The Boston University School of Theatre presents Lizzie Stranton by Lydia R. Diamond

in Arts, College of Fine Arts, News Releases
November 21st, 2008

Contact: Ellen Carr, 617-353-8783 |
Contact: Jean Connaughton, 617-353-7293 |

(Boston) – The year is 2016 in a place much like this. The world is at war and the economy is worse than it’s ever been. The task of ending the war is left to the women, so our heroine Lizzie Stranton leads the charge to withhold sex from the men until peace is restored. This modern take on Aristophanes’ classic Greek comedy Lysistrata is by Lydia R. Diamond, a playwright celebrated on local and national stages, and assistant professor of Playwriting and Theatre Arts at the Boston University School of Theatre. Presented by the Boston University School of Theatre (SOT), Lizzie Stranton is directed by Elaine Vaan Hogue, assistant professor of Acting and Directing at SOT, and runs December 11 through 20 at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA.

Diamond’s re-imagining of the Greek classic is a project of the School of Theatre’s New Play Initiative, which is a program of the Professional Theatre Initiative that seeks to provide playwrights and directors with a variety of developmental options to support the creation of new work for the theatre. Dramaturg and Assistant Professor Ilana M. Brownstein note that the significance of this project for the creative team and the School of Theatre is centered in its undeniable connection to current political events, but also in its creation process.

“Dramaturgy as a practice is new to the curriculum and to School of Theatre productions, but in a project like Lizzie Stranton it is essential. As Lydia conceived of the play and began to write, it became clear that the creation of the text would be concomitant with the design, production, and rehearsal processes. In fact, the generating of text is in many ways a direct response to the work of the rest of the creative team, and is a chance for students and professors alike to experience the birth of a new play at the very moment of its emergence from the mind of the writer.”

Lydia R. Diamond is an assistant professor of Playwriting and Theatre Arts at the Boston University School of Theatre, a 2007 TCG/NEA Playwright in Residence at Steppenwolf, a Huntington Playwriting Fellow, and a TCG board member. Her plays include Stick Fly (2008 Susan Smith Blackburn Finalist, 2006 Black Theatre Alliance Award – Best Play), Voyeurs de Venus (2006 Joseph Jefferson Award – Best New Work, 2006 BTAA – Best Writing), The Bluest Eye (2006 Black Arts Alliance Image Award – Best New Play, 2008 AATE Distinguished Play Award), The Gift Horse (Theadore Ward Prize, Kesselring Prize 2nd Place), and Harriet Jacobs. She has worked with many major theatre companies, including the Goodman, Steppenwolf, Long Wharf, Hartford Stage, McCarter, Playmakers Rep, Chicago Dramatists, Congo Square, MPAACT, True Colors, Company One, and Contemporary American Theatre Festival. Stick Fly is published by NU Press, and Bluest Eye, Gift Horse, and Stage Black are published by Dramatic Publishing.

Elaine Vaan Hogue is an assistant professor of Acting and Directing at the Boston University School of Theatre and is Co-Artistic Director of the Gypsy Mamas, a laboratory that creatively explores interdisciplinary collaboration between artists and new work. Elaine has worked internationally with Odin Teatret (Denmark), Teatro delle Radici (Switzerland), Yuyachkani (Peru), Augusto Boal (Brazil), Navarasa Dance Theatre (USA, India), and The Magdalena Project (worldwide). Elaine’s favorite directing credits include Crave (Nora Theatre Company); Thin Air: Tales from a Revolution (Kansas City); Infinity’s House (Majestic Theatre); Fen (New Theater); The Other Shore, Angels in America, Polaroid Stories (BU). She is currently developing, with Gypsy Mamas, a performance about our relationship with ice and the consequences of global warming.

Ilana M. Brownstein is the former literary manager at the Huntington Theatre Company, where she created the Breaking Ground Festival and the Huntington Playwriting Fellows program, for which she won the 2008 Elliott Hayes Award. Favorite projects include development and premieres at the Huntington (Sonia Flew; Brendan), Boston Playwrights’ Theatre (Comp; Gary; Oil Thief), Company One (Voyeurs de Venus), Broadway (Mauritius), and nationally (Yale Repertory Theatre, Humana Festival of New American Plays, New Harmony Theatre). Ms. Brownstein is a former vice president of Literary Managers & Dramaturgs of the Americas; she holds an M.F.A. in dramaturgy from Yale University, and a B.A. in directing from The College of Wooster. She teaches dramaturgy and dramatic literature at the Boston University School of Theatre.


Boston University School of Theatre presents

Lizzie Stranton
A re-imagining of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata

by Lydia R. Diamond
directed by Elaine Vaan Hogue

Thu, Dec 11, 7:30pm (this performance is followed by a talk-back with Lydia R. Diamond, Elaine Vaan Hogue, and Ilana M. Brownstein)
Fri, Dec 12, 8:00pm
Sat, Dec 13, 8:00pm
Sun, Dec 14, 2:00pm
Wed, Dec 17, 7:30pm
Thu, Dec 18, 7:30pm (this performance includes ASL interpretation)
Fri, Dec 19, 8:00pm
Sat, Dec 20, 2:00pm

In this bawdy Greek comedy, a clever heroine convinces her compatriots to inspire an end to the Peloponnesian War by withholding sex and money from their men. A production of the BU New Play Initiative.

Tickets: $12 general public; $10 students, senior citizens, BU alumni, Huntington subscribers, and WGBH members. BU community: One free ticket with BU ID at the door, day of performance, subject to availability.

Box Office: or 617.933.8600

Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
539 Tremont Street
T Green Line, Copley stop
T Orange Line, Copley stop


Boston University is one of the leading private research and teaching institutions in the world today, with two primary campuses in the heart of Boston and programs around the world. The Boston University College of Fine Arts was created in 1954 to bring together the School of Music, the School of Theatre, and the School of Visual Arts. The University’s vision was to create a community of artists in a conservatory-style school offering professional training in the arts to both undergraduate and graduate students, complemented by a liberal arts curriculum for undergraduate students. Since those early days, education at the College of Fine Arts has begun on the BU campus and extended into the city of Boston, a center of rich cultural, artistic and intellectual activity.

A theatre conservatory within the embrace of a metropolitan university, the Boston University School of Theatre at the College of Fine Arts offers programs in acting, directing, design, production, management, theatre education, and theatre arts. Its programs foster the synthesis of imagination, intellectual inquiry, and technical skill by combining rigorous training with study in a traditional liberal arts curriculum. A diverse and accomplished full-time faculty and staff, augmented by guest artists and part-time trainers, serve approximately 240 undergraduate and 30 graduate students each academic year. The School produces six fully mounted productions each season, offers an additional 35 to 40 workshop projects, and enjoys professional affiliations with the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Olney Theatre Center, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and the Huntington Theatre Company, the professional theatre in residence at Boston University.


To request press tickets, high resolution photos, or additional information, please contact either:
Jean Connaughton at 617-353-7293 or
Ellen Carr at 617-353-8783 or

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