Sex and war. These two universals are, like their cousins death and taxes, woven into the very fabric of human history. And next week both the battle to procreate and the desire to dominate will be on the receiving end of ridicule as groups around the world -- and at least two in Tokyo -- give readings of the ancient Greek comedy "Lysistrata," by Aristophanes, to protest war against Iraq.

With war seemingly imminent as the United States lobbies the United Nations for support to attack Iraq, actors in Tokyo and around the world are uniting in an act of solidarity against war. Readers at hundreds of locations around the globe will present "Lysistrata" March 3 in what is billed by its organizers, New York-based actresses Kathryn Blume and Sharron Bower, as "the first global theater event for peace."

"It is really astounding how little people have changed since this play was written," said Takuya Matsumoto, director of a Japanese-language reading to take place in Tokyo.