getting her Associate’s Degree in Theatre Arts at Fullerton College, and last year she was in a workshop production of Carol Gilligan’s The Scarlet Letter. She’s been doing theatre for fifteen years, and feels so incredibly honored to be working with such amazing people. You can find her on Instagram @meredithinaflowercrown, posting mostly nerdy stuff and pictures of her dog, Daisy.
- Laura Crone (Myrhinni, she/her) is an actress/video essayist/amateur stunt performer/aerialist/aspiring dog mom based out of Los Angeles. She is thrilled to be back with Worlds Elsewhere after playing Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Charity Stream. Other favorite credits include Lilith (She Kills Monsters, Available Light), Shere Khan (The Jungle Book, CATCO Is Kids), Mopsa (The Winter’s Tale, Actors’ Theatre of Columbus), and Stephen Sondheim (The Marxist Genius of Sweeney Todd, David J. Bradley). You can find her talking about film and feelings on her YouTube channel, on Twitter @down_w_lcc, and on Instagram @thelccwontletyoube.
- Sam Logsdon (Lampito, Vagrant #1; they/them) is a voiceover artist from Pittsburgh, PA. They have been producing audio books since 2017, and are the host of the podcast Happy Ever After Party. Sam is also known for their drag persona, Hot Toddie, performing with other queer artist in Pittsburgh’s Hot Metal Hardware troupe – best known for cartoon-inspired acts and pantomiming. Their platforms often bring lightheartedness to more serious discussions of queer rights, reproductive and mental health, and Black Lives Matter. Offstage, Sam enjoys nights out with karaoke and friends, or quiets nights in with tea, a good book, and their three cats.
- Sam Marchiony (Ismenia; she/her), last seen at Worlds Elsewhere as Philostrate in A Midsummer Night’s Charity Stream, is the creator of La Femme Fictionale, a YouTube channel dedicated to feminist media criticism. In addition to subscribing, you can follow her on Twitter @FemmeFictionale. Her other interests currently include collecting Padmé Amidala memorabilia, talking herself out of getting bangs, and loudly singing along to musical theater karaoke while on her quarantine walks. Her birthday is three days after this performance, and she’s hoping for death to fascism and kyriarchy, but donations to our listed causes are good, too.
- Hannah Moran (The Corinthian (Lady Peace); she/her) is over the moon to be acting in another Worlds Elsewhere production! She was previously seen as the unnamed singing fairy in the Worlds Elsewhere production A Midsummer Night’s Charity Stream. Hannah started studying for her Master’s this fall, but she also produces song covers of questionable quality on her YouTube channel. She has the deepest gratitude towards Ilana, Meryl, Kyle, and everyone involved in Lysistrata — a crew of immense talent and immense heart! She can be found on YouTube as Hannah Moran and Twitter @HannahBea_Moran.
- Marian Gonzalez (Manes/Myrrhini’s Baby, Vagrant #2; she/her) is a theatre artist from Los Angeles. She’s the gal you have a crush on from several Fringe and late-night shows (CRUNCH, SERIAL KILLERS). Past credits include NOW OR NEVERLAND (LOFT Ensemble), FIFTY SHADES OF SHREW (Broads’ Word Ensemble), MAD HATTER’S GIN & TEA PARTY (Fever), WAITING FOR WAITING FOR GODOT (Sacred Fools). She was cut out of the forthcoming film ANYWHERE WITH YOU, and looks forward to being cut out of more films in the future. She’s an arm-wrestling champion (LALAW), podcaster, puppeteer, and an actual Martian princess. Much love always to her partner Heatherlynn, and best friend Lemon. You can find out more on her personal website, Marian Gonzalez.
THE “OLD” WOMEN
- Alexandra Vernon (Stratyllis; she/her) is an actor and musician based in NYC. Past credits include Corin in As You Like It, Peep Bo in The Mikado, and Helen in Sin. She also performs lead vocals in her band, Refractory Period. She is very excited to make her Worlds Elsewhere debut.
- Jasmine Garcia (Kallyki; she/her) is thrilled to be making her professional theatrical debut in Worlds Elsewhere’s production of Lysistrata. She was involved in theatre for the majority of her childhood, but sadly her last theatre production until now had been a parody of Once Upon a Mattress called Who Pea’d The Mattress in college. In spite of life getting in the way, she never stopped adoring theatre and seeing shows, both touring and local, whenever possible. She lives with her family (including two German Shepherds named Damon and Abbey), and would like to thank them, as well as all of her friends who never stopped believing she could make performance a part of her life again.
- Bex Silberfein (Krytilli, she/her) is thrilled to be making her professional theatre debut with Worlds Elsewhere! As a recent graduate of Emerson College (BFA Theatre), Bex is thrilled that her past experience of staging entire musicals in her bedroom for her stuffed animals is finally coming in handy for digital theatre! Bex would like to thank her grandparents for letting her rehearse at their house when her internet was out for two weeks, and the cast and crew of Lysistrata for being incredible. She can be found @Bex_Silberfein on Instagram and @MeddlingMeddy on Twitter.
