slice of life

Community gathers at Syracuse Stage/SU Drama Complex for nationwide Ghostlight Project

Emera Riley | Asst. Copy Editor

More than 100 theaters across the nation, including the Syracuse Stage/SU Drama Complex, participated in the Ghostlight Project.

Over 50 students and faculty joined together at the Syracuse Stage/SU Drama Complex to raise both flashlights and cellphones for a few moments at 5:30 p.m. In various time zones across the country, over 100 theaters were doing the exact same thing as a part of the Ghostlight Project.

The project was started to create light for what some Americans perceive as challenging times ahead under President Donald Trump, as well to empower the theater community as a whole.

“We were contacted by our colleagues in the theatrical community, both the Department of Drama and the Syracuse Stage, and invited to participate and we felt it was our obligation,” Ralph Zito, the chair of the department of drama, said after the lighting. “It was a cause we wanted to join together in solidarity with.”

But even though the demonstration is now over, the lights won’t go off completely. Part of the project involves leaving one light on, a ghost light, as a safety measure in the theatre.

“Whenever a theater is empty and all of the lights are off, there is always one light that lives on the stage,” Zito said. “It sits there, essentially so no one walks off the edge of the stage.”

According to Zito, the ghost light will not only symbolize hope but safe harbors for anyone who is or feels targeted because of their race, class, religion, country of origin, immigration status, disability, gender or sexual identity.

“The theatre is a larger community that provides a voice for all people and opportunity for people in all kinds of communities,” Zito said.

Cormac Bohan, a sophomore acting major, sees the light as empowering.

“It means the power to stand up and to have your voice heard and it’s very uplifting and motivating and it makes me want to go and create and go and fight,” he said.

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