Liberal Studies student Devon Irete was a freshman in Florence during the academic year 2007-08 when she organized her classmates into a production of the Greek comedy Lysistrata. After a semester of rehearsals, the final production took place in May, outdoors on the Villa La Pietra grounds. Here is an abbreviated version of her account of the experience:
“At the start of the spring semester, I roused my roommates to action, enlisted the assistance of the Office of Student Life and began the age-old process all actors dread: Auditions. I was pleased to find out, an interest in the performing arts was deep and wide at La Pietra, and I was lucky to see an entire cast of funny, creative and generally fantastic actors rise from the olive trees. Although rehearsals were long, full of questions and location changes, and I was often dodging the extensive travel plans of the typical study abroad student-- everything worked out for the best.
The night of the show came, after hundreds of emails, prop shopping between classes and even a postponement due to legal issues, rain and travel plans. I'll admit it, I yelled and screamed, I pleaded, I had nightmares and yes, the occasional whining spree. But on the night of the show, as I stood face to face with my peers who had so willingly taken my novice advice, worked it through their own bodies and out onto the stage for all to see-- I cried. I couldn't speak through the tears all the pride I felt, the happiness and the relief. We Made It! It was not easy, but I learned that if you're passionate enough, you can do anything. To have been given the ability to stage a production, witness the ideas in your head become materialized is worth all the sleepless nights in the world.”
A scene from the outdoor performance of Lysistrata.
The Athenian women plot their sex strike.
It’s old women vs. old men as the all-Greek-women sex strike continues.
The cast of Lysistrata takes a bow after the performance.