June is for milkshakes, Dream Bars and supporting theatre

Time for another tasty, tasty fundraiser.

Join us on Thursday, June 8, 2017, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Lincoln Square Potbelly (4709 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60625) for a delicious fundraiser to support our first full season of programming. (Look for an announcement coming soon!)

Potbelly will donate 25 percent of net sales during that time to Ghostlight. You don't need any special paperwork or flyers or code words or secret handshakes, just come in, order and eat.

Ensemble members will be on hand, as well. So come say hello and let's break bread — or better yet a Dream Bar — together. 

Who's Who in Six Authors in Search of a Character

We asked six playwrights to write 10-minute plays around the "missing" character in The Mountain Giants, Luigi Pirandello's final, unfinished play, for a one-night festival of new works.

The Mountain Giants tells the story of Cotrone the magician and his ragged group of outcasts who are visited in their crumbling villa by a touring theatre troupe. The thespians have spent their lives and fortunes performing a single play, "The Fable of the Changed Son," which has been universally reviled by audiences. On this night, however, the villa sees the boundaries between dream and reality collapse, along with those between characters and actors.

Pirandello died before he finished the play and introduced the titular characters, so our playwrights have gone in search of these giants themselves. Come see what they found.

THE PLAYS:

  • Playoffs by Jeff Bouthiette, directed by Holly Robison. Starring: Chase Neurge, Sarah-Lucy Hill, Laura Stratford, Amee Binder and Jessye Mueller.
  • Away Game by Spenser Davis, directed by John Morrison. Starring: Julie Peterson, Jean E. Burr, Brian Rohde, Jennifer Betancourt and Dan Krall.
  • Rock Show by Rory Jobst, directed by Lesley Fisher Chapman. Starring: CJ Chapman and Song Marshall.
  • Forgetting by Jillian Leff, directed by Breahan Pautsch. Starring: Ryan David Heywood and Taylor Raye.
  • Act IV by Francesca Peppiatt, directed by Chad Wise. Starring: Zoe Sjogerman, Miona Lee, Terri Lynne Hudson, Chuck Quinn IV, Josh Razavi, John Rohr, Kirk Jackson, Paul Czajkowski, Javier Carmona and Jean E. Burr.
  • A Little Villa Where We Could All Live by Sean Margaret Wagner, directed by Mike Danovich. Starring: Raymond Cleveland, Jessica Wise and Kim Egan.

The evening will begin with a short, abridged version of the first three acts of The Mountain Giants featuring the same cast as Act IV, directed by Maria Burnham.

The show is curated by Ghostlight Ensemble Member Miona Lee and is hosted by the Istituto Italiano di Cultura - Chicago.

Six Authors in Search of a Character takes place at 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 25, at the Instituto Cervantes Theatre (31 W. Ohio Street, Chicago, IL 60654). Instituto Cervantes has wheelchair-accessible entrances, elevators and restrooms. Tickets are $15 and are available through Brown Paper Tickets

Friday's start time delayed for 'Six Characters'

The start time of Friday's performance of Six Characters in Search of an Author has been pushed to 8 p.m.  We apologize for any inconvenience this causes. The run time is an hour and a half with two short intermissions.

The remaining two performances will start at their regularly scheduled times: 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 6, and 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 7.

Any questions, please call us at (773) 377-5342, or email us at info@ghostlightensemble.com.

Celebrate Pirandello at 150

If you enjoyed Six Characters in Search of an Author, don't miss its companion piece, Six Authors in Search of a Character on May 25.

In this festival of new works celebrating the 150th anniversary of Pirandello's birth, we asked six playwrights to write 10-minute plays around the "missing" character in The Mountain Giants, Luigi Pirandello's final, unfinished play.

Get your tickets now for this one-night event.

With works by: Jeff Bouthiette, Spenser Davis, Rory Jobst, Jillian Leff, Francesca Peppiatt and Sean Margaret Wagner.

Learn more about the festival here.

Only 3 performances remain for Six Characters in Search of an Author

Photo by Katie Jarecki

Photo by Katie Jarecki

Six Characters in Search of an Author closes Sunday and only three performances remain for you to catch this "assault on the conventions and clichés that have reduced the modern stage to a bourgeois diversion."

