Genesius

A scene from the 2004 Genesius Guild production of "Peace."

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Genesius Guild will close its season with its traditional farce — this year, Aristophanes' "Peace" — with three performances this weekend.

It is a change in the traditional Genesius schedule, with only one weekend of performances. They are at 8 p.m. today through Sunday at Lincoln Park Classic Theatre, 38th Street and 11th Avenue, Rock Island.

Aristophanes, a conservative playwright of Athens, was not merely critical of the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta — he raged against it in his comedies, according to Genesius promotional material. He made the generals look ludicrous, satirized Athenian conquests, brought up every bad move that the government made as it got further and further into war and seemed unable to stop.

Adapting the play means bringing current people and situations into the plot and expanding it, sometimes dropping it altogether, in order to bring the spirit of Aristophanes’ works, if not the script, into the present. Song parodies and dances are used to replace most of the choral interludes and some of the dialogue. Characters are added or subtracted to create some kind of narrative thread, a thread which can be snapped suddenly, if a comic digression beckons. The play ends in a traditional Mack Sennet chase, with characters running and leaping in a frantic, three-minute routine that ends when everyone collapses in exhaustion.

Admission is free, with donations accepted.

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