Sex, Love, and Basketball: Fall Musical Preview

by Conner Juilfs

For the first time in five years, Theatre Simpson is hosting a fall musical titled Lysistrata Jones.

“It was definitely time to do another musical and give our students and audiences that opportunity [to become involved],” professor of theatre arts and chair of theatre department Jennifer Nostrala said in an e-mail interview. 

According to Nostrala, Lysistrata Jones is a transfer that goes to Athens University and she has plans to inspire the men’s basketball team, who has been on a losing streak, to win a game.

Jones begins this plan by forming a cheerleading squad, but that doesn’t seem to be enough. She learns about Arisophanes’ character, Lysistrata, who decided to help put an end to the Peloponnesian War by withholding sex from their husbands and lovers.

After Jones learns of this, she has encouraged the women to not give up sex until the men win a basketball game.

Senior Addi O’Conner will play the lead role of Lysistrata Jones. This is O’Conner’s first time working with Theatre Simpson.

“I think this part pushes me to do the best I can in various ways and to step out of my comfort zone sometimes,” O’Conner said. “In the end it makes me more confident and excited for opening night.”

Auditions were held in August for a chance to be a part of the show.

“I thought it was the perfect show to produce on a college campus since it is set on a college campus,” Nostrala said. “It is a fun and contemporary musical that will have a wide appeal and it’s a great chance for free local entertainment.”

Nostrala has explained the reasoning behind the five-year hiatus to hosting a musical.

“Putting on musicals is an extra challenge particularly because we need a great musical director to work on the show with us,” Nostrala said.

The previous musical director was Raelene Best, who has been unable to work on previous musicals because of health issues. Best passed away this past May.

“We want to dedicate this production to her,” Nostrala said.

The current musical director is Jami McLeod, who started at Simpson campus as a piano teacher just a year ago. She has recently began working with the theatre department and has worked with the singers and band.

“I feel great about our cast. Everyone is working hard to create a thrilling and exciting production,” Nostrala said.

“I have appreciated learning more about Theatre Simpson and how they run their productions,” O’Conner said. “Seeing all the hard work being contributed from so many people has been amazing.”

The performance is slated to begin on Oct. 25-26 at 7:30 p.m. and on Oct 27 at 1 p.m in Pote Theatre, which is located in Blank Performing Arts Center. Tickets are available online at [email protected] and at or they can be ordered at 515-961-1601.