Join the actors and crew of a small, but scrappy Chicago storefront theatre as they begin rehearsals for The Mountain Giants — Pirandello's final, unfinished work — only to see their work halted by six strangers who show up with a fantastic tale of their own.

The finals performance are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. at Voice of the City studio in Logan Square.

Patrons may reserve their tickets in advance. Paying in advance guarantees you a seat. All others will be seated on a first come, first serve basis.

Probing what makes characters live on stage is the latest challenge for Pereira

Jason Pereira (rear, center), stars as The Son in Ghostlight Ensemble's production of Six Characters in Search of an Author through May 7. (Photo by by Katie Jarecki)

Jason Pereira (rear, center), stars as The Son in Ghostlight Ensemble's production of Six Characters in Search of an Author through May 7. (Photo by by Katie Jarecki)

Exploring what makes fictitious characters come alive for audiences and readers was part of the draw and the challenge in actor Jason Pereira's latest role as The Son in Ghostlight Ensemble's production of Six Characters in Search of an Author.

"What challenged me is also the thing I love the most about the play as a whole, it really makes you think about the actual 'life' of a character," he said.

Read more about Jason and his work on Six Characters in Search of an Author in the Chicago Tribune.

Quinn plays an 'actor version' of himself in latest production

Actor Chuck Quinn IV, front center, plays the Juvenile Male Lead in Ghostlight Ensemble's Six Characters in Search of an Author through May 7. (Photo by Katie Jarecki/for Ghostlight Ensemble)

Actor Chuck Quinn IV, front center, plays the Juvenile Male Lead in Ghostlight Ensemble's Six Characters in Search of an Author through May 7. (Photo by Katie Jarecki/for Ghostlight Ensemble)

Actor Chuck Quinn IV didn't have to stretch too far out of his comfort zone for his latest role - he's playing an actor who is still in college, but has landed a role with a Chicago storefront theatre company putting on a Luigi Pirandello play.

"It's fun playing the 'actor' version of myself, as it gives me license to let all my pretension out and to poke fun at the acting world," Quinn said.

Read more about Chuck and his work on Six Characters in Search of an Author in the Chicago Tribune and the Glenbrook Patch.

Do double duty while shopping for mom this Mother's Day

It's May and that means flowers, spring break and— most importantly— mom.

Mother's Day is Sunday, May 14. You can help support Ghostlight Ensemble while shopping at Amazon for your Mother's Day gifts. Just visit smile.amazon.com/ch/81-3409965, log into your Amazon account and shop as you normally would. 

There are no extra charges and the prices are the same. The only difference is that Ghostlight gets 0.5 percent of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchase. It may seem small, but it adds up!

Liked one of our shows? See them again for free!

Did you know that once you've seen a Ghostlight show, you can always come back and see it as many times as you want for free (as space permits). Just bring your program with you.

So come back to see Six Characters in Search of an Author again, and since you liked it so much, bring a friend or two with you when you come back. Make a night of it. There is plenty to do in Logan Square.

Our best advertising tool is you. If you liked the show, please tell your friends, post about it on social media, tell everyone you meet. People are much more likely to see a show based on a friend's recommendation than on something they read online.

Lastly, you can keep up with our goings-on by liking our Facebook page (GhostlighEnsemble) and following us on Twitter and Instagram (GhostlightETC).

Ana Dragovich as Madame Pace (Photo by Katie Jarecki)

Ana Dragovich as Madame Pace

(Photo by Katie Jarecki)

Opening This Weekend: 'Six Characters in Search of an Author'

This weekend Ghostlight Ensemble opens its inaugural mainstage production, Luigi Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author, not on a stage at all, but in the rehearsal room.

Join the actors and crew of a small, but scrappy Chicago storefront theatre as they begin rehearsals for The Mountain Giants — Pirandello's final, unfinished work — only to see their work halted by six strangers who show up with a fantastic tale of their own.

Six Characters in Search of an Author opens this Friday, April 14, at Voice of the City studio in Logan Square, with additional opening weekend performances on Saturday, April 15, and Monday, April 17.  The show continues on on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. through May 7.

Reserve your tickets now for this classic metatheatrical play that finds new relevance while addressing the problems of modern theater. Ghostlight Ensemble's production examines the institutional racism and biases found in theatre and leaves the audience wondering if they were watching a show, or were they, in fact, the show.