- You might remember Jamie McConnaughy (Rhodippi; she/her) doing a monologue about the internet in the first Worlds Elsewhere performance, or perhaps you’ve been lucky enough to find her writing about The X-Files and movies in general on the internet, or her podcast where she and two of her friends talk about Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, which you can usually find at her Twitter (@elessar42), her Medium page or her tumblr. She also wants to note that she feels unspeakably lucky to have been invited back to work with such talented people, and this is basically the longest she’s ever gone talking about herself without being self deprecating. Progress.
- RJ Mayo (Nikothiki (Female Skythian); they/them) is an actor in Toronto, Ontario, where they are in their second year of a three-year theatre program. Past credits include various roles in Love and Information, Assistant Director for As You Like It, Orsino in Twelfth Night, Helena in All’s Well That Ends Well, and Ophelia in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.
THE “OLD” MEN
- Conor Duffy (Drakis; he/him) is a writer, and Lysistrata marks his first time treading the (virtual) boards since college. Born and raised in Ireland, he now lives in Ohio with his wife, Katherine, where they produce one-page RPGs as Third Country Press. You can keep up with Conor’s sporadic musings on Twitter, where he is @YoungMrDuffy.
- River Lane (Philourgos; she/her/they/them) is a third year Cinema and Media Studies student (which is just an English degree where she studies movies by white men instead of books by white men). This is her first production with both Worlds Elsewhere and professional theatre work, and she’s excited that she got invited. You can find her on Twitter @DreamsRebel or on tumblr at film-lion.tumblr.com.
- Daniel Russell (Phadrias; he/him) is thrilled to be a part of the Worlds Elsewhere production of Lysistrata. You might have seen him as the dude with the lion head in the company’s previous production of A Midsummer Night’s Charity Stream. He’d like to thank all of his collaborators on this project, and to remind you that antifascism starts at home.
- When he is not playing despicable old men like Egeus in A Midsummer’s Night’s Charity Stream, Henry Joseph Kathman (Strynidoros; he/him) is an English Teacher and Video Essayist who writes about Animation, Literature, Film, and Philosophy. From Gothic Literature’s influence within Over the Garden Wall, to an in-depth analysis of the entire Moomin series, he wishes to apply the principles of education to all media. In addition to this, he is also a host of The Pink Aisle Podcast, which examines our complex relationship with Barbie and other girl-oriented properties through the lens of their films. To perform in this company is a great honor, and he hopes that you will consider giving your support in his endeavors (@kathmanhenry on Twitter, Henry Kathman on YouTube).
- Harry Boyd (Cinesias; he/him) has been a professional actor-muso for over six years, since graduating from Guildford School of Acting. Prior to the pandemic, Harry was touring with the west end production of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, as a main role and a trumpet player. Since lockdown, Harry has thrown himself into online theatre, working with established groups such as The Show Must Go Online and of course Worlds Elsewhere Theatre Co, and just finished working on a digital musical Traingle. Having also moved into professional voice acting, Harry is providing the voice for a new sci fi novel and various documentaries. Harry has previously worked with Worlds Elsewhere in their debut production of A Midsummer Night’s Charity Stream, and even with his recent bout with COVID-19, Harry is very excited to be exploring the classics again in Lysistrata! (@harryboydactor on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook, harryboydactor.com)
- Mike Fatum (Spartan Herald; Combat Trainer/Choreographer; he/him) is a host of the Ace of Geeks Podcast, a wonderful excuse for three friends to hang out and talk about the culture that shapes us. He’s also the Community Manager for Star Trek Online, a sword fight choreographer and theatre director in the Bay Area. Black Lives Matter, Trans Rights Are Human Rights. Teach kids compassion early, and put an end to bullying once and for all. You can find him on Twitter @VengeanceGOD.
- Grady W Smithey III (Magistrate; he/him) has played Snout in A Midsummer Night’s Charity Stream for Worlds Elsewhere, Arnold in Sinatra for A Light In Dark Places, Kokol in Marat/Sade for L.I.P. Service, and Grumpy Old Manchild in The Cartoon Physicist’s Very Late 2nd Anniversary. He is probably a mammal. (@snakebitcat on Twitter)
- James Ketelaar (Polycharides, Skythian #1; he/him) is an actor currently based in Charleston, South Carolina, where he has appeared in numerous theatre productions. Follow him on Twitter @docprofessorman, where he has been occasionally known to say funny things. This is his second production with Worlds Elsewhere (Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Charity Stream), and he is excited to be back.
- Matt Medrano (Athenian Delegate, Skythian #2; he/him) is a Los Angeles-based writer and actor. Past roles include college productions of Our Country’s Good (Robert Sideway) and The Laramie Project (Jim Geringer/Harry Woods). When he’s not working, he’s probably working his way through his To-Read pile, checking out local theatre, or practicing his British accent. You can check him out on Instagram @matterscorn. He wants to thank his family and friends for being supportive, and his dog for not barking during rehearsals.
