Tuesday, January 17, 2017

GOOD KARMA: The Ghostlight Project

#bealight #ghostlightproject #allarewelcome

Photo courtesy of Mixed Blood Theater.
Ahead of the looming inauguration festivities (or, some might say, dirges) this coming weekend, theaters around the country are hosting a Ghostlight ceremony this Thursday, January 19 at 5:30 p.m. to help shine a light of solidarity with marginalized groups and fellow theater patrons who are concerned about current political events. The Ghostlight Project is creating safe spaces and commitments from the public to help defend such spaces across America; they define safe spaces as those where:

  • It is safe to be who you are, regardless of race, class, religion, country of origin, immigration status, (dis)ability, gender identity, or sexual orientation. 
  • Diverse opinions, dissent, and argument are not only tolerated, but invited.
  • Active listening and courageous exchange are fundamental values.
  • Collective action, activism, and community engagement, both within and outside the walls of the theatre, are cultivated, encouraged, and supported."
The event is meant to be a national event of solidarity and inclusion, and participants are coming from all 50 states and more than 30 local theaters and learning institutions. Twin Cities theater groups are certainly involved; just check out this list of attendees:

  • 7th House Theater
  • *Augsburg College
  • Girl Friday Productions
  • Hero Now Theatre
  • Impossible Salt
  • In The Heart of the Beast
  • * Intermedia Arts
  • *Lyric Arts
  • *Mixed Blood Theater
  • MN Theater Alliance
  • Moving Company
  • Mu Performing Arts
  • *The Ordway
  • Pangea World Theater
  • *Park Square Theatre
  • Patrick's Cabaret
  • *Penumbra Theatre
  • *Pillsbury House Theater
  • Prime Productions
  • Sandbox Theatre
  • *St. Olaf College
  • *Stages Theatre Company
  • Theatre Latte Da
  • Theatre Novi Most
  • *University of MN Theatre Arts & Dance
  • *Winona Senior High School Drama program
  • Young Dance

There's a wonderful piece up on CityPages about the local groups involved, much participation of which has been helmed by Mu Performing Arts' own Randy Reyes; check it out here.
Photo courtesy of Park Square Theater.
If you want to attend (and if you're free, you should; the event is only 30 minutes, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the respective locations), you have two main options:

In Minneapolis, Mixed Blood is hosting a coalition of theater companies and is participating with local businesses to provide specials. 15% of all proceeds from sales at the 7 Corners location of The Republic will go back to Mixed Blood that day, so make sure you stop by if you attend the ceremony. Their full schedule says: "Join us, along with representatives of 7th House Theater and Theater Latté Da at the firehouse beginning at 5:00pm. A brief presentation will occur at 5:25pm with our lights shining together at 5:30pm. Bring your own light source to share in this moment. All those who participate are welcome to then bring their light to the Republic at 7 Corners to further this important conversation."

In St. Paul, the largest gathering will be at Park Square; their schedule includes:

  • Gather under the 7th Place Marquee at 5:30 p.m. on January 19
  • “Light up” – use your cell phone flashlights or come wrapped in fairy light – to join our ghost light of people
  • Turn on the ghostlights in Park Square’s outer vestibule and in the Boss Lobby that will remain on as a symbol of welcome. Park Square will put its DEI pledge next to these lights
  • Group sing “We are a Gentle Angry People" by Holly Near.
  • Adjourn to Park Square’s Proscenium Lobby for coffee and hot cocoa
  • Make the “I am____ I fight for_______” pledge. Notes along with a board for display will be provided

More information on nation-wide plans at theghostlightproject.com.