Tonight at 5:30 pm across the country, an estimated 700 theaters will participate in an event called The Ghostlight Project. On the eve of the 45th Presidential inauguration, ranging from Broadway to regional academic or community theaters, people will gather to symbolically create light for what they perceive as dark times ahead. Theaters like Virginia Repertory Theatre, CAT Theatre and Richmond Triangle Players are just a few that are committed to the event.
The Ghostlight Project’s originated from the custom of leaving a single light on stage at the end of the day for lingering cast and crew members to safely navigate.
“We’re using that as the imagery for this ghost light event,” said Phil Crosby, Executive Director of RTP. “We’re creating not only safe spaces in our communities, but these theaters all commit to be brave space. This means that it is not only okay for you to be exactly who you are in these spaces, but that we are home to diverse opinion and dissent, and civil argument.”
According to the The Ghostlight Project’s website, the Jan. 19 event is a chance for theaters to unite and start or continue fighting for social justice and equity.
Participants at the gathering can make or renew a pledge to stand for inclusivity and compassion for everyone, regardless of their race, class, religion, country of origin, immigration status, ability or disability, age, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
“Everyone is encouraged to bring a light whether it is a flashlight, a candle, or even your cell phone to do whatever they want to do to show that they’re a participant in the project,” Crosby said.
As of this morning, according to the event’s Facebook page, there are 728 participating organizations in all 50 states and Washington DC.