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KSC Faculty, Staff Join Worldwide Theatre Event for Peace

KEENE, N.H. - Keene State College faculty and staff will join a worldwide theatre event for peace with a staged reading of the ancient Greek comedy Lysistrata on Monday, March 3, at 7 p.m. in the Alumni Recital Hall of the Redfern Arts Center on Brickyard Pond.

Tickets for the staged reading are free and seating is unreserved. For further information, call Daniel Patterson at 603-358-2198.

Patterson, an associate professor of theatre, will direct the reading by KSC faculty and staff, who will have scripts in hand as they stage the production with minimal scenery and costumes.

The Keene State reading is part of the Lysistrata Project, a grass-roots coalition that will present worldwide readings of Aristophanes’ 2,300 year-old anti-war comedy on March 3. To date, 679 play readings are scheduled in 40 countries, and in all of the 50 U.S. states, to voice opposition to the war on Iraq.

Lysistrata tells the story of women from opposing Greek states who unite to end a war by refusing to sleep with their husbands until the men agree to lay down their swords. 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: they withhold sex.

Fast-forward 2,300 years: swords are now weapons of mass destruction. Faced with the prospect of massive loss of human life - both Iraqi and American - Lysistrata Project participants world-wide take a new tactic and add their voices to the mounting clamor of global anti-war protests. New York actors Kathryn Blume and Sharron Bower conceived the Lysistrata Project in early January.

"Our purpose is to make it very clear that President Bush does not speak for all Americans," says Blume. "Our message is simple: If you oppose this war, then speak up!"

In New York City, dozens of teams of actors will read Lysistrata in public spaces throughout the day and an evening performance is scheduled with Mercedes Ruehl reading the title role joined by F. Murray Abraham, Kevin Bacon, Peter Boyle, Kathleen Chalfont, Delphi Harrington, Kyra Sedgwick, Lori Singer, and David Strathairn.

On the west coast, Julie Christie, Alfre Woodard, Christine Lahti, Mary McDonnell, Barbara Williams, Eric Stoltz, Ed Begley Jr., and Jose Zuniga will appear in a reading in Los Angeles.

Readings are scheduled in international cities such as London, Berlin, Paris, Beirut, and Jerusalem, and groups from nearly every state in the U.S. are hosting events as part of this worldwide theatrical act of dissent. In addition to the Keene State event, readings are scheduled throughout the tri- state region on March 3 at Harlow’s Pub in Peterborough, Franklin Pierce College in Rindge, New England College in Henniker, and in Brattleboro, Vt., and Shelburne Falls, Mass.

A complete list of events and more information about the Lysistrata Project, is available at www.lysistrataproject.com.

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