Six Character in Search of an Author is supported by the L’Istituto Italiano di Cultura Chicago and is being produced in conjunction with Voice of the City.

Vivanco balances pain, comedy and a fancy hat in latest role

Actress Alejandra Vivanco, center, stars as the Stepdaughter in Ghostlight Ensemble's production of Six Characters in Search of an Author.

Actress Alejandra Vivanco, center, stars as the Stepdaughter in Ghostlight Ensemble's production of Six Characters in Search of an Author.

Evanston-based actress Alejandra Vivanco is ready to lead audiences on a roller coaster ride of emotions in her latest role as the Stepdaughter in Ghostlight Ensemble's production of "Six Characters in Search of an Author," which opens Friday.

"I think there is definitely comedy in all this pain that these characters portray," she said. "There is obviously a difference between how the director and her actors handle themselves on stage and how the characters behave in the space."

Read more about Alejandra and her work on Six Characters in Search of an Author in the Chicago Tribune and the Evanston Patch.

Introducing Norman J. Burt

norman.jpg

Norman is a last minute replacement for the role of The Father in Six Characters in Search of an Author. He comes to Chicago by way of South Carolina, where he studied theatre performance in college. You may have seen him around town doing improv with various and assorted groups. We’re thankful to Norman for stepping into this challenging role at the last minute.

As previously noted, we’ve pushed back our opening from April 7 to April 14, which will give Norman more time to settle into this role. Thanks to our audiences for their patience during this transition.

 

 

Palliza blurs reality, fiction on stage in her latest role

Emma Palizza, left, rehearses for a scene in Six Characters in Search of an Author, which opens later this month.

Emma Palizza, left, rehearses for a scene in Six Characters in Search of an Author, which opens later this month.

Actress Emma Palizza drew from her lengthy theatrical resume to create the character she plays in her latest production, Ghostlight Ensemble's Six Characters in Search of an Author.

"Emily is insane. She is a combination of every annoying actor-y actor I've come in contact with and it's a fun way to parody that sense of entitlement and ridiculousness," Palizza said.

Read more about Emma and her work on Six Characters in Search of an Author in the Chicago Tribune and the Lakeview Patch.

Opening night for 'Six Characters in Search of an Author' rescheduled

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Ghostlight Ensemble will push back the opening of Six Characters in Search of an Author, in order to fully execute the creative team's vision.

The first three performances, originally scheduled for April 7-9, will now be used as preview weekend. Opening night will be Friday, April 14.

Previews are a set of public performances that precede an official opening. The purpose of previews is to allow the director and crew to identify problems and opportunities for improvement that weren't found during rehearsals and to make adjustments before critics are invited to attend.

Previews are performed in front of an audience and the public is welcome to attend. However, please note that because previews are technically the last stage of a rehearsal process, the show attendees see during previews may not be the finished product. Changes can, and are often made between preview and opening.

We deeply regret any inconvenience this causes. Individuals who have already reserved tickets will be contacted by our box office to arrange another date for attending. Any questions can also be directed to the box office at (773) 377-5342 or to info@ghostlightensemble.com.

Six Characters in Search of an Author runs April 14 to May 7 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at Voice of the City in Logan Square. Preview performances are April 7-9.

In Luigi Pirandello's classic metatheatrical play, six characters come looking for life and find the theatre world acutely unable to make them real. Ghostlight Ensemble's production will examine the institutional racism and biases found in modern theatre and leaves the audience wondering if they were watching a show, or were they, in fact, the show.

Patrons may reserve their tickets in advance. There is no charge to reserve a seat, however there is a suggested donation of $15 for regular performance and $5 for preview performance, which can be paid in advance or at the door via cash or credit. This helps us cover the cost of rehearsal and performance spaces, as well as costumes, props and set construction.

Cast and crew bios are now available online.

Feed your belly, help the arts

Join us on Thursday, March 23, 2017, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Lincoln Square Potbelly (4709 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60625) for a delicious fundraiser to support our spring show, Six Characters in Search of an Author.

Potbelly will donate 25 percent of net sales during that time to Ghostlight. You don't need any special paperwork or flyers or code words or secret handshakes, just come in, order and eat.

Ensemble and Six Characters cast members will be on hand, as well. So come say hello and let's break bread — or better yet a Dream Bar — together. 

