The world-premiere adaptation of LYSISTRATA by
the renowned puppet artist, writer and director Theodora Skipitares –
which mixes Aristophanes’ ancient comic tale about a group of Greek
women who withhold sex from their husbands and lovers with video and
newsreel footage of actual modern-day international sex strikes – being
presented by La MaMa ETC in association with Skysaver Productions, with
an opening set for Sunday, February 6 at the Ellen Stewart Theatre (66
E. 4 St.) in Manhattan.

The following performances are offered for review:
Friday, February 4 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, February 5 at 7:30 pm
Sunday, February 6 at 2:30 pm
Directed and adapted by Theodora Skipitares, LYSISTRATA has an original
score written and performed by circus composer Sxip Shirey. Choregraphy
for LYSISTRATA is by Angela Harriell, director/choreographer of The Love
Show, the dance company that bills itself as “a little cabaret, a little
ballet and a whole lot of rock and roll.” The Love Show most recently
Ms. Skipitares applies a variety of theatrical and multi-media twists to
the 2500-year-old tale of LYSISTRATA and her fellow Greek women’s ploy
to convince the men of ancient Greece to find a peaceful end to war by
withholding sexual privileges: from various forms of puppetry to music,
choreography, burlesque, a Greek chorus attired in masks and costumes
inspired by the ancient Roman Circus and – by way of contrast between
the fanciful and the serious – newsreel and video of several sex strikes
that have taken place in recent years around the globe, including “The
Strike of the Crossed-Legs” conducted by the girlfriends of gang lords
in Colombia, a strike in Kenya in the wake of a deadly, corrupt
election, and an ongoing naked protest by farmers in Mexico City in
retaliation for government appropriation of land.
LYSISTRATA features a cast that includes Antonevia Ocho Coltes (in the
title role of Lysistrata), Daniel Irizzary (as the Magistrate and
Cinesias), Minna Taylor (as Myrrhine), Raquel Cion (Calonice) and
others. Puppet design is by Cathy Shaw, Theodora Skipitares and Cecilia
Schiller, lighting design is by Jesse Belsky, and costume design is by
Lara de Bruijn. Andrea Balis is dramaturg.
As well, LYSISTRATA reunites Ms. Skipitares with circus composer Sxip
Shirey, who has written original music and lyrics as he did previously

In its review, The New York Times called THE TRAVELING PLAYERS PRESENT
THE WOMEN OF TROY “an inspirational play…a dark gem.” “This
collaborative work packs a thought-provoking and emotional impact in a
brief space of time,” wrote Show Business Weekly. And
called WOMEN OF TROY “a unique experience…it combines its elements very
well and creates an atmosphere of inspiration.”
Theodora Skipitares has been creating large-scale theatre works with
puppets for more than 25 years, making her La MaMa debut with
UNDERGROUND in 1992. Ms. Skipitares recently presented TRILOGY about
which The New York Times wrote: "With abundant ingenuity, Theodora
Skipitares makes the Trojan War, a central saga of Greek tragedy, a
puppet spectacular." Other credits include THE AGE OF INVENTION,
works have been produced throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia. She has
received numerous grants and awards, including Guggenheim and
Rockefeller Fellowships, six NEA grants, and a UNIMA Citation for
Excellence in Puppetry. In 2005, Ms. Skipitares’ adaptation of
Euripides’ IPHIGENIA won two New York Innovative Theatre Awards. In
2000, she received the American Theatre Wing Design Award for A HARLOT’S
PROGRESS and in 2004, she won the Helen Merrill Distinguished
Playwriting Award. In 2000, Ms. Skipitares was a Fulbright Fellow in
India where she created two original works.
Sxip Shirey has played the exploding circus organ for the pyro-technic
clowns of the Daredevil Opera Company at the Sydney Opera House and the
Kennedy Center, industrial flutes for acrobats on mechanical jumping
boots at The New Victory Theater in New York, tamponophone with The
Bindlestiff Family Cirkus at Bonaroo, hillbilly music for gypsies in
Transylvania and gypsy music for hillbillies in West Virginia with The
Luminescent Orchestrii. Shirey has performed at Boston’s First Night as
support act for Dresden Dolls US tour; at The Round House in London; at
Joe’s Pub, The Knitting Factory and CBGB’s in New York; at TED in
Monterey, California; at the Big Ears Festival, Edinburgh Fringe
Festival; and at the Adelaide Fringe Festival in Australia. Shirey
worked with Chorographer Heidi Lasky and disabled dancers on
"GIMP,"which had a Boston Premiere at The Institute of Contemporary Art;
and composed for the feature film “Hotel Gramercy Park” by director
Douglas Keeve (Unzipped).


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