On the eve of the Presidential Inauguration, about 150 people gathered outside of Columbia High School to participate in The Ghostlight Project. Across the nation at that same time, the theatrical community and friends joined in solidarity through a shared commitment to greater inclusion, participation, and compassion in our theaters and our communities.
The event, organized by Barbara Cokorinos of the CHS Music Parents Association (CHSMPA) and Marcy Thompson of Studio B, included performances by the cast of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Unaccompanied Minors, and the Excelsior Singers, and remarks by Meg Persechetti, Elizabeth Aaron, Tricia Tunstall, Jim Vargias, Vic DeLuca, and Sandy Rustin Fleischer. Peri Smilow closed the event by leading a sing along.
A ghostlight was lit — symbolizing the light that shines in a darkened theater — to remind participants of the need to safeguard against intolerance due to race, class, religion, country of origin, immigration status, (dis)ability, age, gender identity, sexual identity or dissident actions in the coming years.
Said Thompson, “Our lights will also symbolize hope. A belief that through our actions – as artists, and community members – change is possible.”
The ghostlight will remain lit in the lobby of Columbia High School.