ARC Theatre premieres “Lysistrata”

The department hosts its second virtual production since the beginning of the pandemic


ARC student Jude Owens will be playing the lead character, “Lysistrata.”

In its second production since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the theater department at American River College premiered “Lysistrata” on Friday, Nov. 27. Performances will continue through Dec. 6 and will be conducted live on Zoom.

“Lysistrata” is an ancient Greek comedy by Aristophanes that centers around the lead character, Lyistrata, and her mission to end the Peloponnesian War by convincing women in surrounding city states to withhold sex from their husbands until a treaty has been signed. According to the ARC Theatre Department’s website, the play will be rated R for raunchiness and puppet nudity.

ARC theater student Jude Owens has been tasked with playing the lead character, Lysistrata. “She’s this very idea-centric, driven individual who’s quite tired of the endless wars that seem to be happening [in ancient Greece],” Owens said.

Owens, who also acted in ARC’s first production of the semester, “Fires in the Mirror,” is happy to be back on the stage, even if it’s a virtual one. While “Fires in the Mirror” was pre-recorded on Zoom, “Lysistrata” will be performed live instead. But Owens welcomes the challenge.

“I think it adds another level to what we can do as performers and what we can get across, and it also opens up another platform [to perform on],” Owens said. There are potential technical difficulties that could happen, and there’s also other features we can play around with and add so we might actually surprise our audience with what we’re going to be doing.”

With one production already in the books for ARC theater, Owens believes that she and the rest of the cast and crew can learn from the process of performing “Fires in the Mirror” and build upon it for “Lysistrata”.

“‘Fires in the Mirror’ kind of set up the groundwork of what we can do in theatre with everything being online and being a lot more isolated than usual,” Owens said. “I think [director Pamela Downs] is taking it in a good direction with how we’re planning on doing the live production. All of us are working together to see what we could do to push those boundaries.”

With three shows already completed, there will be three more performances of “Lysistrata”: on Dec. 4, 5 and 6. Students can visit for more information and ticket prices.