College theater troupe performs well in Scotland
by William Ferchland
September 21, 2005
Provided to the Bonanza. Lake Tahoe Community College students promote their musical, "Lysistrata's War," along the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland, while at the Fringe Festival last month. The musical received good reviews by three publications.
Representing one of the smallest California community colleges in the largest international theater gathering might have prompted many to overlook the performance of the Lake Tahoe Community College troupe.
But since returning from their trip to Scotland's Fringe Festival, instructor Dave Hamilton was impressed with his students' performance in the rock opera "Lysistrata's War." And so were critics.
"ThreeWeeks," the guide to the festival in Scotland's capital, Edinburgh, gave the performance four out of five stars.
"Clever and punchy modern lyrics are delivered perfectly to the tune of popular melodies and with a fashionable Athenian wardrobe in a show that engulfs an hour and 20 minutes in the best way possible," the review stated.
"Lysistrata's War," adapted from a Greek tragedy, centers on the war between the Athenians and Spartans. Athenian woman Lysistrata, fed up with the spilling of blood, devises a plan that other women embrace to end the war by withholding sex to the men.
Another review by www.one4review.com gave the musical three of five stars.
"The show is very interesting, well performed, beautifully costumed and they use the space in a constructive way," the review stated. In all, three publications saw the performance, including "The Scotsman," Scotland's national newspaper.
Hamilton said the show was lucky to get reviewed at all. And although the audience size was good - an average of 35 people each night - box office receipts lagged. Two laptops were used that held video images and music. The crew bought a table, desk and chair that were later donated to the small theater. Wood was also purchased that was whittled down to spear shafts. The costumes, plastic swords and other props were brought over by the cast and crew of 32 people.
"Overall the whole thing was quite successful," Hamilton said.
The musical will not make another showing at the college, but Hamilton is considering doing a show at a theater festival in Canada.
Rachel Vale Anderson, an LTCC student involved in the musical, gave the experience her own rave review.
"(The festival) lets you indulge in the daily life of the Scottish as well as see a plethora of amazing, awe-inspiring and overall fabulous productions done by people from all over the world," she said. "The actors were considered amateurs, but their shows were done like the best of the professionals. Plus, it was even more incredible that we were doing a play in another country on another continent. Each night we performed the show, and it was very intense, since we only had a short time span to load in, do the play and then load out. Once we were finished, there was an air of accomplishment."