Ghost Light Now & Then

Written by Barbara Kahn
Directed by Robert Gonzales Jr and Barbara Kahn
Set & Lighting Design by Mark Marcante
Costume Design by Everett Clark
Sound Design and Operation by Joy Linsheid
Set decoration by Lytza Colon
Stage Manager Bill Bradford

Featuring:Danielle Aziza, Amanda Boekelheide, Rachel Drayke, Robert Gonzales Jr, Micha Lazare, Brandon Sngdnc Mellette and Steph Van Vlack.

A ghost light is a single light left on onstage when a theater is otherwise dark. There is a superstition that every theater has ghosts and that ghost lights provide illumination for the ghosts to perform onstage. Ghost Light Now & Then is a “time-fluid” play that is both historic and contemporary. A lesbian couple, whose marriage is threatened by family interference, is thrown into 1920’s Greenwich Village, where they learn life lessons about prejudice, trust and love while seeking their way back home. During an inexplicable seismic event in 2017, New Yorkers Becky and Mandy are flung through a window into the early twentieth century Greenwich Village Theater. Inspired by “Alice in Wonderland” and “The Wizard of Oz,” the play follows their journey home. They wander through remnants of scenery, encountering ghosts from productions that haunt the site of the theater that was demolished in 1930. Characters and snatches of dialogue from these productions of the past are woven into this contemporary play. The women discover that issues and conflicts confronting their world—homophobia, racism and anti-Semitism–haven’t changed in a century, and take the lessons they learn back to the present.

Partial funding for the production is provided by The Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation and the Creative Engagement grant provided by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

Ghost Light Now & Then quotes:

Becky¦My father just needs time. He’s old fashioned, traditional. We shocked him, that’s all. We sprang everything on him all at once. He liked Mandy before that. I know he did. And she liked him.

Ann¦Smart women smoke. Well, I did meet a feminist once that didn’t smoke at all; big, fine noble woman—so sensitive—the one that bit the ear off that policeman.

Jacob¦This town is full of people who claim to love God, but their God is not a god of love. The town will take and take from you and give you nothing in return but hate.

Jamesina¦The problem is tradition. People are trapped by tradition. You should get a divorce. It will be very freeing. After all, as a wife, what are you? Trapped in tradition. Just another lost soul.

Jim¦ O’Neill thought he was so modern, so open minded. He was as racist as the rest. The great Eugene O’Neill couldn’t allow the Negro to succeed. Gave him the education, but not the reward. Saddled him with a wife who was as sick as she was racist, sick with her prejudice.

Mandy¦Becky told me, “Dreams don’t die. Sometimes they just hide. We hide them to protect them, but they never die.” Where is she? Where is Becky? Where is my wife?