holidays

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?!

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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!

Steve Martin, Oscar Wilde Part Of Ghostlight Ensemble’s Second Season

Ghostlight Ensemble will tackle the age-old debate of which is more valuable to society: art or science, and will probe the perils of building a wall to keep out unwanted children during its 2018-2019 Season.

Pablo Picasso, 1908

Pablo Picasso, 1908

This fall, Artistic Director Holly Robison directs Steve Martin’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile – an absurdist comedy that 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,” 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.”

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. The show will have performances on Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoon matinees, with an industry night performance on Monday, October 22.

The company will continue its Nightlight young audiences series next summer with a new adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s children’s story The Selfish Giant, written by Ensemble Member Maria Burnham.

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.

Nightlight is Ghostlight’s summer young audiences series with original, adapted and forgotten plays geared toward children and the adults who love them. Ghostlight believes theatre can be a beacon for children, letting them know they aren’t alone in the world, giving them a sense of security and revealing the truth that in stories they can be anything they want to be. You’re never too young – or too old – for a nightlight.

In its second full season, the company will also host a holiday cabaret this December and continue its popular Live Movie Reading Series.

Next up in the Live Movie Reading Series batting order is: You're Killing Me, Smalls: A Live Reading of The Sandlot. The reading, celebrating the 25th anniversary of this coming-of-age story set during the summer of 1962, takes place at 7:30 p.m. Monday, July 16, at My Buddy's (4416 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60640) and is directed by Carolyn Minor.

Jacobson gives life to children's nightmares in horror-inspired 'Nutcracker'

Victoria Jacobson (right) rehearses for the holiday horror play "Nutcracker Nightmare," which opens on Friday, Dec. 8.

Victoria Jacobson (right) rehearses for the holiday horror play "Nutcracker Nightmare," which opens on Friday, Dec. 8.

In Victoria Jacobson’s book, things that slither along the ground are scary. Dolls are not. And yet in her latest role as Zipakna, a worry doll that comes to life and terrorizes the Stahlbaum family in “Nutcracker Nightmare,” she is tasked with making an audience think just that.

“The biggest challenge was trying to find the balance between doll and creepy in a movement sense, Jacobson said. “What I consider to be bump-in-the-night scary are things that slither or move lower to the floor, while a doll would not necessarily be the type of creature to do so. Exploring a spectrum of movements in that sense is something that I worked on the hardest.”

Read more about Jacobson and her work in The Chicago Tribune and the Lakeview Patch.

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.

Ghostlight holding auditions for Nutcracker Nightmare

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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)ghostlightensemble.com, and she will be in touch to schedule an audition appointment.

Note: This a Non-Union, unpaid production.

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. 

Join Ghostlight and Krampus at Martyrs' Krampus Fest

Ghostlight Ensemble is excited to be a part of the Fourth Annual Krampus Fest at Martyrs' on Saturday, December 3, 2016.

The holiday market starts at noon with the Krampuslauf parade stepping off at 6 p.m. Entry is free and costumes are encouraged! The Fest features local artists, makers and bakers; German street food, gluhwein, beer and live music.

Make sure you stop by our table. We'll be there to chat about our show, Krampus! Come meet the creators, director and members of the cast. Plus pick up some Ghostlight swag and find out what else we have in store.

What's all this about Krampus, you ask? In European folklore, Krampus is the dark companion of Saint Nicholas. With cloven hooves, a long tongue and goat-like horns, Krampus (also known as Black Peter) punishes the naughty children while Saint Nicholas rewards the good. Krampus Night, or Krampusnacht, is celebrated on December 5 each year.

If you can't wait till Krampus Fest on Saturday, you can check out a preview of Krampus! at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 29, at Martyrs before PechaKucha Night.

Catch Krampus! at Christkindlmarket

Ghostlight joins the League of Chicago Theatres and 10 other local theatre companies as part of Theatre Tag at the 21st Annual Christkindlmarket Chicago on Tuesday, December 6, 2016.

Grab a warm beverage and join us after work at 5 p.m. with a scene from our current holiday production, Krampus! — Jaclyn Jensen and Mike Wozniak’s new take on a classic Christmas tale of switches and chains and devils who punish naughty children.

Mrs. Murray is looking forward to one final Christmas together as a family before her eldest daughter takes off to New York City with her boyfriend. And what could be more perfect than spending the holiday with her 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.

The Christkindlmarket is held at Daley Plaza in the Loop. For a full list of Theatre Tag performances and more information visit the event page.

Krampus! time is near: Save the date for our holiday show

Krampus!  rehearsals are underway. From left: Stefanie Johnsen, Chris Mueller, Jean E. Burr, Allison McCorkle and Chad Wise.

Krampus! rehearsals are underway. From left: Stefanie Johnsen, Chris Mueller, Jean E. Burr, Allison McCorkle and Chad Wise.

Ghostlight Ensemble brings Christmas to Halloween — and vice versa— as we present Krampus!, Jaclyn Jensen and Mike Wozniak’s new take on the classic holiday tale of switches and chains and devils who punish naughty children by stuffing them into baskets and dragging them to the fiery depths of hell.

Mrs. Murray is looking forward to one final Christmas together as a family before her eldest daughter takes off to New York City with her boyfriend. And what could be more perfect than spending the holiday with her 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.

Krampus! will be performed on select Mondays and Tuesdays beginning October 31, at Underground Wonder Bar in River North. The holidays can't come soon enough — or be scary enough.
 
Directed by Maria Burnham, Krampus! stars Jean E. Burr, Sean Harklerode, Stefanie Johnsen, Allison McCorkle, Chris Mueller, John Rohr, Paul Tinsley, Michael Wagman and Chad Wise, with Fight Choreography by Alex Farrington.
 
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.