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Filmmaker on St. John for World Premier of The Lysistrata Project

Jan. 9, 2006 –– When the world premier of The Lysistrata Project shows on St. John Monday night, the man who pulled together film clips and still photos from performances around the world of the anti-war play will be on hand.
"I watched it grow and grow," New York resident Michael Kelly said Monday.
The film will be shown at 6:30 p.m. at Bellevue Village Community Center on St. John.
A struggling filmmaker, Kelly distilled 250 hours of film footage plus the still photos into an 82-minute film.
St. John's performance is show in the montage of still photos at the film's end.
Kelly said putting together the film was a "major struggle" because of financial constraints.
"I'm in the final stages of raising the money to license the news footage," he said.
Kelly said he got his start in film by attending classes at Onondaga Community College in Syracuse and then with classes at New York University.
"Then I was bartending and taking production assistant jobs during the day," he said.
New York actors Kathryn Blume and Sharron Bower initiated the worldwide March 3, 2003 project as a reaction to the Iraq war.
Locally, Deanna Somerville got the project organized.
Kelly said that people from 59 countries participated. He said he knows of at least 1,070 performances of the play.
He said he got involved because his wife, Suzanne Hage, knows Bower. Kelly said he shot film clips of the project in New York.
He said in an interview Monday that he received other film clips and still photos from about 60 to 70 locations. He said he got clips from Los Angeles and New York, which had star-studded casts, and from small towns across the United States, and such unlikely locations as Havana, Cuba. He said that one clip made its way to New York by hand delivery.
Lysistrata, an ancient Greek anti-war comedy written by Aristophanes, tells the story of women from opposing states who unite to end a war by refusing to sleep with their husbands until the men agree to lay down their swords. Powerless in their society and distraught over too many of their children being slaughtered in battle, the women take the only tactic available to them. They withhold sex.
Part-time St. John resident Mikki Lipsey, who works as an actor in the Boston area, said the St. John production had the cast wearing togas. It was performed March 3, 2003 at the Fish Trap Restaurant.

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