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For Immediate Release

July 14, 2004

Harry Konstantopoulos (510) 482-6186
Elisa Konstantopoulos

Abstinence for Peace!

The National Theatre of Greece and its Lysistrata offer the world creative advice

Internationally acclaimed company's American debut and only West Coast appearance of Aristophanes' Lysistrata

October 1 & 3 at Oakland's historic Calvin Simmons Theatre

Oakland, CA - The City of Oakland welcomes the highly acclaimed National Theatre of Greece in two west coast performances only at the historic Calvin Simmons Theatre, 10 Tenth Street in Oakland. The company's American debut of Aristophanes' Lysistrata returns in it's second Bay Area appearance and is performed in Modern Greek with English supertitles, October 1 at 8:00 p.m. & Sunday October 3 at 3p.m.

Chosen especially to commemorate this year's Spirit of the 2004 Olympic Games, the National Theatre of Greece returns with Lysistrata one of Aristophanes' most entertaining and successful comedies which is characterized by daring dialogue and a universal theme of peace. Award winning actress Lydia Koniordou leads the 30-member cast in the lead role. In this classically written comedy, after twenty years of war between the Greeks, with Athens on one side and Sparta on the other, the Athenian Lysistrata thinks up a way of blackmailing the combatants into concluding peace by using the weapon of a sex strike.

Lysistrata having first been staged in 411 BC, amidst the turmoil of the Peloponnesian War and directly after the defeat of the Athenians at Sicily, gave Aristophanes the opportunity to cover some of his favorite concerns. His hilarious comedy, Lysistrata, reflects the disgust with war prevalent at Athens after the disastrous expedition to Sicily. This merging of the home and the Acropolis, of sex strike and occupation, gives the play its thematic unity; allows the women for a time to manage the public realm in terms of the domestic; and demonstrates not only the importance to the polis of female activities, but also the importance of the female psyche as a stabilizing factor in the Greek world.

In this timeless tale of peace, adapted and directed by Kostas Tsianos, Lysistrata persuades the representatives of the other Greek cities to join in, leading the women of Athens in the occupation of the Acropolis. Various comedic episodes follow in which a number of women who have sworn abstinence attempt with different excuses and wiles to escape their husbands. Faced with this general situation of sexual deprivation, the Spartans are first to send ambassadors to seek negotiations.

Aristophanes' Lysistrata is a condemnation of war and a celebration of life, offering a vision of political unity. The National Theatre of Greece returns to the Bay Area in this production following its highly acclaimed debut of Medea last year. Lysistrata sets and costumes are designed by Rena Georgiadou, with choreography by Fokas Evangelinos. All music produced by Christos Leontis with musical teachings by Olympia Kyriakaki.

Pre-performance talks with Director Kostas Tsianos will take place one hour before each performance. Tickets for the National Theatre of Greece's production of Aristophanes' Lysistrata October 1 & 3 at the historic Calvin Simmons Theatre are priced at $35.00 (Gallery, GA), $45.00 (Balcony, GA) and $65.00 (Reserved Orchestra), also available are $100 VIP Passes for Opening Night's Premier After Party. Limited tickets available for the VIP Festivities. This includes selected reserved seating and entrance to the VIP Gala Party. Also for a limited time only, if you purchase your tickets now pay no taxes or service charges if bought through (510) 482-6186 (all seating and group discounts available). Tickets also available through Ticketweb or charge by phone at (866) 468.3399; and by cash only at the door. For more information go to: National Theatre of Greece Web site or .

The National Theatre of Greece's Lysistrata is adapted and directed by award winning Kostas Tsianos. Born in Larisa, Greece he has worked with a number of major theater companies, including Karolos Koun's Theatro Technis and Spyros Evangelatos's Amfitheatro. Pioneer in the area of regional theatre, having founded the Theatre of Nea Ionia, Nea Poria and the Experimental Theatre, his landmark in his theatrical career was the creation of the now historic Thessalian Theatre where he served as Artistic Director for 22 years.

His longest associations have been with the National Theater of Greece and the State Theater of Northern Greece. Having had the opportunity to perform his productions of Ancient drama at the Epidaurus Festival and represent Greece at many International festivals, he went on to collect many awards for his contributions to the arts from many organizations and has also served as a Larisa city counselor. Currently he is Assistant Artistic Director of the National Theatre of Greece.

