Banned Book Week is a big deal to me and each year I try to read at least one banned book to celebrate our freedom to choose what we read. This year it is from Sept. 30-Oct. 6, 2012 and I hope you'll all get out there and find at least one banned book to read or to give to someone else.
This comedy, originally written in 411 BC, was banned in 1967 in Greece because of its anti-war message. This modern translation by Douglass Parker breathes new life into the story and makes it accessible for all audiences.
The women in Greece decide that they are tired of their men always being away fighting the Peloponnesian War. One woman, Lysistrata, comes up with a brilliant idea and recruits the rest of the women to take part in her plan. They decide as a group to withhold sex from the men until they make peace. They lock themselves in the Acropolis and resist all temptation to give in to their husband’s demands. I loved the fact that the women don’t deny their own sexual desires and they have to fight both their urges and their husbands’ desires to make the plan work.
One of the funniest scenes includes a woman desperate to go back home to her husband. She announces she much leave and find a midwife because she’s about to deliver her baby… even though she wasn’t pregnant the day before. The women quickly call her on it and make her remove the metal helmet from under her dress where it was being smuggled to make her look pregnant.
BOTTOM LINE: The humor definitely plays better on the stage than the page, but I’ve found that to be true with all comedic plays. The premise is clever and fun and though it may be a bit silly, the message of encouraging peace is a good one.
Image from here.