Ohio’s Theater Division and Tantrum Theater Take Part In Ghostlight Project

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Students, faculty and staff of Ohio University’s Theater Division and the Tantrum Theater will gather on the steps of Ohio University’s Kantner Hall on Thursday, Jan. 19 at 5:30 P.M. to participate in the Ghostlight Project.

Inspired by the theatrical tradition of keeping a “ghost light” on in a darkened theater, the Ghostlight Project aims to create light for the challenging times ahead. More than 500 organizations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia will participate in the program.

From Broadway to high school auditoriums, members of the theater community will gather from coast to coast to stand amongst light and 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, gender identity or sexual orientation.

The OHIO Division of Theater and Tantrum Theater join nearly a dozen other organizations in the state participating in this nationwide effort as a show of togetherness and affirmation of belief, and which may make room for dialogue around issues of shared concern.

“The goal of the event is to create a moment of inclusion and solidarity for our campus community. It will be simple and sincere, and serve as a reminder that the theater is a place where we ask difficult questions,” said Natasha Smith, a second year MFA student in Playwriting, Division of Theater and lead organizer of OHIO’s Ghostlight Project. “It is through telling stories that I understand myself and where I fit in the world. I’m really excited for the Ghostlight Project because I can come together with others who may, like me, be uncertain and scared. As a group, we can be present with everything we’re feeling and remember that there is power in our collective strength. It’s about trust, and it’s about making a meaningful commitment to ourselves and to each other.”

“Tantrum Theater is proud to stand with theaters across the country and shine our light for all to see,” said Daniel C. Dennis, Artistic Director of the Tantrum Theater. “We commit to creating an ongoing ‘brave space,’ in which it is safe to be who you are and to share diverse ideas, where active listening is encouraged and where community engagement and collective action toward the common good is our ideal.”

“The act of expressing something out loud has significance. [It] demonstrates solidarity and a firmness of belief,” said Saheem Ali, Director and member of the Ghostlight Project Steering Committee. “Our most solemn ceremonies—weddings, graduations, ordinations—are by design public and communal because they demand witnesses. By standing outside, the privacy afforded by one’s four walls and declaring something in full voice, one asks to be held accountable for the stance being taken.”

All are welcome and invited to bring a source of light such as a candle, a flashlight, or a glowstick and their own creative spark. It’s free and open to the public. Participants are asked to wear weather appropriate clothing. If it rains, we’ll meet inside the lobby of Kantner Hall.

More details about the Ghostlight Project can be found here: