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Randolph theatre department to join national Ghostlight Project

This Thursday, January 19, Randolph College’s theatre department will join more than 500 professional, high school, and university theatre programs across the nation to create a “light” as a pledge to protect values of inclusion, participation, and compassion for all. Participants in the Ghostlight Project at Randolph will gather in Thoresen Theatre lobby at 5:15 p.m.

Inspired by the theatrical tradition of keeping a “ghost light” on in a darkened theater, the initiative strives to create a light for dark times. The event commences across the nation at 5:30 p.m. in each time zone. Randolph’s event will move outside at 5:30 and include a brief ceremony. Participants are encouraged to bring their own flashlights or use their cell phones, but other lights will also be available for distribution. A light will then be placed and left on in Thoresen Theatre following the event.

“Theatres are places to challenge the status quo and protect ideas that might be unpopular,” said Amy R. Cohen, professor of classics and the Catherine Ehrman Thoresen `23 and William E. Thoresen Chair of Speech and Theatre. “We wanted to do something as artists and theatre professionals to show that we are inclusive and will stand up for the rights of every person.”

“The act of expressing something out loud has significance,” said Saheem Ali, director and member of the Ghostlight Project steering committee. “[It] demonstrates solidarity and a firmness of belief. Our most solemn ceremonies—weddings, graduations, ordinations—are by design public and communal because they demand witnesses. By standing outside the privacy afforded by one’s four walls and declaring something in full voice, one asks to be held accountable for the stance being taken.”

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