Holiday Cabernet: A Call for Performers

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Ghostlight Ensemble invites poets, dancers, artists, storytellers, comedians and musicians to perform at our Holiday Cabernet fundraiser on December 14. We welcome performers of diverse skills and talents at this event.

Performances should be 5-10 minutes in length and themed to any of the winter holidays. Show off your talents in spoken word, slam poetry, excerpt reading, improv, dancing, comedy, music or any medium of your choice. The Cabernet is an excellent opportunity to try out new material in front of a friendly, supportive audience.

To submit, please send us a paragraph on your proposal and what genre of performance it falls under and any relevant links to your previous work. Email Jean at Deadline for submissions is November 1.

If you are selected we will contact you to communicate event details and information on how you would like to be recognized.

Performers will receive one complimentary ticket to the event and food and drink will be provided. There is no pay.

The event takes place at 8 p.m. on Saturday, December 14, 2019 at Vagabond School of the Arts (4001 N Ravenswood Ave #504, Chicago, IL 60613).

Ghostlight Ensemble puts women front and center in its third season

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Ghostlight Ensemble announced its Season 3 lineup, including a staged reading of a little-produced World War I-era play, a play festival with new works for young audiences and a Shakespearean comedy that takes place in a living room – quite literally.

The company also announced a change in leadership with Ensemble members Miona Lee and Maria Burnham taking over as co-artistic directors from Holly Robison, who has served as an artistic director since the company was founded in 2016. Robison remains with the Ensemble as a producing director.  

Both Burnham and Lee are founding members of the company and veterans of the Chicago theatre scene. Lee previously served as Literary Manager for the company and Burnham as the Marketing and Communications Director. The pair most recently co-directed Ghostlight’s summer show for young audiences, The Selfish Giant.

“Holly has been an incredible Artistic Director for Ghostlight’s initial seasons. Making a mark in a city full of so many magnificent theater companies is no small feat and she’s done a fantastic job guiding us,” Lee said. “I hope to continue pushing us in the direction of creating thought-provoking works.”

“I think our leadership will be a natural progression from the foundation Holly laid for this company,” added Burnham. “We will continue to push for works that challenge the status quo, that encourage new voices, and new stories and that shine light in places where darkness has allowed ignorance to grow. And we will also continue to tell great stories in unique ways.”

Full bios for both women can be found here.

Before stepping down, Robison helped guide the new season selection, which focuses on strong, female characters. 

“I am so honored to have been a Founding Member and Artistic Director for Ghostlight Ensemble,” Robison said. “It has truly been a wonderful, challenging, and rewarding few years. I’m so proud of the work Ghostlight has produced, and even more excited about the work ahead, especially in our coming season, which we like to call our year of Strong Female Leads. 

“While I look forward to staying on as Producing Director and directing our immersive spring production of Much Ado About Nothing, I’m also so thrilled to be handing the reins over to Maria Burnham and Miona Lee as Co-Artistic Directors. In the season of Strong Female Leads, what could be more fitting than these two fierce females leading our company? They are both great artists and great leaders, and I can’t wait to see where they take Ghostlight in the coming years. Thanks to all the Ghostlight Company Members, Artistic Associates, collaborators, and supporters for a great few years as Artistic Director!”

Ghostlight will begin its third season in October with a staged reading of the Bayard Veiller play, The Thirteenth Chair, a turn-of-the-century thriller set during a séance. The reading will be directed by Ghostlight Managing Director Chad Wise.  

The Thirteenth Chair, written in 1916, takes place at the home of the wealthy Crosby family. But the phony séance turns out to be the scene of a very real murder. All the doors and windows are locked and the murder weapon can’t be found. How will the real murderer be uncovered?

The reading takes place October 18 and 19 at 7:30 p.m. and October 20 at 2:30 p.m. at Vagabond School of the Arts (4001 N. Ravenswood Ave, Suite 503B, Chicago).    