- Jack Nee (Spartan Delegate #1, Skythian #3; No pronouns) can be found in the Driftless Area, currently working in early childhood education by day while having directed Chay Yew’s documentary theatre piece Question 27, Question 28 with Strollers Theatre in February. Occasional dramaturg and researcher regarding protests of yellowface in musical theatre (with gratitude to Sab Shimono and Alvin Ing for help early in the journey). Other nontheatrical projects: cleaning up garbage from a prairie restoration field, and #EllaJenkinsFacts for all of the blatantly false information you could ever need about a remarkable person. Remember Route 127.
- David Kowarsky (Spartan Delegate #2, Skythian #4; he/him) is a voiceover artist, bari-bass vocalist, director/producer of audiodrama, and a co-founder of Worlds Elsewhere Theatre Company. By day, he leverages his Folklore and Mythology degree as a production manager at Cornerstone OnDemand in their Studios division, producing world-class learning content for a global client base of over 7000 companies.
- Ilana Greenberg-Sud (Director/Script Editor; she/her/they/them) has been involved in theatre for 20 years, from backstage to on-stage to front-of-house to management. She especially loves charitable and activist theatre; she has produced and/or directed The Vagina Monologues three times, stage managed The Crucible, co-founding Worlds Elsewhere, and producing WETC’s A Midsummer Night’s Charity Stream, among other projects. She is honored to work with such a talented group of performers, and is excited to share her vision for this weird, wonderful old play. Ilana is currently on social media hiatus, but can be found on Twitter at @melaynebakes, where she can be seen yelling about politics, queer and Jewish issues, and representation in media, as well as being a Giant Nerd.
- Kyle Kallgren (Assistant Director/Dramaturg; he/him) is the co-founder of the Worlds Elsewhere Theatre Company, as well as host of the web series KyleKallgrenBHH. He can occasionally be seen on his YouTube channel.
- Meryl Federman (Producer/Stage Manager/Assistant Director; she/her) was last seen in Worlds Elsewhere’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Charity Stream as Lysander, but has returned to her natural habitat backstage as Producer, Stage Manager, and Assistant Director for Lysistrata, where she mightily enjoys giggling along at the cast’s delightful hilarity and is glad her mic is usually off. She keeps threatening to make a long video essay about Shakespeare but has not yet done so, and once directed an ancient Greek play herself back in college, though it was Oedipus and thus not quite as funny. Vote!
- Dodger Of Zion’s (Technical Director; she/her) last technical work was for Worlds Elsewhere’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Charity Stream, where, in the course of her duties during the show, she was responsible for the spawning of the “Hail the Cone” meme. She streams on Twitch.tv, and is the Philadelphia sports contributor to the weekly YouTube sports podcast The Dumpster Fire. When she’s not streaming or pushing buttons to bring virtual theatre to the world, she can be found playing Animal Crossing, yelling at football, and planting potatoes.
- High school Physics and Math Teacher by day, Jacob Brode (Assistant Combat Trainer/Choreographer; he/him) is thrilled that his decades of obsessively watching Power Rangers has allowed him to assist with the Worlds Elsewhere Theatre Company’s action choreography! Apart from his experience making people on the internet fighting each other look like much larger groups of people on the internet fighting each other, he’s spent over a decade in college and community theatre, with plenty of directing, writing, scenic design, and other production roles under his belt. You can see more of Jake on the Database Ranger’s Power Reviews YouTube channel, where he engages in adventure-filled Power Rangers meta-analyses alongside his wonderful wife, MJ.
Executive Director — Kyle Kallgren
Producer — David Kowarsky
Producer — Ilana Greenberg-Sud
Technical Director — Dodger of Zion
Web Development — Adrianne Greenberg-Sud and Alexandra Vernon
About the Issues
While this isn’t one of our charity productions, charity and social justice remain important parts of Worlds Elsewhere’s mission. To support causes related to themes in this production of Lysistrata that remain relevant to this day, we suggest the following:
- Women’s Issues
- Pacifism and Anti-Violence
- Poverty and Homelessness
- Sex Worker Rights
- LGBTQ+ Issues
Lysistrata is full of references to mythology, memes, and “current” events, just like a late night talk show monologue today. For a full list of references in the show, go here:
Audio, Music, and Image Attributions
Translation by George Theodoridis, and used with permission.
Banner art by Matt Crowley.
Other images are sourced from the public domain via Pixabay, purchased without requirement for attribution via iStockPhoto, or Copyright David Kowarsky, used with permission.
Background Sounds and Music are public domain, sourced via Freesound, with the following exceptions:
- “Tawny Owls 2.wav” by Benboncan appears under a Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License.
- Marketplace audio atmosphere appears under a Creative Commons Sampling+ 1.0 License.
- Tribal Tensions appears under the Audio Hero Standard License.