Production

‘Picasso At The Lapin Agile’ Opens on Friday

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Ghostlight Ensemble will tackle the age-old debate of which is more valuable to society: art or science with its fall production, Picasso at the Lapin Agile.

The absurdist comedy by American humorist Steve Martin 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,” Director Holly 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.”

The show stars: Maggie Antonijevic (The Countess/Female Admirer), Norman J. Burt (Charles Dabernow Schmendiman), Zach Finch (Albert Einstein), Joe Dougherty (A Visitor), Sean Harklerode (Gaston), Miona Lee (Germaine), Tim Lee (Freddy), Kat Moraros (Sagot), Sebastian Summers (Pablo Picasso) and Alejandra Vivanco (Suzanne).

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. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. with one industry evening performance at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, October 22, 2018. Tickets are $20 General Admission, $15 Seniors and Students and available in advance through Brown Paper Tickets.

Picasso at the Lapin Agile is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

Find out more about Ghostlight Ensemble and its entire 2018-2019 Season here.

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!

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.

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.
 

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.

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.

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.

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).

Every nightmare comes to an end...doesn't it?

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Thanks to everyone who packed our houses last weekend for Gingerbread Grindhouse!

Only two chances remain to catch Nutcracker Nightmare, plus trailers for Snow Day Bloody Snow Day by Babes With Blades, He'll Raise Her by New Millennium Theatre Co., Krampus!  by Ghostlight Ensemble and various improvised horror by The Stuntmen and Improvised Twilight Zone, all part of Gingerbread Grindhouse!

For those of you returning or attending for the first time, we strongly suggest purchasing tickets in advance, as people were turned away at the door last weekend.

Details

What is Gingerbread Grindhouse? In a nod to the lurid, violent films popular from the 1930s through 1970s, Gingerbread Grindhouse will feature a series of live “trailers” for grindhouse-style plays yet to be, before continuing on to the feature production, Nutcracker Nightmare – a holiday tale of children, the toys they love and the toys that try to kill everyone they love. It’s the perfect holiday entertainment.

Got extra cash lying around and it's been your dream to be killed on stage? We have one victim slot that remains open for Friday night. Learn more about that and all the tantalizing perks that are part of our end-of-the-year fundraiser here.

Nielsen takes on the (red) mantle for iconic Nutcracker role

 Cary native P. Tyler Nielsen (second from right) rehearses for "Nutcracker Nightmare," which opens this week.

Cary native P. Tyler Nielsen (second from right) rehearses for "Nutcracker Nightmare," which opens this week.

Words may be the weapon most closely associated with an actor's trade, but for P. Tyler Nielsen taking on the iconic role of The Nutcracker in "Nutcracker Nightmare" meant acting with his body…and with actual weapons.

"I love the physical challenge of portraying such an iconic character who has so few lines," Nielsen said. "There is much to convey without the chance to verbalize the Nutcracker's internal journey.

"In addition, the chance to discover how a nutcracker might move, fight and express love is a joy," he added.

Read more about Tyler and his work in the Chicago Tribune or the Crystal Lake Patch.

Meet the cast of your Nightmare

 From left: Serina Johnston, Tatum Hunter, Jean E. Burr and Kirk Jackson rehearse for  Nutcracker Nightmare .  (Photo by Maria Burnham)

From left: Serina Johnston, Tatum Hunter, Jean E. Burr and Kirk Jackson rehearse for Nutcracker Nightmare. (Photo by Maria Burnham)

Ghostlight Ensemble has announced the cast of Nutcracker Nightmare, the main feature of Gingerbread Grindhouse, which takes over the Greenhouse Theater Center's downstairs studio after-hours in December.

In a nod to the lurid, violent films popular in the 1930s through 1970s, Gingerbread Grindhouse will feature a series of live “trailers” for grindhouse-style plays yet to be, before continuing on to the feature production, Nutcracker Nightmare – a holiday tale of children, the toys they love and the toys that try to kill everyone they love. It’s the perfect holiday entertainment.

Written by Ensemble Member Maria Burnham and directed by Ghostlight Managing Director Chad Wise, Nutcracker Nightmare stars Ensemble Member Jean E. Burr as Clara and Guest Artists Alexandra Alontaga as Balam, Sean Harklerode as Drosselmeier, Annie Hogan as Mother, Maura Hogan as Itzamna, Tatum Hunter as Marie, Kirk Jackson as Truncheon, Victoria Jacobson as Zipakna, Serina Johnston as Rose, Allison McCorkle as Dora and the Evil Doll Queen, P. Tyler Nielsen as the Nutcracker and Mark Pracht as Father.

Full bios of the actors and production team are available online.

Gingerbread Grindhouse will also feature grindhouse-style trailers by Babes With Blades, New Millennium Theatre Co., Improvised Twilight Zone, Improvised Jane Austen, The Stuntmen and Ghostlight Ensemble.
 
Gingerbread Grindhouse takes place at 10:30 p.m. on December 8, 9, 15 and 16, at the Greenhouse Theater Center (2257 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, 60614) in Lincoln Park. Tickets are $15 and are available now through the Greenhouse website at https://www.greenhousetheater.org/gingerbreadgrindhouse, via email at boxoffice@greenhousetheater.org or over the phone at 773-404-7336.