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CAST hosts reading of ‘Lysistrata’

A reading of the 2,300-year-old Greek comedy “Lysistrata” will take place on Monday at 7:30 p.m. at CAST Theatre in Hood River. The local play reading is part of the international Lysistrata Project, in which theatre artists and community members around the world will coordinate on the same day — 3-03-03 — to produce readings of the anti-war classic to protest possible war with Iraq.

To date, nearly 700 play readings are scheduled in 41 countries and all 50 U.S. states. Hood River is the site of one of nine readings taking place in Oregon. A “Lysistrata” reading will also take place in Stevenson, Wash., on Monday at 7:30 p.m. at the Stevenson Library Gallery.

Written by ancient Greek dramatist Aristophanes, “Lysistrata” tells the story of a group of women from opposing city-states who unite in Athens to end the Peloponnesian War by agreeing to withhold sex from their mates until the men find a way to achieve peace through diplomacy instead of war.

The reading will be directed by Hood River native Althea Hukari with a cast of more than 25 men and women from around the Mid-Columbia. The reading will feature a translation of the play by Drue Robinson Hagan, who lives in Bellingham, Wash.

Hood River resident Sola’ Radiance began organizing the reading several weeks ago after hearing about the international project. According to her, the Lysistrata Project has several goals.

“We want to provide an evening of fun for the community while raising public awareness about the rising volume of opposition to this war,” she said. “We’re asking what we can do on a local level to stop ‘diplomacy by violence’ in our world.”

The doors open at 7 p.m. and music will be provided by Cosmos Worth before the start of the reading. Donations at the door will benefit Columbia River Fellowship for Peace.

A discussion will follow the play reading, moderated by Radiance and Krista Thie of White Salmon. Seating at the CAST Theatre is limited to 100. Radiance said that parental discretion is advised, as “Lysistrata” contains adult themes. For information about the Hood River reading, contact riversongfs@earthlink.net. For the Stevenson reading, contact kma@gorge.net.

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