Talking Lysistrata with Director Leah Cherniak
Q. Are you excited to be bringing this new play to an audience for the first time?
A. I’m always excited to be doing something new with David – even though it is just a single performance. He’s a fantastic talent and I’m really enjoying working with him on putting this reading together.
Q. Is this play a modern classic or a classically modern one?
A. It is definitely modern and contemporary but I think of it more as a complete reinvention of a classic play. The main characters are there but the situation, dialogue and the struggle are completely reimagined for today’s audiences.
Q. What has intrigued you the most about reading the play so far?
A. I directed another version of this play about 15 years ago so it is really fun to read something you are already familiar with and then see how the playwright has adapted and changed the source material. I also love the fact that the women in this play are the strong characters that move the action and are counteracting the actions of the men’s agenda. It’s also really funny.
Q. “Lysistrata” is a dramatic reading rather than a full-on play – how does that make your job as Director more difficult?
A. As a Director I can only prepare so much because we have very limited rehearsal time. This makes the project more fun but also more challenging. We will need to really focus on the essential parts to activate the audience’s imagination and bring the world of Lysistratato life.
Q. I understand that there will be some Greek Chorusing going on – how will you be using that?
A. Lysistrata is not a musical but the Greek chorus will bring some music and song that will help to play up the comedic aspects. The songs have a lovely cabaret style vibe that sets the comedy going from the beginning and sustains it throughout as the they keep coming back with “new and improved” messages for the cast and audience.
Q. How do you feel about the issue at hand – is climate change affecting your life today?
A. Experiencing Lysistrata & the Temple of Gaia is a great reminder to everyone that we need to keep focused on this issue – we need to get on with fixing things and stop talking about it. The play is not prescriptive but still very forceful. Comedy is a great way to get a point across to a broad audience.
Q. What do you think the audience should know about Lysistrata before seeing the show?
A. This is not some kind of fusty old Greek classic. David has done an amazing job of making this play really contemporary and witty. It will be a delightful afternoon.
This delightful afternoon will take place April 24th at Trinity St. Paul’s.
Have a watch and a listen to David discuss his new play Lysistrata and the Temple of Gaia, which will receive a reading at Trinity St. Paul’s on April 24th.
An ecological sex comedy that seeks to change the story– and it has dildos!
The Washington Post recently announced Double Trouble, the first English language stage adaptation of Erich Kastner’s world famous novel Lottie and Lisa, has been nominated for a Helen Hayes Award for “Outstanding Original Play or Musical Adaptation.”
Double Trouble (AKA “The Parent Trap”) premiered at Imagination Stage in Bethesda New York. Check out the video below!
Truth in Play: Drama Strategies for Building Meaningful Performances a new book by Debbie Newman, Jill Lloyd-Jones and David S Craig launched at the CODE Council of Ontario Drama and Dance Educators Conference in Ottawa.
Geared towards high-school students, Truth in Play: Drama Strategies for Building Meaningful Performances features a curated collection of short scenes from Canadian plays, complete with teaching strategies and learning activities for each.
Copies available from Playwright’s Canada Press .
“Thank you for making climate change sexy!” — Katie Krelove, 350.org
Lysistrata and the Temple of Gaia re-imagines the classic Greek comedy by Aristophanes as a sex strike, not to stop a war, but to save a planet.
Set in a future world where humans have had to adapt to huge climate changes, Lysistrata and her friends desperately invoke the Goddess Gaia, Creator and Mother of Earth. But the Goddess is furious at the destruction of her planet and threatens the entire human race with a watery death at dawn unless the men can be persuaded to become Earth Defenders. The men refuse.
“Craig was hilarious while dealing with the issues of our time. Smart, engaging, fun, unexpected, sexy. CRAZY. Go see it; and take the kids!” — Dr. Alan Abelsohn
Lysistrata and the Temple of Gaia received a reading at Trinity St. Paul’s in Toronto April 24th and received some high praise from the audience.
WORKS IN PROGRESS
David S. Craig is currently hard at work…
Developing Frenchy’s: The Thrift Musical the world’s first thrift musical about, “four women in search of a new life, and a new wardrobe, at a fraction of regular retail.”
As the playwright in residence at Odyssey Theatre in Ottawa. David is currently researching and creating a modern adaptation of Lysistrata by Aristophanes.
Fire and Ice – An environmental thriller. With Richard Greenblatt.