What do you do if you’re one of 40,000 actors in New York, you’re struggling with your career, physical problems prevent you from working at your day job, and you’re worried about possible war on Iraq? This is the situation actor Kathryn Blume found herself in during the fall of 2002.

The story of how Blume transcended her own problems to create the Lysistrata Project, the first-ever worldwide theater event for peace, is recounted in her one-woman show, “The Accidental Activist.”

In a show that’s part fact, part fantasy, part caffeine-induced madness, this irreverent and irrepressible performer imagines how she might possibly make a difference on a planet that couldn’t care less.

Laced with self-deprecating wit, impossibly optimistic socio-political observations, and deft sketches of determined, defiant women from around the world, “The Accidental Activist” is one lone person’s ongoing search for a good reason to get out of bed.

It’s November 2002. Blume, an exuberant, articulate, frustrated, and very funny out-of-work actress and environmentalist with gargantuan dreams of both stardom and world-salvation, gets particularly hot under the collar about the Bush administration’s planned war on Iraq.

She casts about unsuccessfully for a way to both jump-start her career and forestall the impending war. On the verge of total surrender, she unintentionally kicks off a global act of theatrical dissent: the Lysistrata Project —worldwide readings of the ancient Greek antiwar comedy “Lysistrata.”

After two months of 18-hour days, the Lysistrata Project is a raging success, with over 1,000 simultaneous readings in 59 countries and in all 50 states. But after the project is over, Blume still doesn’t have an acting career and the U.S. goes to war anyway. Ultimately, she had to learn to redefine her definitions of success and learn to take active and attainable responsibility for the course of her life.

“The Accidental Activist” is Blume’s hysterically funny story of her journey to the Lysistrata Project and beyond. There’s a possibility she’ll be able to bring it to a major theater but in the meantime don’t miss a chance to see it as part of “I Have A Better Idea,” a series of solo performances by women, Sept. 15 through Oct. 3 (see box).

A note: “The Accidental Activist” contains some rather salty language, and is intended for mature audiences (but don’t tell Kathryn’s dad — he doesn’t like it when women swear).

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