theatre

Ghostlight announces change in artistic leadership

Maria Burnham

Maria Burnham

Miona Lee

Miona Lee

Ghostlight announced today that Ensemble members Miona Lee and Maria Burnham have taken 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.

Full bios for both women can be found in the About section on the Ghostlight website.

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

More about the announcement and the new Ghostlight season can be found here.

Auditions announced for a staged reading of The Thirteenth Chair

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Ghostlight Ensemble is seeking actors for a staged reading of Bayard Veiller's The Thirteenth Chair. The staged reading is part of the company's development process and those involved in the reading will receive first consideration in casting for the full production.

The Thirteenth Chair is a play written in 1916 set during a phony seance at the home of the wealthy Crosby family. But the phony seance 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 murderer be uncovered?

The full script can be found here.

Character Descriptions
Seeking a strong, ethnically diverse cast of all genders, ages, shapes and sizes for about 14 roles (with some double casting).

Details
Auditions will be held from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 7 in Lakeview.

The staged reading will take place at 7:30 p.m. on October 18 & 19 and 2:30 p.m. on October 20 at Vagabond School of the Arts.

Rehearsals will be scheduled around actor availability. There is no pay.

Material To Prepare
Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script. There will be no callbacks.

Please email a resume and headshot to Jean at casting@ghostlightensemble.com.

Seeking script submission for a children's play festival

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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 scripts@ghostlightensemble.com. 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.

Introduce your children to the world of The Selfish Giant

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If you're looking for live entertainment that's appropriate for the entire family, The Selfish Giant, which opens this weekend, is a tale for all ages — and one of the Hot Shows to see in June.

Weaving movement and words into a highly physical form of storytelling, our intimate production tells the tale of an angry giant who builds a wall to keep children off his land, but discovers the perils of isolation and the negative  consequences of selfishness.

Curious about our physical story-making process? Watch this video to learn more.  

The show's weekend runs are perfect for families looking for live, daytime entertainment. The Selfish Giant runs June 8-30 on Saturdays at 1 p.m. and Sundays at 11 a.m. at Otherworld Theatre in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago (3914 N. Clark St., 60613). 

Tickets are on sale now: $10 adults, $5 children 12 and under, or $25 family of four.

In A World Where Trees Talk And Giants Walk, Why Not A Set That Lives And Breathes?

In Ghostlight Ensemble’s latest production, actors throw their whole selves – literally – into telling the story of a giant who brings on a perpetual winter in an effort to keep his land to himself. The Selfish Giant, which opens June 8, is a physical theatre reimagining of the Oscar Wilde short story of the same name.

Weaving movement and words into a highly physical form of storytelling, this intimate production tells the tale of an angry giant who builds a wall to keep children off his land, but discovers the perils of isolation and the negative consequences of selfishness.

“The themes of this story, originally published in 1888, resonate with modern audiences, tackling issues that we are still very much grappling with,” said Maria Burnham, the playwright and a co-director of the production. “The story is almost too relevant.”

This production removes the religious overtones of Wilde’s original short story and replaces it with a morality tale that focuses on character redemption and the power of love. It also moves the story off the page by relying solely on the actors who are telling it, illustrating to the audience another theme of the story – how much better we can be when we all work together.

The adaptation uses a chorus to embody human characters and mythical beasts. The actors build the world of trees, birds, benches and beasts with their bodies.

“Physical theatre is really much more about, not a singular person, but what a group can provide you. What can we build together as opposed to one person standing and saying ‘Hey I’m a giant’ or ‘I’m a tree’,” said Miona Lee, co-director and movement choreographer for the production. “The story itself is very much about inclusiveness and the way we’re building our world as well is really inclusive.”

The Selfish Giant was part of a collection of stories for children by Oscar Wilde, The Happy Prince and Other Tales, first published in May 1888. In the story, the selfish giant builds a wall around his beautiful garden to keep children out. By doing so, he creates a perpetual winter in the garden, because no other season wanted to be part of his selfish endeavor. Then one morning, a special child brings spring back, and the giant’s heart melts along with the snow.

The Selfish Giant stars Jean E. Burr as Lydia and Tamsen Glaser, Molly Gloeckner, Sophia Hail, Nate Hall, Sarah-Lucy Hill, Song Marshall, Daniela Martinez, Maggie Blair Smith and Zoe Savransky as a chorus of characters.

