Greek playwright Aristophones, ("The Frogs," "The Clouds," "The Birds") lived from 445 to 380 B.C. His play "Lysistrata" takes place at the start of a third decade of the Peloponnesian War between the Greek city states Athens and Sparta. Distraught by the ongoing loss of their men, and with little prospect for change, the women of Greece decide to take action. The Athenian wives take over the treasury that is funding the war. Then , in concert with the Spartan women, they take an oath to withhold sex from their warring husbands until the soldiers agree to lay down their arms and find peace - on the battlefield and at home.

Aristophanes plays are the only surviving examples of the Old Comedy tradition - in which plays were staged as parts of contests, and comedies were extremely racy. "Lysistrata" is no exception: The bawdy comedy features an ongoing exchange of R-rated double- and single-entendre sex jokes that might make Benny Hill blush. Indeed, until the 20th century, there were very few productions of the play, which was deemed to obscene. The play, however, also conveys impassioned commentary on the cost of war to society, as well as some seemingly timeless insights into the war between the sexes.



The Furniture Factory reading of Lysistrata benefits MADRE, 121 West 27th Street, Room 301, New York, NY 10001 Phone: (212) 627-0444 Fax: (212) 675-3704

From the Madre website: MADRE is an international women's human rights organization that works in partnership with women's community-based groups in conflict areas worldwide.

As a human rights organization, MADRE does much more than document and condemn abuses. We work with women who are affected by violations to help them win justice and, ultimately, change the conditions that give rise to human rights abuses.

MADRE provides critical shipments of food, medicine, educational supplies and other material aid; supports community development programs and training that enables women to play leadership roles in their homes, communities, countries and the international arena; campaigns internationally to make human rights law relevant and accountable to the people it is meant to serve. enables women from local organizations to take an active role in the process of creating and improving international law; communicates the real-life impact of US policies on women and families confronting violence, poverty and repression around the world.


The Bonstelle Reading of "Lysistrata" will benefit Detroit's Freedom House, 2630 W. Lafayette, Detroit, MI 48216-2019, (313) 964-4320

From the Freedom House website: Freedom House offers temporary shelter and assistance for people escaping persecution and seeking protection because they fear for their lives.

The doors at Freedom House are open to any person who is "unable to return to his or her country of origin because of a fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group." Our goal is to legally resettle refugees into Canada or the United States.

Refugees are not making changes in their lives for economic reasons, they seek escape from persecution or death. They may not be the elite of their society, but they still must prove their worth. Most importantly, they must prove in courts of law that they have been persecuted. In Canada, only 60 percent of refugees gain acceptance. In the United States, the number is just 23 percent.

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