UpStage Left opens their 2014 #HotMagicSummer season with an outdoor version of Lysistrata by Aristophanes on Friday, July 18, at Godric Grove in Elings Park. Cheri and Emma Steinkellner are directing, and Sofia Ross (did you see her this spring at Dos Pueblos as Mary Poppins?) will play Lysistrata. The Steinkellners are known for taking a creative line when it comes to casting and gender roles, and this production is no exception.
The cliché version of Lysistrata would have it that the more politically correct women agree to withhold sex in order to force the men to end the war, but it’s not really a pacifist play — it’s much more deep and Greek and mystical than that. And with the Steinkellners at the helm, the freedom of assigning roles will only serve to drive that point home. Leave it to Emma to translate her Stanford classics seminar on power and gender in ancient Greece into 75 minutes of high-school-friendly zaniness. Meanwhile, Liger mom Cheri has found just the right way to finesse the phallus prop issue with bubble swords. The play remains, as it has been since its premiere in 411 BCE, intended for mature audiences. Go, laugh, and heads up for the bubbles.
Performances take place at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 18, Monday, July 21, and Wednesday, July 23, in Godric Grove at Elings Park (1298 Las Positas Rd.). For tickets, visit upstageleft-lys.brownpapertickets.com. For info, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (805) 705-7310.