In Aristophanes’ deliciously bawdy comedic play “Lysistrata,” the women take control and teach the men that you can’t make love if you are busy making war.

   February 3, 2011

Lysistrata. Download image.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - In Aristophanes' deliciously bawdy comedic play "Lysistrata," the women take control and teach the men that you can't make love if you are busy making war.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Theatre will present "Lysistrata" - 40 years after it was first staged by the nascent theater program - to mark its anniversary celebration. Much has changed in four decades-the department is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre and a winner of national university-theater Kennedy Center honors.

Theatre UAB will present "Lysistrata" at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 16-19 and at 2 p.m. Feb. 20, 2011, in UAB's Alys Stephens Center Sirote Theatre, 1200 10th Ave. South. This show contains adult language and themes. Tickets are $15 and $18; $7 for students and $12 for UAB employees and senior citizens. Call 205-975-2787 for tickets. Visit the UAB Department of Theatre at

In the play, written in 411 BCE, Lysistrata channels her frustrations into an extraordinary mission to end the pointless 20-year Peloponnesian War. Longing for the return of their soldier husbands, the women of Greece led by clever Lysistrata unite and vow to stop making love until the men stop making war. The women seize the Athenian acropolis and agree to be celibate. The effects of this agreement on the men finally compel them to make peace. Lysistrata proves to the women, who are determined to preserve their traditional family life, that they have the intelligence and judgment to make wise political decisions. What begins as a tenuous solidarity results in hilarious empowerment in this quintessential battle of the sexes.

Vessela Warner, Ph.D., assistant professor of theater history in the UAB Department of Theatre, will direct the production. Warner considers "Lysistrata" to be less about politic struggles and more about the other war, the war of the sexes. "Although times have changed, the relationship between men and women has remained set within easily distinguishable, universal boundaries: it's a continuous tug-of-war, a game of constant rejection and attraction. In our production, we try to examine the gender conflict in different situations and on various levels: social, political, domestic, generational and individual."

The all-Alabama student cast includes Catie Cole of Demopolis as Lysistrata; Emily Parks of Huntsville as Calonice; Daniel Martin of Trinity as Lampito; Natalie Kinsaul of Birmingham as Myrrhine; Mallorie Yance of Chelsea as Women's Chorus Leader; Kat Burchham of Homewood as Chorus Woman; Alana Jordan of Birmingham as Woman No.1; Adrienne Angel Lowe of Irondale as Woman No. 2; Noah Holcomb of Birmingham as Men's Chorus Leader; Brett Blaylock of Birmingham as Chorus Man; Jared Funderburg of Pell City as Cinesias; James York of Florence as Councilor; Jim Earley of Jasper as Spartan Herald; Bradley Foster of Vestavia Hills as Spartan Ambassador; and Ellis Oswalt of Oxford as Athenian Ambassador.

About the UAB Department of Theatre

The UAB Department of Theatre has won the highest honors awarded to university theaters, including best in region from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF). In 2008, UAB's production of "In the Blood" was one of three shows chosen by KCACTF from 300 in consideration nationwide. Faculty members in the department continue to work professionally in addition to teaching. UAB Theatre performances are presented at the Alys Stephens Center, UAB's own world-class performing arts center. This year the department celebrates its 40th anniversary. It is part of the UAB College of Arts and Sciences, home to academic disciplines that include the arts, humanities, sciences and the School of Education.