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.

Closing weekend performances of An Ideal Husband are sold out

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We've had numerous calls, emails and messages asking about tickets for this weekend's performances of An Ideal Husband. Unfortunately, we are completely sold out and we are not able to add seats or performances, nor are we able to extend the production another weekend.

We will have a wait list at each performance. There is no late seating at our shows, so if patrons who have purchased tickets in advance do not show up by curtain then we will release those seats to the wait list.

We are flattered by everyone's interest in the show and we wish we were able to accommodate everyone, but unfortunately we cannot.

An Ideal Husband is a hit!

 From left: Alex Ireys (Lord Goring) and Richard Engling (Lord Caversham) in  An Ideal Husband .  (Photo by Maria Burnham/Ghostlight Ensemble)

From left: Alex Ireys (Lord Goring) and Richard Engling (Lord Caversham) in An Ideal Husband. (Photo by Maria Burnham/Ghostlight Ensemble)

Rave reviews from audience members and critics alike are piling up for Ghostlight Ensemble's production of Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband, which has sold out every production (including previews) so far.

Splash Magazine says "it is a delightful show and highly recommended." While the Chicago Reader also recommends this "savvy" production calling it,  "remarkable: a compelling examination of acute moral dilemmas faced by recognizable people with rich inner lives." And Chicago On Stage says of the cast, "the acting is uniformly excellent" and adding this "a first-rate production."

Meanwhile audience members have said, "Perfectly staged in the Berger Park Cultural Center mansion, elegantly costumed, and finely acted, this is a show to see."

It definitely IS a show to see. But you'll need to get your tickets in advance for An Ideal Husband, which runs through April 28, because we've been turning people away at the door. Tickets are available now through Brown Paper Tickets.

Ghostlight welcomes new associate member

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Actor Christopher Paul Mueller has joined Ghostlight as associate ensemble members. He has worked extensively with Ghostlight over the past two years, including in our inaugural production, Krampus!

Christopher has also been in every one of our live movie readings (except the most recent one, Cup of Ambition: A 9 to 5 Live (Movie) Reading).

A full bios can be found on the About Us: The Ensemble page of our website. 

Production jobs listed for this summer's 'Princess Without Pots'

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Ghostlight is seeking a Fight Choreographer, Scenic Painter and Stage Manager for its feminist fairy tale production of The Princess Without Pots. The production is geared toward young audiences.

To apply for any of the jobs listed below, submit resume and a brief description of what 'fight like a girl' means to you to Production Manager, Carolyn Minor at carolyn.minor@gmail.com. Please put the job you are applying for in the subject line.

Fight Choreographer
While this is a fight-heavy show, it is also a show geared toward young audiences, so we're seeking an artist who can design believable fights that are, at the same time, not hyper violent. The fights are short, but range from hand-to-hand combat to a sword fight with a spoon to more traditional weapons. Help sourcing weapons will also be appreciated.

Stage Manager
In addition to the usual duties, the stage manager will be required to act as light/sound board operator for performances.

Scenic Painter
We're looking for a scenic painter to help us create the look of a fairy tale castle (inside and out) as imaged by children. More details about the director's vision for this are available upon request.

Schedule Details
Rehearsals will begin in late-April/early May. 
Performances run June 9 to July 1 at 11 a.m. on Saturdays and 1:30 p.m on Sundays at LOL Theater in the North Center neighborhood in Chicago.

Stipend
Small stipends for each position to be negotiated with experience

Shopping Amazon? Do it with a Smile

Shopping on Amazon this month? Help Ghostlight in the process.

Go to smile.amazon.com/ch/81-3409965 between now and March 31, and Amazon will donate a portion of your sale to Ghostlight Ensemble Theatre Company. And if it's your first AmazonSmile purchase, Amazon is tripling it's usual donation amount to 1.5 percent of your total purchase price. 

Best of all, there is no added cost to you.

March Means War

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Ghostlight will take on The Factory Theater, the cast of Southern Gothic at Windy City Playhouse, 16th Street Theater, Babes With Blades and The Hypocrites Alumni Association in Strawdog Theatre's late night game show, Theatre Wars.