Lydia Koniordou was born in Athens where she lives and works. She has studied English Literature in the Athens University and has graduated with awards from the National Theater Drama School. As an actress she has worked with the National Theater (Phoenician Women, the Suppliants, Electra, Oresteia, Yerma), the theater of Thessaly (Electra of Euripides, Iphigeneia in Tauris, the Cheoreophori) with Nea Skini the Theater of Spring, the Desmi of Aspasia Papanastasiou, the Politeia theater and for nine years with the art theater of Karolos Koun both in performances of contemporary plays as well as Ancient Greek drama. As a director she has worked in the National Theater (Electra Alcestis) the municipal theaters in Larissa, Patra and Volos. She has also taught and staged Ancient Greek Drama in New York at the University of New York and at Binghamton University. She has been awarded the L. Loriote and the M. Kotopouli awards and the Charles Koun award for her work in Ancient Drama.

National Theatre of Greece
Founded by King George I in 1900, the National Theatre has considered the revival Ancient Greek Drama (tragedy) it's prime objective. Starting initially with performances in the indoor theater of Agiou Konstantinou Street in Athens, the company later began to stage productions on a regular basis at the Ancient Theater of Epidavros and at Herodion. The annual Festival of Ancient Drama at Epidavros, became a reality in 1955 and continues to attract thousands of Greek and foreign spectators each year.

Under the direction of the current director Nikos Kourkoulos, one of the leading actors in the company has received countless awards which he received for his work in film and theatre. The company operates five stages, three at its old historic site and two at its new theater, all dedicated to the very best aspects of Ancient, Classical, Modern and Past Modern Theater.

Through the performances at these theaters and International Tours, the National Theatre has defined as its fundamental belief that ancient tragedy and comedy deal with vital intellectual questions that are still applicable to the problems of our present and our future in our time.

Calvin Simmons Theatre
For 70 years it was known as the Oakland Civic Auditorium. Audiences came to enjoy professional sports, theatrical events, and many of the great artists of the time. In 1984, following a $15 million refurbishment to reflect the splendor of its historic and fabled past, the Oakland Convention Center. The elegant and storied Calvin Simmons Theatre, with its unparalleled intimacy and charm, has been hailed nationwide by many of the most renowned artists of the last century for its near perfect acoustics. The historic theater's elegant chandeliers, gold leaf detail, art deco-influenced upholstered seats, lighting and sound systems, and European ambience are the perfect venue for Lysistrata.

Lysistrata: Lydia Koniordou
Kleoniki: Eleni Kastane,
Mirrini: Vasso Iastropoulou
Labito: Maria Kantife,
Vioti: Eleni Tzortzi,
Korinthian woman: Elena Gerodimou
Old man: Yannis Degaitis
Old Woman: Alexandra Pantelaki
Provoulos: Antonis Loudaros
1st woman: Nikoletta Vlavianou
2nd woman: Sofia Kalemkeridou
3rd woman: Maria Liapikou
4th woman: Gina Thiiveri
Kinisias: Nikos Karthanos
Disseminator (Sparta):Christos Ninis
Rector (Athenian): Themistoklis Panou
Spartan Ambassador: Nikos Bousdoukos
Athenian Ambassador: Periklis Karakonstantoglou
Reconciliation: Elenana Papadopoulou
Singer: Yiannis Stolas

Women's Chorus:
Alexandra Pantelaki, Nikoletta Vlavianou, Maria Liapikou, Eleni Tzortzi, Elena Gerodimou, Stella Gkika, Gina Thliveri, Vasso Iatropoulou, Sofia Kalemkeridou, Maria Kantife, Eleni Kousta, Eleana Papadopoulou, & Tina Papadopoulou.

Men's Chorus:
Nikos Bousdoukos, Yiorgos Gkatsios, Stefanos Kosmidis, Christos Pappas, Yiannis Degaitis, Loukas Zikos, Antonis Loudaros, Chrinis Pavlidis, Pericle Karakonstantoglou, Dimitris Karaviotis, Lefteris Loukades, Yiannis Stollas, Themistoklis Panou, Nikos Karathanos, & Christos Ninis.

Ticket Information
Tickets for the National Theatre of Greece' production of Aristophanes' Lysistrata October 1 & 3 at the historic Calvin Simmons Theatre are priced at $35.00 (Gallery, GA), $45.00 (Balcony, GA) and $65.00 (Reserved), also available are $100 VIP Passes for Opening Night's Premier After Party. Limited tickets available for the VIP festivities. This includes selected reserved seating and entrance to the VIP Gala Party. Also for a limited time only, if you purchase your tickets now pay no taxes or service charges if bought through (510)482-6186 (all seating available) group discounts also available. Tickets also available at Ticketweb or charge by phone at (866) 468.3399; and by cash only at the door. For more information please visit the National Theatre of Greece Web site or

Pre-Performance Talks
Friday, October 1 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 3 2:00 p.m.

In an effort to provide a fulfilling and intimate experience for the audience, the National Theatre of Greece will provide pre-performance talks with the Director, Mr. Kostas Tsianos. These events are free to ticket holders.

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