Up Next: God Loves A Terrier: A Best In Show Live Reading

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Ghostlight Ensemble presents the next installment of its ongoing live movie reading series: God Loves A Terrier: A Best In Show Live Reading to benefit Ghostlight and the non-profit organization New Leash On Life.

Join us at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 5, 2018, at My Buddy's (4416 N Clark St., Chicago, IL 60640), and make sure you bring you Busy Bee!

Best In Show is a 2000 American mockumentary comedy film co-written by Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy. The film follows five entrants in the prestigious Mayflower Dog Show, and focuses on the slightly surreal interactions among the various owners and handlers, as they travel to the show and compete, as well as the aftermath of the competition.

The reading is directed by Miona Lee.

There is a suggested donation of $5 at the door, which will help Ghostlight fund its upcoming season, AND an additional donation for New Leash On Life, a North Center-based non-profit that is committed to finding loving homes for shelter dogs who might otherwise be euthanized.

Auditions announced for Picasso At The Lapin Agile

Ghostlight Ensemble announces auditions for our fall show Picasso at the Lapin Agile by Steve Martin, directed by Holly Robison.

The play imagines a meeting between Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso just before the renowned scientist transformed physics with his theory of relativity and the celebrated painter sets the art world afire with cubism.

 

Characters Descriptions:
We are seeking a strong, ethnically diverse cast of all genders. We are casting for all roles, with ages ranging from early 20s to early 70s.

Please see character breakdown below.  Some roles will be double cast. Please note: For the characters of Sagot and A Visitor, male-identifying, female-identifying and gender non-conforming actors will be considered. 

  • Freddy: owner and bartender of Lapin Agile
  • Gaston: an older man
  • Germaine: waitress at Lapin Agile
  • Albert Einstein
  • Suzanne: young woman who has fling with Picasso
  • Sagot: Picasso’s art dealer
  • Pablo Picasso
  • Charles Dabernow Schmendiman: a young man with some interesting ideas
  • The Countess: woman involved with Einstein
  • A female admirer of Schmendiman
  • A Visitor: mysterious man bearing a strong resemblance to Elvis

Material To Prepare:
Please submit your headshot and resume and if selected we will be in touch with sides and an audition appointment.

Time Commitment
Rehearsals will likely begin the week of September 10, with three to four rehearsals a week on weekday evenings or weekend days. Tech is scheduled for October 15-18 in the evening. 

Performance Dates:
Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday matinees, October 19 through November 4, 2018
With one industry evening performance on Monday, October 22, 2018
at Otherworld Theatre, 3914 N. Clark Street in Chicago.

Auditions:
6:30-9:30 p.m. Monday, July 23
6:30-9:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 24

You must be available for callbacks on Thursday, July 26, which will be held 6:30-9:30 p.m.

There is no pay for this production.

For consideration, please send your headshot and resume to Jean at casting@ghostlightensemble.com.

Thanks to everyone who attended 'The Princess Without Pots'

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Thanks to everyone who attended the inaugural production in our Nightlight young audiences series, The Princess Without Pots. We loved seeing all the tiny princesses and princes who joined us in the Land of Contentment.

In our second year of Nightlight we plan to expand the idea of what the series beyond the stage. To do this, we'd love to hear from you. What would you and your children like to get out of Nightlight? Are you interested in the craft of theater — learning how to make the props and costumes you see in the show, learning how to put on your own play, etc.  — or would you like more educational programing to accompany the performances? Would you be interested in more interactive pieces? Or maybe you just want more pillows on the floor? Whatever it is we'd love to hear from you

The next show in the Nightlight series will be an original adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s children’s story The Selfish Giant.

The Selfish Giant is a tale of a giant who owns a beautiful garden, in which the village children love to play. The giant has been away for 12 years and upon returning is outraged to see the children enjoying themselves on his land. He builds a wall to keep them out and puts up a notice that reads: “TRESPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED.” But without the children, the garden falls into perpetual winter and the Selfish Giant finds himself isolated and all alone. Despite this bleak beginning, the story ultimately has a happy ending.

More information on this production will be available soon!

