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February 21, 2003

VITERBO TO TAKE PART IN INTERNATIONAL, THEATRICAL ANTI-WAR PROJECT MARCH 3

LA CROSSE, Wis.--The Viterbo University Student Theatre board will join in a global effort to protest war as they present a staged reading of Lysistrata on Monday, March 3 at 7 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center Recital Hall.

The Viterbo reading of Lysistrata is one of five being done in Wisconsin and one of more than 250 being done in the world on March 3 as part of The Lysistrata Project, an organized, international anti-war protest. In New York city, where the project originated, dozens of teams of actors and directors will read Lysistrata in public spaces throughout the day and will then present an all-star reading of the play that evening.  Plus, readings will be done in Argentina, Israel, Lebanon, Germany, and many more countries.

A comedy by Aristophanes, Lysistrata examines the lives of women from opposing states who join together to stop a war by refusing to sleep with their husbands until the war has ended.  Powerless in their society and distraught over too many of their children being slaughtered in battle, the women take the only tactic available to them: withholding sex.  After matronly stormtroopers take over the building where public funds are kept, the women rise to end the war until; desperate for intimacy, the men finally agree to lay down their swords and see their way to achieving diplomatic peace.

Lysistrata provides a humorous entree into a healthy community dialogue: What can we do on a local level to stop "diplomacy by violence" in our world?

"Lysistrata presents anti-war themes in a more comedic and less in-your-face sort of way," says Viterbo student Amanda MacLeish, who is co-directing the play along with fellow theatre student Jennifer Spridco. This event will also involve some University of Wisconsin-La Crosse students.

Explaining the purpose and wishes for the project, Rick Walters, theatre professor at Viterbo, said, "I hope, at the very least, that it stimulates thought and dialogue among participants and those who see the readings…The war issue is so big and it feels like it’s out of the hands of the individual. It’s important for us as a community to be more actively aware of the process and about what going to war means."

When asked why the students chose Lysistrata he responded, "because it allows us to laugh about a very serious subject. Humor is very healing and the subject matter of this play is very timely. Theatre, like always, is a natural release. It gives us a chance to step back and look at the circumstances and whether we agree or disagree, and to actively be responsive to it."

The Lysistrata  project was organized by Theatres Against War, part of the North American Cultural Laboratory, an organization devoted to the mission of creating original theatre that advances the craft and creative methodologies of the theatre artist while contributing to the development of contemporary experimental theatre in North America.

 The reading of Lysistrata is free and open to the public, but a freewill offering will be accepted at the door to benefit Doctors without Borders, an international volunteer organization of doctors who travel the globe providing medical assistance to countries in need.

For more information on The Lysistrata  Project visit the official Web site at: www.lysistrataproject.org.
EDITORS: PLEASE NOTE STUDENTS FROM YOUR CITIES/TOWNS

STATE CITY FIRSTNAME LASTNAME YEAR
FL SouthwestRanches Sarah WhitneyFinkel Soph.
IOWA CedarRapids Erica Lloyd Fresh.
IOWA Hudson Dixie Roberts Soph.
IOWA Washington Emily Jewell Fresh.
MN BrooklynPark Kayla Sundean Fresh.
MN CirclePines Amanda Davis Jr.
MN Duluth Abby DeSanto Fresh.
MN St.Cloud Adam Terry Jr.
MN St.Paul Derrick Harper Sr.
MN Richfield Colleen Kachelmeier Fresh.
WI Cashton Valentina Sales Soph.
WI DeForest Jennifer Spridco  Sr.
WI Ellsworth Matt Reis Jr.
WI Fitchburg Jessica Goodman Fresh.
WI Fridley Paul McGuire Soph.
WI Greendale Rob Koch Soph.
WI Kendall Donna Woodworth Fresh.
WI LaCrosse David Gardiner Professor
WI LaCrosse Mariana Osorio Soph.
WI LaCrosse Kacy Schmitt Sr.
WI LakeDelton David Warren Sr.
WI Madison Ellie Boucher Sr.
WI Maribel AmandaLeigh Zeitler Soph.
WI Merrimac Amandah MacLeish Sr.
 WI Merrimac Jamie Olah Soph.
WI Stoughton Amy Klubertanz Jr.
WI Waupaca Jessica Hadley Sr.

*This project also includes members of the UW-L community.  They are:
Nikki Andrews
Matt Burgos
Tim Groves
Katie Laughlin
Karen Sobczek
Corey Sorenson
 

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