FAU’s musical adaption of Lysistrata features sex and an important message on war

Maddy Mesa

Female cast members practice their dance routine is the musical adaptation of Lysistrata. The women of the play have doubts about withholding sex from their husbands to end the war. Photo by Melissa Landolfa.
Female cast members practice their dance routine is the musical adaptation of Lysistrata. The women of the play have doubts about withholding sex from their husbands to end the war. Photo by Melissa Landolfa.

Men reach out their arms longingly toward a group of women. The women seductively flirt back and dance over to them. Next thing you know, there’s an orgy on stage as both men and women can not longer contain themselves, having gone months without sex.

This is the premise of Lysistrata, a musical opening Friday, April 12 at 7 p.m. in FAU’s Studio One Theatre.

According to FAU’s Theatre and Dance website, Aristophanes’ Lysistrata is the story about an Athenian housewife, Lysistrata, who organizes a strike among Greek women urging them to refuse sex to their husbands until the men end the Peloponnesian War.

Jordan Armstrong, a senior theatre performance major, plays Kinesias, one of the many men not getting any action in this play. He describes his character as a cross between Zapp Brannigan from Futurama and Gaston from Beauty and the Beast.

“He thinks he knows everything but is absolutely clueless,” Armstrong says. “Always thinking with the wrong head. Pretty much stereotypical male.”

The play is riddled with sexual innuendoes. Even the columns on the set are phallic-like in appearances.

But amid all the comedy and suggestive choreography, the play has an important message.

“I just think it’s a really powerful commentary on war,” director of the show Laura Wayth, a professor at FAU, says. “I hope that our audience enjoys it and hope that they take something away. Even though its a comedy I think it’s a very serious commentary on war.”

Other cast members seem to have the same feeling. Though funny, this play is more than just penis jokes.

“This play has a lot of messages,” Gerald Arroyo, a senior theatre major who plays a Spartan delegate and Athenian soldier in the play, says. “There’s a message about war, a message about sex, about feminism, peace. The relationship between a man and a woman. There are so many things but it is done in a comedic way.”

During a rehearsal last week, the cast was all smiles and laughs while rehearsing one of their dance routines choreographed by Marcus Davis — but it hasn’t always been a fun ride.

Abbey Perkins, a senior BA Theater Performance major, acts as Lysistrata and Alex Salup, a senior BFA Theater major, as President of the Senate rehearses a scene from Lysistrata. The musical premieres Friday, April 12 at 7pm in Studio One Theater in the Performing Arts building. Photo by Melissa Landolfa.
Abbey Perkins, a senior BA Theater Performance major, acts as Lysistrata and Alex Salup, a senior BFA Theater major, as President of the Senate rehearses a scene from Lysistrata. The musical premieres Friday, April 12 at 7pm in Studio One Theater in the Performing Arts building. Photo by Melissa Landolfa.

“It’s been a little tough, because whenever you’re dealing with a work in progress, things change a lot,” Wayth says. “So our script has changed, the music has changed. It’s a very different thing than doing a play that’s ready made. So there’s been a lot to work to get it to this point.”

“I hope that the audience is entertained by it,” Abbey Perkins, a senior theatre performance major who plays the title role Lysistrata, says. “I hope that they can see the real meaning behind it, even though there is a lot of silly nonsense going on … it is about war and the struggles within it, and a woman trying to peace to her nation.”

Lysistrata will run Friday, April 12 and 19 and Saturday, April 13 and 20 at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, April 20 and Sunday, April 14 and 21 at 1:00 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for faculty, staff, and alumni, $12 for FAU students, and $14 (per person) for groups of 15 or more. For more information, visit FAU’s theatre website.