Steve Martin, Oscar Wilde Part Of Ghostlight Ensemble’s Second Season

Ghostlight Ensemble will tackle the age-old debate of which is more valuable to society: art or science, and will probe the perils of building a wall to keep out unwanted children during its 2018-2019 Season.

 Pablo Picasso, 1908

Pablo Picasso, 1908

This fall, Artistic Director Holly Robison directs Steve Martin’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile – an absurdist comedy that imagines a meeting between Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso in a Parisian cafe in 1904, just before the renowned scientist transformed physics with his theory of relativity and the celebrated painter sets the art world afire with cubism.

 Ghostlight’s production will explore the struggles and similarities between science and art, but also between genius and fame, big ideas and mere notions and optimism of the new and skepticism of the familiar.

“The play imagines the absurd and mundane in the lives of two men who really did go on to impact the world and alter history,” Robison said. “With Picasso, we are asked to consider the men as much as the myth, to see their flaws, silliness, insecurities, hopes and dreams, as much as their towering legacies. The mythic men are humanized. We can see ourselves in them and understand their desires.

“Even if we are not all geniuses, we all to some degree have the same flicker of desire to create, to inspire, to change the world and leave something behind.”

Picasso at the Lapin Agile runs October 19, 2018, through November 4, 2018, at the Otherworld Theatre’s new home at 3914 N. Clark Street in Chicago. The show will have performances on Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoon matinees, with an industry night performance on Monday, October 22.

The company will continue its Nightlight young audiences series next summer with a new adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s children’s story The Selfish Giant, written by Ensemble Member Maria Burnham.

The Selfish Giant is a tale of a giant who owns a beautiful garden, in which the village children love to play. The giant has been away for 12 years and upon returning is outraged to see the children enjoying themselves on his land. He builds a wall to keep them out and puts up a notice that reads: “TRESPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED.” But without the children, the garden falls into perpetual winter and the Selfish Giant finds himself isolated and all alone. Despite this bleak beginning, the story ultimately has a happy ending.

Nightlight is Ghostlight’s summer young audiences series with original, adapted and forgotten plays geared toward children and the adults who love them. Ghostlight believes theatre can be a beacon for children, letting them know they aren’t alone in the world, giving them a sense of security and revealing the truth that in stories they can be anything they want to be. You’re never too young – or too old – for a nightlight.

In its second full season, the company will also host a holiday cabaret this December and continue its popular Live Movie Reading Series.

Next up in the Live Movie Reading Series batting order is: You're Killing Me, Smalls: A Live Reading of The Sandlot. The reading, celebrating the 25th anniversary of this coming-of-age story set during the summer of 1962, takes place at 7:30 p.m. Monday, July 16, at My Buddy's (4416 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60640) and is directed by Carolyn Minor.

Alternate poster design for The Princess Without Pots (Day 5)

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We've been asking our young audience members at The Princess Without Pots to come with some alternate poster art for the show, which will be featured here and on social media.

Today's design is by Elena, 8, of Chicago.

The Princess Without Pots is an empowering fairy tale about the importance of never underestimating your opponent or the power of a delicious baked good. In it, Princess Cristina’s parents have decided it’s time for their daughter to marry, so all the princes from all the lands come hoping to marry her. But, to win this princess’s heart, a prince first needs to win a battle against the fiercest warrior the age had ever seen – Princess Cristina. Learn more on the show page.

If your budding artist has a design for us, remember you can always scan it in and email it to us at maria(at)ghostlightensemble.com.

Alternate poster design for The Princess Without Pots (Day 4)

We've been asking our young audience members at The Princess Without Pots to come with some alternate poster art for the show, which will be featured here and on social media.

Today's design is by Sterling Schingoethe, 8, of Hazel Crest.

The Princess Without Pots is an empowering fairy tale about the importance of never underestimating your opponent or the power of a delicious baked good. In it, Princess Cristina’s parents have decided it’s time for their daughter to marry, so all the princes from all the lands come hoping to marry her. But, to win this princess’s heart, a prince first needs to win a battle against the fiercest warrior the age had ever seen – Princess Cristina. Learn more on the show page.