Join us at Strawdog's new home at 1802 W. Berenice Avenue in NorthCenter as we compete against our fellow theatre nerds in a battle of survey-related gaming, guessing and kissing.

 

Doors open at 10:30 p.m. Tickets: $15

Auditions Announced for 'The Princess Without Pots'

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Ghostlight Ensemble announces auditions for our summer show The Princess Without Pots, written and directed by Maria Burnham.

The Princess Without Pots is geared toward young audiences and shows us a world in which fighting like a girl is something everyone aspires to do.

 


Characters Descriptions:
Seeking a strong ethnically diverse cast of all genders, ages, shapes and sizes, who love a good story and who have an imagination to rival any 5-year-old.

Material To Prepare:
Please submit your headshot and resume to Jean, and she will be in touch with sides and an audition appointment. Bring your sense of play.

Performance Dates:
Saturdays at 11 a.m. & Sundays at 1:30 p.m., June 9 to July 1 in the North Center neighborhood of Chicago.

Auditions:
7-10 p.m. on Tuesday, March 27
7-10 p.m. on Wednesday, March 28

Please indicate your preferred date and time in your email.

You must be available for callbacks on Thursday, March 29, which will be held between 6:30 to 10 p.m. You do not need to be available for this entire time.

Auditions and call backs will be held at Theatre Momentum's Pendulum Space (1803 W Byron St, Chicago).

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

Up Next: Cup of Ambition: A 9 to 5 Live (Movie) Reading

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Ghostlight Ensemble presents a special Woman's History Month installment of its ongoing live movie reading series: Cup of Ambition: A 9 to 5 Live (Movie) Reading.

Join us at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 15, at the Celtic Crown (2356 W Cullom Ave, Chicago, IL 60618) in North Center, as we fight sexual harassment and discrimination in the back room of a bar. 

9 to 5 follows three female office workers who get revenge on their tyrannical, sexist boss by abducting him (after realizing they hadn't just killed him — it'll make more sense if you just come to the reading) and running the business themselves.  Please note, this is a reading of the MOVIE starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton, not the inevitable musical adaptation that came later.

There is a suggested donation of $5 at the door, which will help Ghostlight fund its upcoming season, AND an additional donation (we suggest another $5) for GirlForward, a North Side non-profit organization that mentors adolescent refugee girls and provides educational programs and leadership opportunities.

Scenic Designer Needed for An Ideal Husband

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Ghostlight Ensemble is seeking a designer to enhance the scenic dressing and practical lighting of our site-specific spring production of An Ideal Husband.

The designer may also be asked to aid in sourcing a small amount of hand props. If so, the stipend will be adjusted accordingly.

The performance space is The North Mansion/ Gunder House in Berger Park (6205 N. Sheridan Rd., Chicago, 60660), which provides the perfect backdrop for this production. As such, there will be minimal scenic elements and lighting fixtures for each setting.

Schedule Details
Load-in: April 2, during the day
Tech: Evenings April 2-5
Preview: April 6
Performances: April 7-28 Friday night and Saturday 2:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m., with an additional performance on Monday, April 9

Stipend
Small stipend to be negotiated with experience

To Apply
Please send resume and cover letter to Production Manager Janette Bauer at bauer.janette@gmail.com.

Celebrating 20 years of 'Spice World'

To celebrate 20 years of Girl Power, platform sneakers and Union Jack dresses, Ghostlight Ensemble presents Girl power!: Celebrating 20 Years of Spice World (A Live Reading). Join our girls as they read and sing all the Girl Power hits that you know and love from this modern cinematic classic.

Spice World, released in the U.S. 20 years ago on January 23, 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.

The Spice Girls are: Caitlin Jackson as Geri (Ginger), Song Marshall as Mel B (Scary), Jean E. Burr as Mel C (Sporty), Carrie Campana as Emma (Baby) and Maura Hogan as Victoria (Posh).

The full cast list is available on the show page.

The reading takes place at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 23, at the Celtic Crown, located at the corner of Western Avenue and Cullom Avenue. There is a suggested donation of $5 at the door, which will help Ghostlight fund its current season.

Cast announced for 'An Ideal Husband'

Ghostlight Ensemble announces casting for its spring show, Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband.

