According to the project's website (www.lysistraproject.com), teams of actors and directors will present readings that will take place in public areas all over New York City, culminating in an all-star reading of the ancient Greek comedy in the evening to benefit MADRE and EPIC, two human-rights charities opposed to the war. The all-star reading includes Kathleen Chalfant among others yet to be announced. New York City is the epicenter of the project, where Kathryn Blume conceived the idea.
In Chicago, 15 separate groups - including professional theatre companies, private citizens, schools and churches - will participate. Proceeds from donations at Chicago Lysistrata readings will benefit "Not in our Name," another charity opposed to a possible war in Iraq.
In Lysistrata, Athens and Sparta have been at war for years with no end in sight. Women from the opposing states unite to end a war by refusing to sleep with their husbands until the men agree to lay down their swords. The ancient Greek sexual satire has been a hit since 411 B.C.