Seeking script submission for a children's play festival


Ghostlight Ensemble is seeking short scripts (a maximum of 15 minutes) with strong female characters that are geared toward young audiences (under 12). Priority will be placed on scripts that are ethnically and culturally diverse, that do not require complicated sets or costumes and that fit our mission. This is open to playwrights in any geographic area. NO FEE.

Selected plays will be produced as part of a festival of theatre for children under our Nightlight banner in early February.

Electronic submissions only, please. Submit cover letter with full contact information, short bio, brief synopsis of script including development and production history (if applicable) and full script to Maria Burnham at Please use the following format in the email’s subject line: Nightlight Script Submission: [play name] - [playwright name]

The deadline for submissions is November 1, 2019.

Final two performances of The Selfish Giant begin Saturday


The final two performance of our all ages show, The Selfish Giant, are Saturday, July 29 at 1 p.m. and Sunday, July 30 at 11 a.m. Join us for this wildly inventive show that has been captivating audience members from babies to grandparents.

Come make some paper plate gardens with us, learn why walls are a bad idea and welcome children with open arms. There are many good lessons to be learned from Oscar Wilde.

You can get your tickets in advance here or at the door.

Happy New Year!

We've got lots of fun things planned for 2019, including the next installment of our Nightlight series for young audience, more live movie readings, plus Season 3 announcements.

We'll keep you up-to-date with all our happenings here in the news section of our website, but you can also follow our social media (see bottom of this web page for direct links to all).

We've loved getting to know all of you over the past two and half years and can't wait for you to see what's next for Ghostlight. We've revised our mission statement to better reflect who we are and what you can expect from us. We'll hope you join us for the next leg of this exciting journey.

Thanks to everyone who attended 'The Princess Without Pots'


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!

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

PWOP banner.jpg

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

Stage manager needed for The Princess Without Pots

PWOP Poster Art.jpg

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

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


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 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.

Small stipends for each position to be negotiated with experience

Auditions Announced for 'The Princess Without Pots'


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.

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

Ghostlight holding auditions for Nutcracker Nightmare


Ghostlight Ensemble will hold auditions for its production of Nutcracker Nightmare, part of our ongoing Gingerbread Grindhouse holiday horror series on, Tuesday, October 24 and Wednesday 25 from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Theater Momentum (1803 W Byron St #216, Chicago, IL 60613) .

Nutcracker Nightmare is 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.

Time Commitment:
Performance Dates: Friday, December 8; Saturday, December 9; Friday December 15 and Satuday, December 16 at 10:30 p.m. at the Greenhouse Theatre Center.

Material To Prepare:
Please prepare a 1-2 minute comic or serio-comic monologue and don't take yourself too seriously. Submit H/R to Jean at casting(at), and she will be in touch to schedule an audition appointment.

Note: This a Non-Union, unpaid production.

Casting Notice: Child Actor Needed for Spring Production

Ghostlight Ensemble is seeking an actor for the role of The Boy for its production of Six Characters in Search of an Author. This is an unpaid, non-speaking role.

About the role:
We are accepting submission from children ages 9 to 13, regardless of experience, to join our diverse cast.

About Six Characters:
In Luigi Pirandello’s classic metatheatrical play about the relationship between authors, characters, actors, directors and audience, six characters come looking for life and find the theatre world acutely unable to make them real. Ghostlight Ensemble's production examines the institutional racism found in modern theatre and leaves the audience wondering if they were watching a show, or were they, in fact, the show.

Material To Prepare:
Please submit your headshot and resume to Jean and she will arrange an audition.

Rehearsal dates for this role are March 25, March 31 and April 2-5 (tech week).

Performance Dates:
A preview performance is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 6. The production runs Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. & Sundays at 3 p.m. from April 7 to May 7; and 7:30 p.m. on Monday, April 17. There will be no performance on Sunday, April 16.  

Performance Location:
Voice of the City studio in Logan Square (3429 W Diversey Ave, Chicago 60647)

Send your headshot and resume to Jean at