Program in Classical Studies
Aristophanes' Lysistrata at ECU

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a Comedy by Aristophanes

in a world premiere translation by Peter Green

directed by John Given

March 26, 27 and 28, 2010

at the Great Rooms of Mendenhall Student Center

on the campus of East Carolina University

co-sponsored by the Program in Classical Studies and 

the Mendenhall / University Unions



Wednesday, January 20, 2010 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. 

The Great Rooms on the second floor of Mendenhall Student Center

See below for complete information.

Anyone unable to appear at the scheduled auditions should contact the director immediately and make alternate arrangements.

To be involved . . .

We will need many, many people to make Lysistrata successful. If you are interested in appearing on stage, please see the Audition Information below. Besides actors, we will also need, costume designers and makers, a set designer, a stage manager, stage hands, a props master, an advertising manager, an advertising designer, a house manager, ushers and still more. If you are interested in volunteering for any of these positions or just looking to help out in any way, big or small, please contact the director by email ( or phone (252-328-6538).

Greek HelmetRed-figure vase
Audition Information

Auditions for Lysistrata are open to all members of the ECU Community, although a slight preference will be given to students in the Classical Studies Program.  No acting experience is necessary.

Auditions will take place on January 20, 2010 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. in the Great Rooms on the second floor of Mendenhall Student Center.  Walk-ins will be welcome at the auditions, but the director would prefer that you inform him that you intend to try out.  (Email:  Anyone wishing to audition may come prepared with a monologue of two to three minutes in length, but this is not required.  The monologue should be memorized, or at least should be very familiar to the actor.  Actors will also be asked to read from Lysistrata itself.  Auditioners should plan to remain on hand for the entire two-hour audition period, if possible, as we may read in pairs or groups.  If an actor is unable to attend the auditions at all, please contact the director to arrange a separate reading.

Please be advised that this play contains adult themes, language and situations.  The story revolves around Lysistrata's plan to end a Greek civil war by having all the women withhold sex from their men.  All actors will need to be comfortable using vulgar language.  There will be no nudity, but some actors will need to dress and act suggestively.  If you prefer to be in a less suggestive role, please be honest and inform the director.

Rehearsals will take place Monday and Thursday evenings, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. on campus, from late January to March.  Not every actor will be required to attend every rehearsal.  The director will allow some flexibility for students' schedules, and will inform actors in advance when they need to be present.  Successful auditioners, however, are expected to commit to the rehearsal schedule as well as the performance dates.  The performance dates are non-negotiable, as we do not expect to cast understudies.  Actors should also know that we will be performing in a room with only fair acoustics; they need to be able to fill the room with their voices.

Auditioners should review the list of characters below and be prepared to indicate what role(s) they are auditioning for:

Lysistrata:  Lead role.  Strong-willed, mature, modest woman.  Attractive, but not a head-turner.  She is on stage in almost every scene and has a lot of lines to memorize.  She will need to attend almost every rehearsal.

Kalonike: Female, Lysistrata's closest friend.  Also mature, though less modest, especially with her mouth.  Plain looks.  Able to get a laugh with any line.  Major presence in Act I; less so in Act II.

Commissioner:  Most substantial male role, though only speaks in Act I.  Large, threatening man, not necessarily handsome, who lives by stern rules and cannot stomach their being violated.  Big, booming voice. 

Myrrhine: Female, very beautiful, aristocratic airs, but always on the prowl.  Fairly minor role in Act I, but the right actress will steal the show in an Act II scene with Myrrhine's husband.

Cinesias:  Myrrhine's husband.  Very handsome, beefcake, but not a dolt.  Needs to be sweet too.  Only one scene in the play, but it will be memorable.

Lampito:  Spartan woman, tall, strikingly beautiful.  She should tower over the other women.  Self-sufficient and strong, but knows a good plan when she hears one.  Speaks only in the first (very long) scene as counterpart to the Athenian Lysistrata.  Could be doubled as a member of the Chorus.

Athenian and Spartan Ambassadors:  Men, whose only real characteristic is how much they suffer from sex deprivation, which makes them eager for peace.  Only appear in the second half of Act II, but they have quite a few lines there.

Nikodike: A minor female role.  Her big moment involves fighting off an Athenian police officer.

Chorus: At least four men and four women.  One man and one woman will be chorus leaders with larger roles, but all eight have substantial lines.  They are old, no longer ravenous for sex, but still fierce in fighting for their side.  They are on stage for almost the entire play, though often in the background.

Non-Speaking Roles:  There are several non-speaking roles, especially for men.  They include Athenian police officers, slaves, women from other Greek cities, Reconciliation (a personification of peace), and more.  We very much need actors who want to be in the play but who prefer not to take on a speaking role, for whatever reason.