Casting, production team announced for 'Six Characters in Search of an Author'

Luigi Pirandello

Luigi Pirandello

Ghostlight Ensemble announces casting for its spring show, Luigi Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author.

The cast is: Joshua Arroyo, Jean E. Burr*, Ana Dragovich, Nellsyn Hill, Heather L. Jencks, Miona Lee*, Matthew Lloyd, Emma Palizza, Jason Pereira, Chuck Quinn IV, Andy Ricci, Kara Rivera and Alejandra Vivanco.

The production team includes: Maria Burnham* (Director), Chad Wise* (Producer), Lisa Uhlig* (Stage Manager), Katy Vest (Costume Designer), Tim Lee (Set Designer) and Carolyn Minor (Props Designer).

In Pirandello's classic metatheatrical play, six characters come looking for life and find the theatre world acutely unable to make them real. Ghostlight Ensemble's production will examine the institutional racism and biases found in modern theatre and leaves the audience wondering if they were watching a show, or were they, in fact, the show.

Six Characters in Search of an Author — which looks at the relationship between authors, characters, actors, directors and audience — takes on new relevance in this age of reality television when fiction is often realer than reality.

"Pirandello said theatre should not be archeology, it should be adapted to contemporary ideas," said director Maria Burnham. "He wanted his work to remain relevant. With Six Characters we have this unique opportunity to use a play that has been performed for more than 90 years to examine what is happening in Chicago theatre today without any significant changes to the text."

Six Characters in Search of an Author is being produced in conjunction with Voice of the City.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of Pirandello's birth and Ghostlight will commemorate the milestone with a short play festival in May, Six Authors in Search of a Character, in which six Chicago authors pen 10-minute plays around the “missing” character in The Mountain Giants, Luigi Pirandello’s final, unfinished play.

"Pirandello continues to inspire artists 150 years after his birth, and this play festival will be an ideal opportunity for people to see that inspiration made reality," Burnham added.

The festival is curated by Ghostlight Ensemble Member Miona Lee.

Tickets are now available for Six Characters in Search of an Author, which runs April 7 through May 7 at Voice of the City in Logan Square.  

Please note: Voice of the City is not handicap accessible. The performance venue is on the second floor and there is no elevator access. Ample street parking is available, and Voice of the City studio is only blocks away from the Logan Square Blue Line stop, as well as the Milwaukee, Kimball and Diversey bus lines. 

Patrons are encouraged to reserve their tickets in advance. There is no charge to reserve a seat, however there is a suggested donation of $15, which can be paid at the door via cash or credit. This helps us cover the cost of rehearsal and performance spaces, as well as costumes, props and set construction.

*Denotes a Ghostlight Ensemble Member.

Join us for an oversized dose of Girl Power in February!

From left: Emma Palizza as Posh, Jean E. Burr as Sporty, Song Marshall as Scary, Caitlin Jackson as Ginger and Carrie Campana as Baby

From left: Emma Palizza as Posh, Jean E. Burr as Sporty, Song Marshall as Scary, Caitlin Jackson as Ginger and Carrie Campana as Baby

Ghostlight Ensemble presents a live reading of the Spice World screenplay, complete with our Spices singing all the Girl Power hits that you know and love from this modern cinematic classic.

Spice World is a British musical comedy starring the 1990s pop sensation known as the Spice Girls (who all play over-the-top versions of themselves in the movie). The lighthearted comedy follows the girls on a series of events leading up to their first live concert to be held at London's Royal Albert Hall, with plenty of dream sequences, flashbacks, flashforwards and surreal moments scattered in between.

Our cast includes: Caitlin Jackson as Geri (Ginger); Song Marshall as Mel B (Scary); Jean E. Burr as Mel C (Sporty); Carrie Campana as Emma (Baby) and Emma Palizza as Victoria (Posh), with Mark Lancaster as Clifford/ Richard E. Grant; Pearl Paramadilok as Nicola; Noah Berman as Piers/ Alan Cumming; Holly Robison as Deborah/ Claire Rushbrook and various female roles; Chad Wise as Dennis, Movie Producer and Damien/ Richard O'Brien; Sean Harklerode as The Chief, Kevin McMaxford, Mr. Step and Elton John;  Kirk Jackson as Enzo/ David Fahm, Brad, Elvis Costello and various male roles; and Christopher Paul Mueller as Graydon, Jess/ Steven O'Donnel, Bob Geldof and various male roles.