If your budding artist has a design for us, remember you can always scan it in and email it to us at maria(at)ghostlightensemble.com.

Alternate poster design for The Princess Without Pots (Day 3)

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After a few days off, we're back with more alternate poster designs by our young audience members at "The Princess Without Pots." 

The Princess Without Pots is an empowering fairy tale about the importance of never underestimating your opponent or the power of a delicious baked good. In it, Princess Cristina’s parents have decided it’s time for their daughter to marry, so all the princes from all the lands come hoping to marry her. But, to win this princess’s heart, a prince first needs to win a battle against the fiercest warrior the age had ever seen – Princess Cristina. Learn more on the show page.

If your budding artist has a design for us, remember you can always scan it in and email it to us at maria(at)ghostlightensemble.com.

Today's design is by Beatriz, age 7 (well, 7 and a quarter as she pointed out several times), of Chicago.

The King calls on his tiniest subjects to show up in style

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Norman J. Burt has an announcement for all the tiniest members of the Land of Contentment, where he reigns as King on the weekends:

"IF YOU DRESS IN YOU BEST ROYAL OUTFIT, OUR ROYAL COURT WILL TAKE A PICTURE WITH YOU AS THE RULER OF THE LAND OF CONTENTMENT. SO BRING YOUR CROWNS, YOUR SHIELDS, YOUR HELMETS AND ARMOR, YOU ARE WELCOME!"

Burt will put on his duct tape crown only two more times, this Saturday and Sunday, as the show he is acting in – Ghostlight Ensemble's The Princess Without Pots – comes to a close. But he wants to make sure they go out with a bang…or maybe a flourish of trumpets would be more appropriate.

Read more about Norm and his work on The Princess Without Pots in the Lakeview Patch.

Actress Sydney Ray brings empathy, kindness and her own brand of queenly spunk to role

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Every weekend Sydney Ray transforms herself from an average Chicago resident into the Queen of the Land of Contentment and then watches as the eyes of the children around her light up at getting to meet royalty. To the Uptown actress it's pure joy.

"I love performing shows for young audiences," she says. "I love the honesty that children bring to an audience."

Read more about Sydney and her work on The Princess Without Pots in the North Center Patch.

For Hendrickson engaging young minds, refuting tradition is all in a day's work

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What actor Sean Hendrickson relishes most about his current production, Ghostlight Ensemble's The Princess Without Pots, is the opportunity to share stories and ideas with children.

"Many of us didn't have opportunities like this growing up," he said, "So seeing them get excited and engaged with the show is wonderful."

Read more about Sean and his work on The Princess Without Pots in the North Center Patch.

Alternate poster design for The Princess Without Pots (Day 2)

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We've been asking our young audience members at The Princess Without Pots to come with some alternate poster art for the show, which will be featured here and on social media.

Today's design is by Sydney Morkunas , age 5, of Chicago.

The Princess Without Pots is an empowering fairy tale about the importance of never underestimating your opponent or the power of a delicious baked good. In it, Princess Cristina’s parents have decided it’s time for their daughter to marry, so all the princes from all the lands come hoping to marry her. But, to win this princess’s heart, a prince first needs to win a battle against the fiercest warrior the age had ever seen – Princess Cristina. Learn more on the show page.

If your budding artist has a design for us, remember you can always scan it in and email it to us at maria(at)ghostlightensemble.com.

Ramos kicks imagination into overdrive for latest role

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For Lakeview actress Isa Ramos, the best part about being in a show geared toward young audiences is having the freedom to think like a kid.

"I love that when performing for children, I have to kick my imagination into overdrive," Ramos said. "Childhood is the best stage of life because imagination rules our reality, and fills us with endless possibility and potential. Being an adult performing for children is the second best stage of life, because the kids challenge me to let my imagination roam big and free, the way it was intended to be."

Read more about Isa and her work on The Princess Without Pots in the Lakeview Patch.

Alternate poster design for The Princess Without Pots (Day 1)

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We've been asking our young audience members at The Princess Without Pots to come with some alternate poster art for the show. Over the next few days we'll be featuring some of them here and on social media.

