Ithaca theatre troupes joining in nationwide Ghostlight Project demonstration

There’s a nationwide gathering to ”make or renew a pledge to stand for and protect the values of inclusion, participation, and compassion for everyone,“ and members of the Ithaca theater community will gather at the Kitchen Theatre tonight at 5:15.

The Kitchen Theatre in Ithaca’s west end. 14850 file photo.

Organizers say the “nationwide collective, simultaneous action” will include illuminating lights inspired by the tradition of leaving a “ghost light” on in an otherwise dark theater. Participants range from Broadway to regional theaters to high schools and colleges and community theaters.

In Ithaca, participants include the Kitchen Theatre Company, Hangar Theatre, Civic Ensemble, Cherry Arts, Ithaca Shakespeare Company, Homecoming Players, Theatre Incognita, Cornell Savoyards, Opera Ithaca, Actor’s Workshop of Ithaca, Wolf’s Mouth Theatre Collective, Ithaca Fringe Festival, and Circus Circus, along with “many individual playwrights, actors, directors, writers, designers, and technicians.”

According to American Theatre, “Tim Ostrande, props coordinator at Cornell University, is constructing a battery-operated ghostlight for the Ithaca event, which will lead a procession of participants from Kitchen Theatre Company to the Ithaca Commons downtown.” They quote Kitchen Theatre artistic director Rachel Lampert as saying, “I thought this would be 20 of us standing outside the Kitchen Theatre Company and that would be it!”

The mission is to “begin a shared resistance to intolerance at all levels, to insure theaters remain ‘brave spaces’ that will serve as lights in the coming years, to activate a network of people across the country working to support vulnerable communities.”

There will be a short presentation to kick off the Ithaca gathering, then at 5:30 participants will illuminate their lights. Everyone is encouraged to bring battery powered handheld lights, such as electric candles. Then, the group will walk downtown to the Commons “spreading the light across Ithaca.”

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