Kollegi Theater 2017: Lysistrata – a comedy by Aristophanes
Our most recent theater project takes us from cold Engelberg to warmer, more southerly parts: Greece – more specifically, to Athens. Once again, a classical Greek work has fascinated us, but in contrast to last year’s piece, which was set in the fantastic world of gods and goddesses, this year’s piece is grounded in the real world. Our theme? War and peace – within the realms of both politics and gender. Apparently, these are recurring themes in the history of mankind! This time, however, the basis is a 2,500-year-old comedy! The background for this piece was indeed a real war. When the piece was first performed in the year 411 B.C., the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta had been waging for twenty years. Seven years later, Athens lost.
Lysistrata, Aristophenes‘ pacifist cry of warning, was useless. „It was remarkable, however, that he was even allowed to issue this without being taken to military court and tried for undermining military morale or defeatism. It remains a lasting glorious example of Attic democracy“ (Georg Hensel: Spielplan 1, Munich 1992). Was it permissible only because Aristophenes’ cry of warning appeared in the form of a comedy?
Today, wars are still waged, as seemingly endless and often useless attempts to make peace still take place. Are we none the wiser than before? Nor has the gender issue been resolved. Nonetheless, the piece embodies spiellust, joy and laughter. It must have been like that 2,500 years ago, as well – even when war was real and immediate for the audience of the time.
Has the play – the comedy – possibly had an effect?
We hope you will enjoyed the performance!