Today's design is by first grader Amelia Hood, age 7, of Chicago.

The Princess Without Pots is an empowering fairy tale about the importance of never underestimating your opponent or the power of a delicious baked good. In it, Princess Cristina’s parents have decided it’s time for their daughter to marry, so all the princes from all the lands come hoping to marry her. But, to win this princess’s heart, a prince first needs to win a battle against the fiercest warrior the age had ever seen – Princess Cristina. Learn more on the show page.

If your budding artist has a design for us, remember you can always scan it in and email it to us at maria@ghostlightensemble.com.

Check us out in Chicago Parents magazine

The latest edition of Chicago Parents magazine features an article on our young audiences series, Nightlight, and this series' inaugural production, The Princes Without Pots, which opens Saturday.

Pick up the magazine today and then get your tickets for this world-premiere production!

Ghostlight celebrates Girl Power and the power of Spanish pastries in its latest production

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Ghostlight Ensemble will launch its young audience series, Nightlight, in June with the world-premiere production of The Princess Without Pots, a new tale of a warrior princess and her parents’ frustrating quest to compel her into a storybook romance.

“This is a play that celebrates just that, the wonderful capacity that children have for make-believe and play that we lose as we get older,” said Maria Burnham, the playwright and director. “With The Princess Without Pots, and with Nightlight in general, we hope to encourage future generations to keep a little bit of that with them as they grow.”

The Princess Without Pots is an empowering fairy tale about the importance of never underestimating your opponent or the power of a delicious baked good. In it, Princess Cristina’s parents have decided it’s time for their daughter to marry, so all the princes from all the lands come hoping to marry her. But, to win this princess’s heart, a prince first needs to win a battle against the fiercest warrior the age had ever seen – Princess Cristina.

“We hope we’ve built a world that encourages children of all genders to choose the path best suited to them without any of the limitations society wants to place on them,” Burnham said. “We wanted to create a world in which fighting like a girl is something everyone aspires to do.

“But we also wanted to create a production that is just a lot of fun to watch – one that inspires kids to go home and play Princess Without Pots.”

The Princess Without Pots stars: Brian Barber (Prince Brax), Norman J. Burt (The King), Jessica Casillas (Carl the Hapless Knight, Prince Harry of Strathbane, Camila the Squire, Montage Princes) Pearl Paramadilok (Princess “Sweet Pea” Cristina), Isa Ramos (Prince Miguel), Sydney Ray (The Queen), Josh Razavi (King Brawn, Prince Vlek of Ice Moutain, Phil the Long-Suffering Squire, Montage Princes), Kayla White (Advisors 1-3) and Emilio Williams as the voice of the narrator. Understudies include Sean Hendrickson (Prince Brax), Jessica Casillas (Princess “Sweet Pea” Cristina) and Jean E. Burr (Ensemble roles).

The production team is: Maria Burnham (Playwright, Director), Jean E. Burr (Assistant Director), Carrie Campana (Costume Designer), Jessie Cole (Stage Manager), Dave Gonzales (Fight Designer), Carolyn Minor (Production Manager, Set Painter) and Chad Wise (Props Designer). The poster design for The Princess Without Pots is by Addison Wise, age 8, of Aurora, IL.

 Tickets are now available for The Princess Without Pots, which runs on Saturdays at 11 a.m. and Sundays at 1:30 p.m. from June 9 to July 1 at Laugh Out Loud Theater in the North Center neighborhood of Chicago (3851 N. Lincoln Ave.) Tickets are: $10 adults, $5 children 12 and under or $25 family of four.

The cast will also be performing an abridged version of the show at the North Center Ribfest at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 9 in the Kids Square. A complete scheduled of Kids Square activities and entertainment can be found on the Ribfest website at ribfest-chicago.com.

Introducing the cast of The Princess Without Pots

 Pearl Paramadilok as Princess Sweet Pea (left) and Brian Barber as Brax (right) in rehearsals for  The Princess Without Pots .

Pearl Paramadilok as Princess Sweet Pea (left) and Brian Barber as Brax (right) in rehearsals for The Princess Without Pots.

