For those that might not know, the ‘Ghostlight’ is a tradition in the theatre world when at the end of a day of shows, a single light is placed on the stage. It’s often to help anyone that might come or go from the space to see their way in the dark, but it’s also said to keep the ghosts company while the audience is away.
Well, the audience is away right now, but it is my hope that many theatre companies are leaving a Ghostlight on to remind everyone that the L.A. theatre community will survive this “temporary” shutdown and rise again to inspire generations to pursue a fulfilling life in the arts.
I believe this since I have dedicated my life to an art form that is based not only on people coming together to tell stories, but people coming together to experience them. And it’s not going away. Not as long as the Ghostlight stays on awaiting our return.
But please remember that smaller independent performing arts organizations must pay to rent theater space in which to present their productions, or pay a mortgage on the building they own. And since they must rely on ticket sales to stay afloat, not to mention being able to pay any salaries due to performers, musicians, office staff and stage crew, how will they ever be able to open again when there is no way to know how long this shutdown will last?
The impact of COVID-19 on small, community organizations is unprecedented. Independent local theaters, community theaters, arts nonprofits to event organizers are in immediate financial danger. For to them, every ticket sale matters, and just one canceled event could mean the difference between making rent and closing their doors forever.
As such, I encourage you to donate to your local arts organization by not requesting a refund for previously bought tickets to cancelled productions or accept their offer of exchanging it for a future show rather than asking for a refund.
Let’s all work together to keep the arts alive in this time of unprecedented darkness so that the “Ghostlight” becomes a beacon of hope for us all.
Please take care of one another as we learn to live through this shutdown of society as we know it, while living as we must in isolation until the threat has passed. Please believe as I do that we will survive and the arts will once again thrive in the City of the Angels. And I’ll see you at the theatre.