Hundreds of Theaters Across the U.S. Join Together in “Ghostlight Project” on the Eve of Trump Inauguration

January 19, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


On January 19, over 500 theaters around the country—including a large gathering in New York City’s Times Square of people from Broadway theaters—acted together to “create ‘light’ for challenging times ahead.” This was the launch of the Ghostlight Project.

The following Ghostlight pledge was read at all the gatherings:

“It’s now 5:30 and at this exact moment, outside of theaters across our time zone, people have gathered just as we have. Tonight the theatrical community across the country joins in solidarity through our shared commitment to greater inclusion, participation, and compassion in our theaters and our communities. When our theaters go dark at the end of the night, we turn on a “ghostlight”—offering visibility and safety for all who might enter. This is our theatrical tradition—and our inspiration. Like a ghostlight, the light we create tonight will represent our commitment to safeguard—it will symbolize safe harbor for our values and for any among us who find ourselves targeted because of race, class, religion, country of origin, immigration status, (dis)ability, gender identity, sexual identity or dissident actions in the coming years. And our lights will also symbolize hope—a belief that through our actions change is possible.”

Then on a countdown of three the ghostlight was turned on and everyone turned on their lights and “beamed them out into the darkness,” as a commitment to “be a promise and a reminder to be a light as we forge ahead in these difficult times.”

The NBC TV channel in New York City reported, “Some of Broadway’s brightest stars gathered on the giant red steps in Times Square. Stars like Kate Mulgrew (‘Orange Is the New Black’), Sally Field (‘The Glass Menagerie’), Phillipa Soo (‘Hamilton’) and many, many more illuminated flashlights, lighters and phones to ‘light a light’ of compassion for everyone in the theater community, regardless of race, sexual orientation, immigration status, and more.”

A reader in Chicago reported: “At Steppenwolf Theatre, Anna D. Shapiro, the artistic director, addressed the group of over 100 people from the theater community, friends and family. Everyone was given a sign to fill out and hold up that said: ‘I am ____’ and ‘I fight for______.’ Some of people’s responses about what they fight for were: ‘human rights,’ ‘the planet,’ and ‘human values.’ Refuse Fascism was at Steppenwolf and the Goodman Theatre, urging people to get out in the streets and stay in the streets to stop the Trump-Pence Regime.”



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