In June, we're bringing young audiences a new tale of a fighting princess and her parents' frustrating quest for a storybook romance in The Princess Without Pots.

Saturdays and Sundays in June this world-premiere production will take place at Laugh Out Loud Theater in the North Center of Chicago (3851 N. Lincoln Ave.)

The play is written and directed by Ensemble Member Maria Burnham and stars Pearl Paramadilok as Princess Sweet Pea and Brian Barber and Isa Ramos as her would-be suitors Brax and Miguel with Norman J. Burt, Jessica Casillas, Sydney Ray, Josh Razavi, Kayla White and understudy Sean Hendrickson.

The production team includes: Jean E. Burr (Assistant Director), Carrie Campana (Costume Designer), Dave Gonzales (Fight Designer), Carolyn Minor (Production Manager) and Chad Wise (Props Designer).

Tickets are $10 adults, $5 children 12 and under or $25 family of four and are on sale now.
 

Thanks to everyone who attended Make A Move & The Bunny Gets It

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We had a full house for our live reading of Con Air last night at Carbon Arc Bar & Board. Thank you to everyone who attended and who donated to Chicago Veterans.

If you weren't able to attend, but want to donate to this local charity, which helps veterans readjust to civilian life (OR if you did attend and want to give more money to the cause), you can donate through the organizations website at ChicagoVeterans.org.

Our next Live Reading will be in July (exact date TBA) and we'll bringing the cult hit film The Sandlot to life in celebration of the 25th anniversary of its release.

Stage manager needed for The Princess Without Pots

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Ghostlight Ensemble is seeking a Stage Manager for its feminist fairy tale production of The Princess Without Pots. The production is geared toward young audiences. In addition to the usual duties, the stage manager will be required to act as light/sound board operator for performances.

Schedule Details
Rehearsals are scheduled through May with tech scheduled on Sunday, June 3 and Monday, June 4. Performances run June 9-30 at 11 a.m. on Saturdays and 1:30 p.m on Sundays at LOL Theater in the North Center neighborhood in Chicago. Because rehearsals have already been schedule, some conflicts in May are acceptable, but candidates must be available for the technical rehearsals and performances.

The stipend for this position is $100.

Submit resume to Production Manager, Carolyn Minor at carolyn.minor@gmail.com.

Thank you for a sold out run of 'An Ideal Husband'

We were so fortunate to have nearly 300 people join us for a sold out run of An Ideal Husband. Thank you to everyone — actors, production team, volunteers, audience members and Saints — who helped make this a phenomenal experience for our new company.

If you'd like to learn more about Ghostlight Ensemble, please visit our website and spend some time poking around. We have company bios, past productions, details on how to volunteer and support us and — coming soon — our Season 2 announcement.

In the meantime, check out the final show in our season, The Princess Without Pots — the story of a princess who has studied every weapon known to human existence and knows how to use them...as long as you don't need to know which knife is best for chopping carrots. The show is tailored to young audiences, but meant to be enjoyed by all.

Up Next: Make A Move & The Bunny Gets It: A Con Air Live Reading

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Ghostlight Ensemble presents the next installment of its ongoing live movie reading series: Make A Move & The Bunny Gets It: A Con Air Live Reading.

Join us at 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 7, at Carbon Arc Bar & Board (4614 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60625), located in the Davis Theater in North Center.

Con Air is the 1997 action film starring Nicolas Cage as former war hero Cameron Poe. Poe is sentenced to eight years in prison when he accidentally kills a man in a barroom brawl. When his release comes through, he's eager to see the daughter he's never met, but he finds himself aboard a flight transporting ten of the most dangerous men in the American penal system. When the criminals hijack the plane, Poe has to find a way to get home, keep himself alive, look after his cellmate Baby-O — who will die without proper medicine  — and try to help the cops on the ground.

There is a suggested donation of $5 at the door, which will help Ghostlight fund its upcoming season, AND an additional donation for Chicago Veterans, a non-profit that helps service members and their families in the Chicagoland area transitioning back to civilian life.