In February, the company will continue its Nightlight young audiences series with a curated festival of short plays by playwrights from around the country. The plays, geared towards children 12 and under, will all have one unifying feature – strong female characters, continuing the theme of the season. Plays are currently being solicited and script selection will be made in early November. Playwrights interested in submitting to the festival can find more details on the Ghostlight website.

Ghostlight will round out the season in the spring of 2020 with Shakespeare’s beloved romantic comedy, Much Ado About Nothing. Audiences will be invited into Leonato’s Albany Park home to witness firsthand the merry war between Benedick and Beatrice, as well as the less merry machinations of Don John, as this immersive production brings guests, not to a theater, but to a condo on Chicago’s westside. The production will be directed by Holly Robison.

“This season is all about empowerment – from the astute Madame Rosalie La Grange to the outspoken Beatrice – these ladies are not afraid to take charge of their situations,” Lee said. “Nightlight is inspiring our younger audiences as well, with our festival of short plays chock full of strong female and non-binary characters.”

In addition, the company will once again host the Holiday Cabernet – an evening of holiday classics (or not-so-classics) by favorite G.E.T. performers, emerging artists and surprise guests in a cabaret-style setting with an M.C. who overindulges in the holiday spirits. The Cabernet takes place at 8 p.m. on December 14 at Vagabond School of the Arts.

Ghostlight also will continue its popular Live Movie Reading Series throughout the year at Carbon Arc Bar & Board, located in the Davis Theater. Next up in the series is: You and Me and Five Bucks: A Live Reading of Reality Bites. The reading, celebrating the 25th anniversary of this quintessential Gen X film, takes place at 7:30 p.m. Monday, August 28, at Carbon Arc (4614 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago).

Find out more about Ghostlight Ensemble and the entire 2019-2020 Season at

Ghostlight Ensemble is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit theatre whose mission it is to ask questions that challenge the status quo through timeless stories, immersive environments and unconventional staging.

Ghostlight announces acts for its Holiday Cabernet

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The Holiday Cabernet is shaping up to be quite a night of laughing, singing and dancing with acts ranging from clowning to improv to theatre — and just because it’s not weird enough, a live podcast.

Announced acts in our holiday-themed evening of cabaret-style entertainment include: Brad French, Club Asia, Les Enfants Terribles, Carrie Campana, Comedy Dance Chicago, The Holidudes, The Reviewniverse and Ghostlight Ensemble (that’s us!). Learn more about all these artists over on the Holiday Cabernet Facebook page, where we’re featuring a new act each day. And no promise that there won’t spontaneously be other performers who show up. It’s the holidays! Life is a cabernet…or is it cabaret? We’re drunk. Who can remember?!


The evening will be hosted by Chicago actress and personality Caitlin Jackson, along with her sober sidekick Chad. Expect singing and drinking and the unexpected.

The Holiday Cabernet takes place at 10:30 p.m. on December 14, 2018, in the back room at My Buddy’s (4416 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640). There’s plenty of street parking (though you probably shouldn’t be driving); the Montrose (78) and Clark (22) buses stop a few steps away; if you prefer trains and walking, the Wilson Red Line and Montrose Brown Line stops are a 15 minute walk away; or try ride sharing/cabs — they’ll bring right up to the front door!

Tickets are only $10 and are on sale now!

Tipsy Time: The Holidays are here!

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Tickets are on sale for our late night Holiday Cabernet set for Friday, December 14 at My Buddy's.

Enjoy an evening of holiday classics (or not-so-classics) by favorite G.E.T. (that's Ghostlight Ensemble Theatre) performers, emerging artists and surprise guests in a cabaret-style setting hosted by everyone's favorite foul-mouthed Ghost of Christmas Spirits Past, Present and Future, Miz Caitlin Jackson.

The evening includes a wide variety of acts ranging from musical to clown to more traditional theater. And it wouldn't be the Holiday Cabernet without a good dose of holiday cheer in a glass. So get into the holiday spirits and join us for a late night of song, theatre, good cheer and revelry.

G.E.T. yule holiday fun on!