Thursday, May 17, 2018

Ghostlight celebrates Girl Power and the power of Spanish pastries in its latest production

Ghostlight Ensemble will launch its young audience series, Nightlight, in June with the world-premiere production of The Princess Without Pots, a new tale of a warrior princess and her parents’ frustrating quest to compel her into a storybook romance.

“This is a play that celebrates just that, the wonderful capacity that children have for make-believe and play that we lose as we get older,” said Maria Burnham, the playwright and director. “With The Princess Without Pots, and with Nightlight in general, we hope to encourage future generations to keep a little bit of that with them as they grow.”

The Princess Without Pots is an empowering fairy tale about the importance of never underestimating your opponent or the power of a delicious baked good. In it, Princess Cristina’s parents have decided it’s time for their daughter to marry, so all the princes from all the lands come hoping to marry her. But, to win this princess’s heart, a prince first needs to win a battle against the fiercest warrior the age had ever seen – Princess Cristina.

“We hope we’ve built a world that encourages children of all genders to choose the path best suited to them without any of the limitations society wants to place on them,” Burnham said. “We wanted to create a world in which fighting like a girl is something everyone aspires to do.

“But we also wanted to create a production that is just a lot of fun to watch – one that inspires kids to go home and play Princess Without Pots.”

The Princess Without Pots stars: Brian Barber (Prince Brax), Norman J. Burt (The King), Jessica Casillas (Carl the Hapless Knight, Prince Harry of Strathbane, Camila the Squire, Montage Princes) Pearl Paramadilok (Princess “Sweet Pea” Cristina), Isa Ramos (Prince Miguel), Sydney Ray (The Queen), Josh Razavi (King Brawn, Prince Vlek of Ice Moutain, Phil the Long-Suffering Squire, Montage Princes), Kayla White (Advisors 1-3) and Emilio Williams as the voice of the narrator. Understudies include Sean Hendrickson (Prince Brax), Jessica Casillas (Princess “Sweet Pea” Cristina) and Jean E. Burr (Ensemble roles).

The production team is: Maria Burnham (Playwright, Director), Jean E. Burr (Assistant Director), Carrie Campana (Costume Designer), Jessie Cole (Stage Manager), Dave Gonzales (Fight Designer), Carolyn Minor (Production Manager, Set Painter) and Chad Wise (Props Designer). The poster design for The Princess Without Pots is by Addison Wise, age 8, of Aurora, IL.

 Tickets are now available for The Princess Without Pots, which runs on Saturdays at 11 a.m. and Sundays at 1:30 p.m. from June 9 to July 1 at Laugh Out Loud Theater in the North Center neighborhood of Chicago (3851 N. Lincoln Ave.) Tickets are: $10 adults, $5 children 12 and under or $25 family of four.

The cast will also be performing an abridged version of the show at the North Center Ribfest at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 9 in the Kids Square. A complete scheduled of Kids Square activities and entertainment can be found on the Ribfest website at

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Introducing the cast of The Princess Without Pots

In June, we're bringing young audiences a new tale of a fighting princess and her parents' frustrating quest for a storybook romance in The Princess Without Pots.

Saturdays and Sundays in June this world-premiere production will take place at Laugh Out Loud Theater in the North Center of Chicago (3851 N. Lincoln Ave.)

The play is written and directed by Ensemble Member Maria Burnham and stars Pearl Paramadilok as Princess Sweet Pea and Brian Barber and Isa Ramos as her would-be suitors Brax and Miguel with Norman J. Burt, Jessica Casillas, Sydney Ray, Josh Razavi, Kayla White and Emilio Williams as the voice of the narrator.

The production team includes: Jean E. Burr (Assistant Director), Carrie Campana (Costume Designer), Dave Gonzales (Fight Designer), Carolyn Minor (Production Manager) and Chad Wise (Props Designer).

Tickets are $10 adults, $5 children 12 and under or $25 family of four and are on sale now.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Thanks to everyone who attended Make A Move & The Bunny Gets It

We had a full house for our live reading of Con Air last night at Carbon Arc Bar & Board. Thank you to everyone who attended and who donated to Chicago Veterans.

