Chicago

Up Next: A Live Reading of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Ghostlight Ensemble presents the next installment of its ongoing live movie reading series with Don’t Call Me Junior: A Live Reading of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

So dust off that brown leather fedora, get that whip cracking and join us at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, May 6 at Carbon Arc Bar & Board (4614 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60625), located in the Davis Theater in North Center, to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the movie’s release.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is a 1989 American action-adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg and is the third installment in the Indiana Jones franchise. It was release in the United States on May 24, 1989. In Last Crusade, the intrepid explorer Indiana Jones sets out to rescue his father, a medievalist who has vanished while searching for the Holy Grail. Following clues in the old man's notebook, Indy arrives in Venice, where he enlists the help of a beautiful academic, but they are not the only ones who are on the trail, and some sinister old enemies soon come out of the woodwork.

The live reading is directed by Chad Wise.

There is a suggested donation of $5 at the door, which will help Ghostlight fund its upcoming season.

Meet the cast of The Selfish Giant

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Up next for Ghostlight is The Selfish Giant, part of our Nightlight young audiences series.

Based on Oscar Wilde's short story of the same name, The Selfish Giant is a story that illustrates the perils of isolation and the negative consequences of selfishness, but it also teaches us that it is never too late for redemption and for love.

We're excited to announce the cast for this ensemble production: Jean E. Burr, Tamsen Glaser, Molly Gloeckner, Sophia Hail, Nate Hall, Karissa Kosman, Song Marshall, Daniela Martinez, Kali Skatchke, Maggie Blair Smith and Zoe Savransky.

The show is directed by Maria Burnham and Miona Lee.

This production will intrigue children and parents alike, not just with its story, but with its method of storytelling. The adaptation uses a chorus of actors to embody human characters and mythical beasts, while building the world of trees, birds, benches and beasts with their bodies. This physical theater piece relies almost completely on the ensemble of actors telling the story.

The show runs June 8-30 on Saturdays at 1 p.m. and Sundays at 11 a.m. at Otherworld Theatre, 3914 N Clark St., Chicago, IL 60613. Tickets will be on sale soon.

Up Next: Spice World Returns!

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This month we bring back our third annual live reading of the Spice World movie. And unlike the ACTUAL Spice Girls, we’ve got more Poshes than we can handle!

Join Ginger (Caitlin Jackson), Scary (Song Marshall), Sporty (Jean E. Burr), Baby (Carrie Campana) and Posh (Emma Palizza) as they gallivant around England (with a short jaunt to Italy) in advance of their first live concert to be held at London's Royal Albert Hall . Spice World turned 21 this year (in America…it was first released in England 21 years ago December), so we’re taking this film out to a bar to celebrate!

Grab a gin and tonic (better make that a double) and join us for this live reading (and singing) that takes place at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 16, 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, plus an additional donation of any amount for GirlForward, a Chicago-based non-profit with its own brand of Girl Power!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

Ghostlight featured on Chicago on Stage

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Ghostlight was recently lucky enough to sits down with Karen Topham (aka chicagodramagirl) of Chicago on Stage and talk about our origin and what made us think we could make it in the crowded Chicago theatre scene.

According to the League of Chicago Theatres, there are about 200 theatre companies in the city of Chicago. Wikipedia also lists about this many, as well as thirty long-standing companies that are now defunct. And that doesn’t even begin to include the multitudes of companies that have appeared for a show or three only to vanish into the competitive haze of the Chicago theatre community, which is, without doubt, one of the most incredible live theatre markets in the country, but also one of the most unforgiving.

Amid this whirl of dramatic achievement and failure, it must take a certain kind of people with a specific kind of audacity to start a whole new company from the ground up, yet that is precisely what Holly Robison and Maria Burnham, late of Strangeloop Theatre, and Chad Wise, founding member of New Millennium Theatre, and seven other founding members including co-artistic director Michael Wagman, are doing with Ghostlight Ensemble Theatre.

Read the entire article here.

Goodies for Ghostlight: A Potbelly Foodraiser

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Fall may be here in theory, but it's still warm enough outside for milkshakes.

So join us on Wednesday October 11, 2017, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Lincoln Square Potbelly (4709 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60625) for another in our series of delicious fundraisers that will go to support our Season 1 programming.

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 to chat about our Company, the upcoming season, our favorite plays or anything that takes your fancy. So come say hello and raise a toast — or a toasted sandwich — to the arts in Chicago. 

Live music, farm fresh fruits and Potbelly: A Fun-raiser in Lincoln Square

Time to put the fun back in fundraiser.

Join us on Thursday, August 17, 2017, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Lincoln Square Potbelly (4709 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60625) for another in our series of delicious fundraisers that will go to support our Season 1 programming.

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.

But it doesn't end there. Thursdays in Lincoln Square make a great day out for the family. You can shop the extensive Farmers Market across the street from Potbelly and then stroll over to the Square proper where the annual Summer Concert Series takes place. On August 17, you can boogie to the swampy blues of Tijuana Hercules, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Back at Potbelly, Ensemble members will be on hand to chat about our Company, the upcoming season, our favorite plays or anything that takes your fancy. So come say hello and let's break bread — or better yet a Dream Bar — together. 

Thanks for helping make Ghostlight the Best New Theater Company in Chicago

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Ghostlight is honored to have been named the Best New Theater Company in Chicago by The Chicago Reader readers. Thank you for welcoming us to the Chicago theatre community. We had an amazing first half season and are so excited for the season ahead and cannot wait to share some exciting new and re-imagined productions with you.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Krampus returns in December

Only four performances of Krampus! remain!

Get your tickets now for our December run, which begins at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, December 5, at the Underground Wonder Bar in River North.

Krampus! follows the Murray family as they get together for one final Christmas as a family before their eldest daughter moves to New York City with her boyfriend. And what could be more perfect than spending the holiday with your bickering family in a remote cabin in the Wisconsin woods during a snowstorm with a Christmas demon on the loose? Nothing says Christmas like abject fear.

Directed by Maria Burnham, Krampus! stars Jean E. Burr, Sean Harklerode, Stefanie Johnsen, Allison McCorkle, Christopher Paul Mueller, John Rohr, Paul Tinsley, Michael Wagman and Chad Wise, with Fight Choreography by Alex Farrington. Cast bios are on our website.

The show takes place at Underground Wonder Bar (710 N. Clark St., Chicago 60654) at 7:30 p.m. on October 31, November 1, November 7-8, December 5-6 and December 12-13, 2016. Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door.