The cast is: Alex Ireys as Lord Goring, Aaron Wertheim as Robert Chiltern, Maddie Pell as Lady Chiltern, Sam Bianchini as Mrs. Cheveley, Halie Merrill as Mabel Chiltern, Richard Engling as Lord Caversham, Michael Wagman as Phipps/Mason, Song Marshall as Lady Basildon, Allison McCorkle as Mrs. Marchmont, Stephanie Monday as Lady Markby and Sebastian Summers as Nanjac.

The show is directed by Ghostlight Co-Artistic Director Holly Robison. Janette Bauer is the production manager.

An Ideal Husband is Oscar Wilde's comedic masterpiece of blackmail and political corruption. Sir Robert Chiltern, a government minister who built his fortune on a single dishonest act, is blackmailed by Mrs. Cheveley, who wants his assistance in another dishonest scheme. Chiltern asks Lord Goring, the ne'er-do-well son of the Earl of Caversham, for advice, and Lord Goring, familiar (in several ways) with Mrs. Cheveley, ultimately saves Chiltern's marriage and social position. By doing so, he ironically ends up married.

The show takes place Fridays and Saturdays, April 7-28, 2018, at The North Mansion in Berger Park/ Gunder House (6205 N. Sheridan Rd., Chicago, 60660).

Ghostlight welcomes two new associate ensemble members

 Norman J. Burt (left) and Song Marshall (right) have joined the Ensemble.

Norman J. Burt (left) and Song Marshall (right) have joined the Ensemble.

Actors Song Marshall and Norman J. Burt have joined Ghostlight as associate ensemble members. Both have worked extensively with Ghostlight over the past year and a half.

Song was in our inaugural live movie reading, Girl Power! A Spice World Live Reading, and she will reprise her role as Mel B (aka, Scary Spice) in the January remount of that reading. She was also in our Thanksgiving-themed live reading, Must Eat TV, and in our short play series celebrating Pirandello at 150, Six Authors in Search of a Character. You can also catch her as Lady Basildon in our spring production of An Ideal Husband.

Norman was in our inaugural mainstage production of Six Characters in Search of an Author as the Father. He has been a staple in our live reading series, participating in Something Has Survived: A Jurassic Park Live Reading, You've Got READ On You: A Shaun of The Dead Live Reading and Must Eat TV: A Live Reading of Your Favorite Thanksgiving Episodes.

Full bios of both artists can be found on the About Us: The Ensemble page of our website. 

Thank you for an amazing 2017!

 Six Authors in Search of a Character

Six Authors in Search of a Character

 Something Has Survived: A  Jurassic Park  Live Reading

Something Has Survived: A Jurassic Park Live Reading

As we approach the end of the year, we at Ghostlight Ensemble are not only celebrating the final days of 2017, but also the final days of our G.E.T. Fundraiser.  We are beyond grateful for the support we've received so far and we hope more of you will join the fun before our fundraiser ends December 31.

In the summer of 2016 we were 10 people gathered in a Northside apartment asking, “What do we want to do?” “What do we want to call ourselves?” and “What sort of theatre company do we want to be?” One main stage production, two holiday shows, five live movie readings, one Fight Night, one short play festival and a year and a half later, we are proud to say Ghostlight Ensemble is the kind of company brave enough and curious enough to do just about anything — to bring you the unexpected. We have accomplished so much in so little time and we couldn’t have done it without you, our audiences, donors, artists, volunteers and subscribers. Thank you!

This is only the beginning, though. As we look to the new year, we have so much more we want to do, so much more entertainment we want to bring you and we hope you’ll join us in bringing it to life.

In the spring we are producing the Oscar Wilde's classic play about political corruption and personal integrity, An Ideal Husbanddirected by Co-Artistic Director Holly Robison. In the summer we inaugurate our Nightlight summer children’s series with our production of Maria Burnham’s original script, The Princess Without Pots, a story about a warrior princess trying to gain her independence and a decidedly un-warrior prince trying to save his kingdom.

Be a part of what's to come. You helped make us the Best New Theatre Company in Chicago in 2017, now help us bring the unexpected to Chicago.
 

Holly Robison & Michael Wagman
Co-Artistic Directors