The show was crafted to appeal to all ages and its weekend runs are perfect for families looking for live, daytime entertainment. The Selfish Giant runs June 8-30 on Saturdays at 1 p.m. and Sundays at 11 a.m. at Otherworld Theatre in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago (3914 N. Clark St., 60613) Tickets are on sale now: $10 adults, $5 children 12 and under, or $25 family of four.

The Selfish Giant is part of Ghostlight’s summer Nightlight series.

Nightlight is Ghostlight’s summer young audience 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.

Tickets on sale for The Selfish Giant

Actors have begun rehearsals for  The Selfish Giant , which runs in June at Otherworld Theatre in Lakeview.

Actors have begun rehearsals for The Selfish Giant, which runs in June at Otherworld Theatre in Lakeview.

Tickets are on sale now for The Selfish Giant, a physical theatre production that will mesmerize audiences of all ages.

This story of a giant who builds a wall to keep children off his land runs during the month of June at Otherworld Theatre and is geared toward all ages.

Tickets are available through Brown Paper Tickets and are $5 for children, $10 for adults or $25 for a family of four.

You can also obtain tickets through our Go Fund Me Campaign. The Garden, Ogre, North Wind and Giant levels all come with tickets to the show, along with a host of other goodies. Learn more Becoming a Generous Giant for Children's Theatre here.

Based on Oscar Wilde's short story of the same name, The Selfish Giant 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.

Donate to children, earn a reward!

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Did you know we’ve put together some very special gifts for the donors to our The Selfish Giant fundraiser? From growing your own garden to headshots and more.

Read all about the show here and then go donate here.

By donating you help keep our ticket prices affordable for all families in Chicago.

Levels include:

$25 GARDEN LEVEL: Start your own urban garden with a Grow Your Own Garden Kit and receive a ticket to the show, as well as thanks in our program.

$50 OGRE LEVEL: Join cast members and the director of The Selfish Giant after a performance for apple pie and milk and to learn more about physical storytelling. Bring your kids (or you friends’ kids) so they can learn how to turn everyday objects into props to create their own plays at home. Plus: A ticket to the show, as well thanks in the program

$75 NORTH WIND LEVEL: Get a headshot session with our company photographer who will offer you one look (a.k.a. outfit, but a variety of expressions within that one outfit) and guarantee a photo you’re happy with, or you’ll get a makeup session. You get all the photos from the session on a disc to use as you wish without watermarks. This offer is regardless of whether you’re an actor looking for fresh headshots, one of our business friends looking to spruce up your LinkedIn page or an animal lover looking for a professional photo of your pupper (did we mention, this wasn’t limited to humans!) Plus two tickets to The Selfish Giant, as well as thanks in the program

$100 or more GIANT LEVEL: A Nightlight Gift bag, featuring your choice of a Nightlight T-shirt or tote bag, among other items, plus two tickets to The Selfish Giant as well as thanks in the program.

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, Sarah-Lucy Hill, Song Marshall, Daniela Martinez, 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.

Be a Generous Giant for The Selfish Giant, a show for young audiences

Every theatrical production involves a team of artist on the stage and behind the scenes to bring the stories you're seeing to life. Most of these people perform, design and build without ever being paid for their efforts.

At Ghostlight, we strive to provide everyone with an stipend to help offset the costs of traveling to rehearsal and performances or running all over town to gather materials for costume, set and properties construction. That's not always an easy task when trying to provide affordable family-friendly entertainment with rental rates in Chicago at all-time highs.

We hope you'll help up reach our goal by supporting theater for young audiences.

Find out more about The Selfish Giant and our campaign here.  

Auditions Announced for 'The Selfish Giant'

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Ghostlight Ensemble announces auditions for our summer show The Selfish Giant, written by Maria Burnham, directed by Maria Burnham and Miona Lee and based on Oscar Wilde’s short story of the same name.

The Selfish Giant is part of our Nightlight young audiences series and illustrates the perils of isolation and the negative consequences of selfishness, but it also teaches us that it is never to late for redemption and for love.

