‘Accidental Activist’ gets students to ponder state of the world

“What the f**k is going on in the world?” Kathryn Blume bellows the question to the audience in her solo show ‘The Accidental Activist,’ seemingly addressing apathy and wanting the audience to ask themselves that question.

The one-woman show, presented at the Castleton State College Fine Arts Center on Feb. 15, displayed Blume’s personal political opinion and her ‘Lysistrata Project,’ a world-wide theatrical act in opposition of the Bush Administration’s planned war on Iraq.

There were readings of the Greek play Lysistrata, an anti-war comedy where the hero, Lysistrata, unites women to deny their husbands sex until a peace treaty is signed. The men then drop their weapons to make love, not war.

“It’s not my fault I want something impossible,” Blume said in her play, revealing how she wants to save the world.

Little did she know, while trying to find a way to stop the war and advance her acting career, she would have the chance to try. Blume became an “accidental activist” when Theatres Against War called upon her to produce a reading of the play in January 2003. By March, Blume had helped the Lysistrata Project spread with readings in all 50 states and in 59 countries around the world.

“I am so sorry,” Blume said with tears in her eyes and distress in her voice.

The comic’s fast and upbeat performance slows and the audience seems to stop breathing as Blume realizes the United States will go to war despite her efforts. Exhausted from long hours and knowing the justifications for war were fabricated, Blume feels defeated, but finds strength to go on through understanding it was not a complete loss.

“The project was successful because it brought people together and gave them a voice,” Blume said in the question and answer session after her show.

The performance does not tell viewers what to think, but gives them something to think about. It asks the audience where they stand on the war. Blume’s energy and spirit is intended to inspire activism and show that everyone has the power to make a difference.

After the act, one Castleton student asked, “What do we do to get more involved?”

“Educate yourself,” Blume simply quickly.

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