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Operation Lysistrata (2006)

In January 2003, two women in New York City, Kathryn Blume and Sharron Bower, thought to organize readings of the ancient Greek play by Aristophanes, Lysistrata, as a protest against the ... See full summary »
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Cheryl Black ...
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Kathryn Blume ...
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Sharron Bower ...
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Meg A. Bucks ...
Meg A. Bucks (as Billionaires for Bush)
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Robin Eublind ...
Robin Eublind (as Billionaires for Bush)
Mark Greene ...
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Xavier Laret ...
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Amanda Stephens Lee ...
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Shellen Lubin ...
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Ellen McLaughlin ...
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In January 2003, two women in New York City, Kathryn Blume and Sharron Bower, thought to organize readings of the ancient Greek play by Aristophanes, Lysistrata, as a protest against the imminent preemptive war on Iraq. Originally conceived as a local event, however, over the course of a few weeks, word of the Lysistrata Project quickly gained momentum and became a worldwide happening for peace. On March 3, 2003 nearly 1,100 simultaneous productions of Lysistrata were performed in 59 countries around the globe. Written by Anonymous

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03/03/03, the theater world takes the stage against the war in Iraq

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Documentary

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7 September 2006 (USA)  »

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Compelling doc about an incredible world wide event
5 January 2009 | by See all my reviews

One of the nicest surprises of the 12th Annual Lower East Side Festival of the Arts put on by the Theatre for the New City, May 25 – 27, 2008 was Michael Patrick Kelly's riveting and important new documentary Operation Lysistrata. The only complete record of an incredible world wide anti war protest called "The Lysistrata Project" which took place on March 3, 2003 Operation Lysistrata documents this brain child of Sharron Bower and Kathryn Blume, two New York based anti war activists who started a world wide campaign to have people perform readings of Aristophanes' 2,000 year old satirical anti war play "Lysistrata" to protest the impending U.S. invasion of Iraq. The story of "Lysistrata" in brief: In ancient Greece the women, lead by Lysistrata, decide to take a stand against impending war by refusing to have sex with their men until the men have made peace. Hilarity ensues. The rules for "The Lysistrata Project" were that the readings could be as small as two people in a bar or a fully staged production, or anywhere in between and that it had to be performed on March 3, 2003. National and global interest grew quickly and readings were set up all over America and the world, from Singapore where gatherings of 3 people or more are routinely broken up by police, to a home schooled 15 year old boy in Ohio who staged his own production using plastic dinosaurs, to a group that performed "Lysistrata" on the Staten Island Ferry. What could such a protest accomplish? Oscar winner F. Murray Abraham sets the tone right from the start by telling a fable about a sparrow who is lying on the ground with his feet up in the air. When asked what he is doing the sparrow replies that he heard the sky is falling and that he wants to hold it up. When asked how he can expect to hold up the sky with his spindly sparrow's legs he replies that he is doing what he can. Just as interesting as the protest is the story behind Kelly's attempts to document the event. Kelly put out the word on the internet asking anyone performing a "Lysistrata" reading to video tape it and send the tape to him. He received video tapes from all over the world. He also had access to the preparations in New York. So, without barely leaving the borough of Manhattan, and working on a minuscule budget, Kelly, producer Suzanne Hayes and a talented editing crew have weaved together a gripping, touching, passionate, funny and ultimately bitter sweet account of a world of people just doing their part to keep the sky from falling. The documentary features interviews with actors F. Murray Abraham, Kathleen Chalfant, Living Theatre founder Judith Malina, historian Howard Zinn and many others. At this point there is no release date.


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