In the second interview following the Greeks and Romans on the Latin American Stage CC’s Anastasia Bakogianni is joined by Rosa Andújar, A.G. Leventis Research Fellow in Greek at UCL to talk about a unique Puerto Rican reception of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata.
In Francisco Arriví’s Club de Solteros (The Bachelors’ Club, 1953) the Lysistrata paradigm is reversed and it is the men who are on sex strike. Rosa tells us how she came across this fascinating reception case study while researching the afterlife of Greek drama in the Spanish speaking Caribbean, the subject of her next book project.
Arriví radically recast an earlier version of the play after coming into contact with the work of Aristophanes, while studying in New York on a fellowship. Like Aristophanes himself, Arriví rewrote his play several times over the course of his career adding further layers of engagement with the ancient comedy.
Rosa contextualizes the play in the turbulent times in which it was written and tells us about the risqué revolutionary subtext that only a Puerto Rican audience would have picked up on at that time. She reflects on how Arriví’s play evokes ancient ideas, but also makes us rethink the way Aristophanes’ Lysistrata has been received in modern times. There is no war in the plot of Club de Solteros, only the battle of the sexes, thus reminding us that the anti-war interpretation of Aristophanes’ comedy is a modern assessment that does not do justice to the richness of the ancient play.
Follow this link to watch our interview, and to learn more about this multi-layered Puerto Rican reception of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata. Join us to discover more the role of Greek drama in the foundation of Puerto Rico’s national theatre.