Grab a pint and join us for this one-night only event that takes place at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 22, in the backroom of the Rugby Pub (formerly Black Rock), 3614 N. Damen Ave., Chicago.

There is a suggested donation of $5 at the door, which will help Ghostlight pay for its spring show, Six Characters in Search of an Author.

Tickets now available for Six Characters in Search of an Author

Tickets are now available for Ghostlight Ensemble's spring show, Six Characters in Search of an Author, by Luigi Pirandello.

Patrons are encouraged to reserve their tickets in advance. There is no charge to reserve a seat, however there is a suggested donation of $15, which can be paid at the door via cash or credit. This helps us cover the cost of rehearsal and performance spaces, as well as costumes, props and set construction.

In Six Characters in Search of an Author, six characters from an unfinished play come looking for life and find the theatre world acutely unable to make them real. Ghostlight Ensemble's production examines the institutional racism and biases found in modern theatre and leaves the audience wondering if they were watching a show, or were they, in fact, the show.

Six Character in Search of an Author runs April 7 through May 7 and is being produced in conjunction with Voice of the City.

Casting Notice: Child Actor Needed for Spring Production

Ghostlight Ensemble is seeking an actor for the role of The Boy for its production of Six Characters in Search of an Author. This is an unpaid, non-speaking role.

About the role:
We are accepting submission from children ages 9 to 13, regardless of experience, to join our diverse cast.

About Six Characters:
In Luigi Pirandello’s classic metatheatrical play about the relationship between authors, characters, actors, directors and audience, six characters come looking for life and find the theatre world acutely unable to make them real. Ghostlight Ensemble's production examines the institutional racism found in modern theatre and leaves the audience wondering if they were watching a show, or were they, in fact, the show.

Material To Prepare:
Please submit your headshot and resume to Jean and she will arrange an audition.

Rehearsals:
Rehearsal dates for this role are March 25, March 31 and April 2-5 (tech week).

Performance Dates:
A preview performance is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 6. The production runs Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. & Sundays at 3 p.m. from April 7 to May 7; and 7:30 p.m. on Monday, April 17. There will be no performance on Sunday, April 16.  

Performance Location:
Voice of the City studio in Logan Square (3429 W Diversey Ave, Chicago 60647)

Contact:
Send your headshot and resume to Jean at casting@ghostlightensemble.com.

Thank you for a great welcome in 2016 (There's more to come in 2017)

As we approach the end of our inaugural half season, we want to thank you for welcoming us into your theatre hearts. We are so grateful for, and humbled by, the hundreds who came out to our launch party, table reads, Fight Night performance, Krampus! and the myriad of other events at which our Ensemble members and guest artists performed.

We tried to have fun in 2016, despite the difficult times for our community and country. Theatre can be a much-needed escape for a hurting people; it can be a light in dark places. But light also brings self-examination, and in 2017 we have some sober, contemplative work planned as well.

Our inaugural half season continues in the new year with Luigi Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author, in which six characters come looking for life and find the theatre world acutely unable to make them real. As a partner to this production, Ghostlight will also present Six Authors in Search of a Character, a short play festival in which six authors pen 10-minute plays around the “missing” character in The Mountain Giants, Pirandello’s final, unfinished play.

But it won't all be serious business, we have a bonus, one-night event in the works for February full of platform sneakers, animal prints and Girl Power. Check your inboxes in early 2017 for more on that.

We hope you'll continue to support us, not just in 2017, but in all the years to come. You can do this by helping spread the word about Ghostlight and our productions, by dragging your friends out of their seasonal affective disorder pillow forts to see a show, by shopping on Amazon, heck, you can even do it by wearing a T-shirt. Or, if you find yourself at the year's end with a few extra dollars in your pocket, your tax-deductible donation to Ghostlight Ensemble is always welcome.

Help us shed light on the human experience and provoke communal connections beyond the edge of the stage. We're going to need all the light and community we can muster in the coming year.

May 2017 bring you health, wealth, happiness and wisdom!

—  Chad, Holly, Jaclyn, Jean, Keith, Lisa, Maria, Michael, Mike, & Miona