Character 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. Additionally, actors with strong movement backgrounds are encouraged to audition. This production will use a chorus of actors to embody not just the human characters in the story, but the mythical ones, as well as inanimate objects. This is NOT a dance piece. It is physical theater that relies almost completely on the ensemble of actors telling the story with their bodies and voices.

Material To Prepare:
Please submit your headshot and resume to Jean, and she will be in touch with sides and an audition appointment. Dress for movement and bring your sense of play.

Performance Dates:
Saturdays at 1 p.m. & Sundays at 11 a.m., June 7 to June 30 at Otherworld Theatre, 3914 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60613.

Auditions:
6-11 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13

***Please indicate your availability during this window in your email.***

Callbacks:
9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 16

You MUST be available for callbacks. If you are not available for callbacks, do not submit to this audition. However, you do not need to be available for this entire time.

Auditions and call backs will be held at Otherworld Theatre.

Rehearsals will be scheduled around cast availability taking place 3 to 4 times a week during weeknights and weekends. However, as this is an ensemble production utilizing the entire chorus to tell the story, all actors will be called for all rehearsals. If you have extremely limited availability during April and May, we kindly ask that you do not submit.

To submit:
Send your headshot and resume to Jean at casting@ghostlightensemble.com.

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.

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!

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!

‘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.

Update: Stage Manager needed for Picasso at the Lapin Agile for Tech & Performance only

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Ghostlight Ensemble seeks a Stage Manager for the run of its production of Steve Martin's Picasso at the Lapin Agile. The absurdist comedy imagines a meeting between Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso just before the renowned scientist transformed physics with his theory of relativity and the celebrated painter sets the art world afire with cubism.

In addition to the usual duties, the stage manager will be required to act as light/sound board operator for performances.

This position is only needed to fill tech week and performances, not rehearsals. The performance stage manager will begin attending rehearsals no later than October 12 or 13, taking over from the current stage manager, who will meet with the candidate and provide updated cues and notes at a paper tech, which will be scheduled according to availability.

Schedule Details
Tech week is October 15-18, evenings only. Load-in is scheduled for Sunday, October 14.

Performances run October 19 through November 4, 2018, on Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. with one industry performance at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, October 22. All performances are at Otherworld Theatre in the Lakeview neighborhood in Chicago.

Stipend
A small stipend will be available for this position.

More information about the production is available on the project page.

To Apply: 

Please send your resume and a statement of interest to production manager Chad Wise at chad@ghostlightensemble.com.

Costume Designer needed for 'Picasso at the Lapin Agile'

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Ghostlight Ensemble seeks a Costume Designer for its production of Steve Martin's Picasso at the Lapin Agile. The absurdist comedy imagines a meeting between Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso just before the renowned scientist transformed physics with his theory of relativity and the celebrated painter sets the art world afire with cubism.

This production will involve sourcing costumes for 10 actors. The play takes place in a single location on a single day.

Schedule Details
Rehearsals begin September 10, 2018, with about 3 to 4 rehearsals a week on weeknights and weekends, crafted around the actors' schedules. Tech is scheduled for October 15-18 in the evenings. Load-in is scheduled for Sunday, October 14.

Performances run October 19 through November 4, 2018, on Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons at Otherworld Theatre in the Lakeview neighborhood in Chicago.

Stipend
The stipend for this position is $150.

Apply
Please send your resume, links to any relevant work/websites and a statement of interest to production manager Chad Wise at chad@ghostlightensemble.com.

Stage Manager Needed for Picasso at the Lapin Agile

Ghostlight Ensemble seeks a Stage Manager for its production of Steve Martin's Picasso at the Lapin Agile. The absurdist comedy imagines a meeting between Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso just before the renowned scientist transformed physics with his theory of relativity and the celebrated painter sets the art world afire with cubism.

In addition to the usual duties, the stage manager will be required to act as light/sound board operator for performances.

Schedule Details
Rehearsals begin September 10, 2018, with about 3 to 4 rehearsals a week on weeknights and weekends, crafted around the actors' scheduled. Tech is scheduled for October 15-18 in the evenings. Load-in is scheduled for Sunday, October 14.

Performances run October 19 through November 4, 2018, on Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons at Otherworld Theatre in the Lakeview neighborhood in Chicago.

Stipend
The stipend for this position is $150.

To Apply
Please send your resume and a statement of interest to production manager Chad Wise at chad@ghostlightensemble.com.

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!