Generally, I write about things that are a diversion of some sort from the nuts and bolts of everyday life. I almost never delve into those three explosive topics (money, politics, or religion) unless it is a theme of a show that I have seen. But there have been a few posts in the last few months that were a call to action of sorts.
I won’t lie or demure from the fact that these were inspired by the aftermath of the election or the dawn of a new year. The world suddenly became awash in emotions, opinions stated as facts, and a sense of hopelessness and fear. Theatre is something that reflects the world we live in while also being a place for creative expression. Everything performed falls somewhere on a sliding on the scale from happy escapism to thought provoking and boundary challenging.
There is one constant in the theatre wherever you may go, and that is the ghostlight. The ghostlight is the light that is left on and put on the stage when the theatre is unoccupied and would otherwise be enveloped in darkness. The why’s on this tradition range from safety and practicality, to the belief that this appeases any ghosts the theatre may have and allows them opportunities to perform, thus preventing them from causing mischief or sabotaging the production.
Regardless of the reason, I can honestly say that I love the idea of the ghostlight and always have. Knowing that there is a light in the darkness is something that I find very comforting, I love the tradition and the optimism of it – there will always be a light burning and another show will go on.
The Ghostlight Project is something that is occurring today, January 19th at 5:30pm in each time zone across the country. The aim of the project in their own words is this “We will gather outside of theatres to create a “light” for dark time ahead, to make, or renew, a pledge to stand for and protect the values of inclusion, participation, and compassion for everyone regardless of race, class, religion, country of origin, immigration status, (dis)ability, age, gender identity, or sexual orientation.”
No matter what happens in the next 4 days, 4months, 4 years, or 4 centuries, theatre will be a place that can act as a beacon of hope, courage, and light to those who may need it.
Personally, I think that is a personal call to action for everyone, and a very American one at that. This is the land of opportunity, at some point one or more of your relatives came to this land for the chance to build a better life, raise a family, be the best them they could be, and pursue their dreams. My goal, this year and every year, is to be a light in the darkness in everybody’s life. I will be there for people if they need it, will help and protect those that are being discriminated against, and treat everyone with compassion. That’s why I will stand with the theatres tonight.
Be the light for someone
Participating theatres can be found at https://theghostlightproject.com