A&E: Ghostlight Theatre

What do Oklahoma and ancient Greece have in common? Perhaps more than you might think.

Since the art of theatre began to flourish in Athens in the 5th century BC, the stage has been a platform for sparking a wide range of emotions and thought. As local theatre group, Ghostlight Theatre Club embraces the opportunity to create thought-provoking moments each time they bring an unconventional, attention-grabbing script to life.

Co-founder Lance Garrett said Ghostlight began with the chance meeting of an initial group of eight people, all involved in theatre, who were bored with the status quo play opportunities available at
the time.

To set out on a new artistic journey, they founded Ghostlight in 2007 in order to produce plays unique to the Metro area. “I wanted to focus on scripts that really meant something to us as artists,” said Garrett. “We wanted to do provocative and engaging plays, rather than the same old stuff.”

One of the initial eight members inspired by this vision was Edmond graduate Christi Newbury, who was drawn to the stage from childhood on. “I’ve always been a performer,” she proudly proclaims, even as far back as age five when she participated in dance, as well as rehearsed extensively to be a part of a theater supper club.

Newbury continued to take acting classes in high school and graduated from Edmond Memorial in 1995. She was prompted to take some theatre classes at UCO when she saw a performance of Rent on the Tony awards in 1996. “Everything they did in that performance reminded me of all the performing that I had wanted to do,” Newbury said.

It is this ability to connect to the viewer that Newbury loves so much about acting. “The characters are expressing your thoughts and feelings, maybe not at that particular moment, maybe not in that specific situation, but expressing things that you have at one time, or might at one time in the future, feel,” Newbury said.

She encourages the community to seek out local stage productions, rather than always heading straight to the movies for entertainment. “There’s something about being in the room while these things are happening, the energy that’s created watching these people go through these emotions,” she said.

Ghostlight, which is located at the corner of N.W. 30th and Walker in the Paseo Arts District, seats a cozy 47 people. The collective environment is not only beneficial to the audience’s experience, it also affects the actor.
“Even in large venues, but especially in our venue because it’s so intimate; as an actor it’s an amazing thing because there’s always something different. The audience is basically another character in the show,” says Newbury.

The club has produced 10 plays and two fundraiser shows since their inception, growing from the original eight cast with each play. Their upcoming February production will have over 20 cast and crew, making it their largest yet.

Seeking to engage the audience in typical Ghostlight fashion, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot opens February 25. This play takes place in purgatory and, as the title suggests, involves a take on the biblical story of Judas Iscariot.

“One thing that we’ve heard time and again from our audiences, is that our shows will make you think,” says Newbury. This production will be no different. Tickets cost $15 for adults or $10 for students and seniors. They can be purchased at the box office by calling 286-9412 or by visiting the “Tickets” section on their website, www.ghostlighttheatreclub.com.

“Whether you come away from it saying ‘hey good show’ or whether you come away from it thinking ‘wow, that totally changes what I thought I knew or believed’, it’s going to give you something to discuss,” she said.
Sophocles would be proud.

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