As of late, many students and artists have been wondering what they can do to make their voices, and the voices of others, heard. As you can imagine, these thoughts have been manifesting twice as much within student-artists. That is particularly why the Coalition of Artistic Students in Theatre (CAST), a club within the Department of Theatre, decided to participate in The Ghostlight Project, a national event taking place this Thursday, January 19. Numerous theatre collectives, companies, communities, and university programs (over 500 participants!) from all 50 states will be creating light at 5:30 p.m. in each time zone through the use of flashlights in order to “affirm that theatre is a sanctuary for divergent viewpoints, cultural associations, and creative styles.”
The founders of the initiative (which include Broadway set designer David Zinn) aim to create “a collective, simultaneous action, together creating ‘light’ for challenging times ahead. Inspired by the tradition of leaving a ‘ghostlight’ on in a darkened theater, these artists and communities will make a pledge to continued vigilance and increased advocacy.” The Ghostlight Project has already made waves in Playbill, American Theatre, and with countless other well-known theatre artists who have chosen to participate in the initiative.
One of the most innovative aspects of this national effort is its flexibility and adaptivity in terms of mission statement and goals per participant, creating more accessibility and opportunity to participate within the initiative. Because CAST is not as big or complex as say, The Public Theater in New York City (another participant), there are certain steps that are adapted to scale. The same goes for the mission statement. While some large or well-known participants will seek to reaffirm inclusivity, diversity and equity within their hiring practices and investments, CAST seeks to reaffirm these factors within the behavioral and creative dynamics of student-produced work with the addition of creating more opportunities to tell stories. In addition, while large participants will professionally stage multiple theatrical pieces, CAST will be reciting a few poems guerilla-style.
CAST with the support of the Department of Theatre invites all members of the community to join us at 5 p.m. on Thursday January 19 outside on the steps of Waltmar Theatre, to celebrate “The Ghostlight Project.” Bring a flashlight and, if you want, bring a piece of work to read.
We hope to see you there!