World Premiere Features Sex Strike to Save Mother Earth

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For the 33rd season of Theatre Under the Stars, Odyssey Theatre is presenting Lysistrata and the Temple of Gaia, a world premiere of award-winning playwright David S. Craig’s new comedy. The play, which runs from July 26-August 26, 2018, is set 100 years in the future, and climate change has made the world inhospitable. The rising oceans are acidic, the air is toxic, and the plants and animals are dying.

But, for the people of the future, it is easy to dismiss all of this as “just the weather.” Easy, that is, until an ancient goddess named Gaia appears and threatens to destroy all humanity unless they promise to take better care of the planet. The women agree, the men refuse, and a comedic battle of the sexes ensues.

Inspired by a Classic

The play is inspired by the one of the earliest Western comedies, the Ancient Greek classic Lysistrata by Aristophanes, in which Athenian women go on a sex strike to stop a war. In Lysistrata and the Temple of Gaia, the women strike to save the planet.

“When I started developing this new version, I thought about what the biggest threat to humanity would be in 2118,” says Craig. “It would not be war anymore. It would be climate change.”

The Toronto-based playwright, over the course of a 44-year career, has had over thirty plays produced across Canada, the United States and Europe. He has produced political comedy for the CBC and his work has been translated into five languages. This is Craig’s second time at the helm of an Odyssey production, his first being 2012’s The Fan, for which he won the Prix Rideau Award for Outstanding Adaptation.

Talented Cast and Company

Craig will be directing an experienced cast of veterans and newcomers to the Odyssey stage. Returning to the outdoor theatre are Sarah Finn, Catriona Leger, and David Warburton. They will be joined by the talents of David daCosta, Natalia Gracious, Martin Julien, Lisa Norton, and Shelly Simester as Lysistrata.

The actors will be backed by the outstanding design team of Jerrard Smith (Set Design) and Lori Hickling (Costume Design), Graham Price (Lighting Design) and Rick Sacks (Sound Design), who will create a fully-formed future world with classical underpinnings in which people have adapted to the reality of climate change.

With the experienced company backing this comedic and original script, this year’s Theatre Under the Stars season will be one to remember: the perfect evening out in Strathcona Park.

About Odyssey Theatre

For 32 years, Odyssey has made its home along the banks of the Rideau River in beautiful Strathcona Park. Known for its award-winning performances featuring Commedia dell’Arte, mask, movement, music, elaborate sets, and comedy, Odyssey has become a staple of summer in the Nation’s Capital. Its Theatre Under the Stars program has won many accolades, including 2017 Prix Rideau Awards for Outstanding Direction, Production, and Female Performance.

Lysistrata and the Temple of Gaia runs nightly at 8pm from July 26-August 26, 2018, with matinees on Sunday afternoons at 2pm. Interviews available upon request.


Jared Davidson


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