If you weren't able to attend, but want to donate to this local charity, which helps veterans readjust to civilian life (OR if you did attend and want to give more money to the cause), you can donate through the organizations website at

Our next Live Reading will be in July (exact date TBA) and we'll bringing the cult hit film The Sandlot to life in celebration of the 25th anniversary of its release.

Stage manager needed for The Princess Without Pots

Ghostlight Ensemble is seeking a Stage Manager for its feminist fairy tale production of The Princess Without Pots. The production is geared toward young audiences. In addition to the usual duties, the stage manager will be required to act as light/sound board operator for performances.

Schedule Details
Rehearsals are scheduled through May with tech scheduled on Sunday, June 3 and Monday, June 4. Performances run June 9-30 at 11 a.m. on Saturdays and 1:30 p.m on Sundays at LOL Theater in the North Center neighborhood in Chicago. Because rehearsals have already been schedule, some conflicts in May are acceptable, but candidates must be available for the technical rehearsals and performances.

The stipend for this position is $100.

Submit resume to Production Manager, Carolyn Minor at carolyn.minor(at)

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Up Next: Make A Move & The Bunny Gets It: A Con Air Live Reading

Ghostlight Ensemble presents the next installment of its ongoing live movie reading series: Make A Move & The Bunny Gets It: A Con Air Live Reading.

Join us at 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 7, at Carbon Arc Bar & Board (4614 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60625), located in the Davis Theater in North Center.

Con Air is the 1997 action film starring Nicolas Cage as former war hero Cameron Poe. Poe is sentenced to eight years in prison when he accidentally kills a man in a barroom brawl. When his release comes through, he's eager to see the daughter he's never met, but he finds himself aboard a flight transporting ten of the most dangerous men in the American penal system. When the criminals hijack the plane, Poe has to find a way to get home, keep himself alive, look after his cellmate Baby-O — who will die without proper medicine  — and try to help the cops on the ground.

There is a suggested donation of $5 at the door, which will help Ghostlight fund its upcoming season, AND an additional donation for Chicago Veterans, a non-profit that helps service members and their families in the Chicagoland area transitioning back to civilian life.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Thank you for a sold out run of 'An Ideal Husband'

We were so fortunate to have nearly 300 people join us for a sold out run of An Ideal Husband. Thank you to everyone — actors, production team, volunteers, audience members and Saints — who helped make this a phenomenal experience for our new company.

If you'd like to learn more about Ghostlight Ensemble, please visit our website and spend some time poking around. We have company bios, past productions, details on how to volunteer and support us and — coming soon — our Season 2 announcement.

In the meantime, check out the final show in our season, The Princess Without Pots — the story of a princess who has studied every weapon known to human existence and knows how to use long as you don't need to know which knife is best for chopping carrots. The show is tailored to young audiences, but meant to be enjoyed by all.

Friday, April 13, 2018

'An Ideal Husband' is a hit!

From left: Alex Ireys (Lord Goring) and Richard Engling (Lord Caversham) in An Ideal Husband. (Photo by Maria Burnham/Ghostlight Ensemble)
Rave reviews from audience members and critics alike are piling up for Ghostlight Ensemble's production of Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband, which has sold out every production (including previews) so far.

Splash Magazine says "it is a delightful show and highly recommended." While the Chicago Reader also recommends this "savvy" production calling it,  "remarkable: a compelling examination of acute moral dilemmas faced by recognizable people with rich inner lives." And Chicago On Stage says of the cast, "the acting is uniformly excellent" and adding this "a first-rate production."

Meanwhile audience members have said, "Perfectly staged in the Berger Park Cultural Center mansion, elegantly costumed, and finely acted, this is a show to see."

It definitely IS a show to see. But you'll need to get your tickets in advance for An Ideal Husband, which runs through April 28, because we've been turning people away at the door. Tickets are available now through Brown Paper Tickets.