A ghost light is an electric light that is left energized on stage when a theater is unoccupied and would otherwise be completely dark. With an eye towards production-ready scripts, The Ghostlight Reading Series provides an opportunity for playwrights, directors and collaborators to share their work with an audience before transitioning into production. By focusing on scripts that reflect our social, historical and cultural diversity, Abingdon aims to become a destination for artists grappling with big questions. Stay tuned for announcements on our upcoming readings. In the meantime, here is a look back at our recent offerings. March 26, 2017 Buyer Beware By Michael Weller Directed by Tony Speciale Ron Avakian, an underperforming legacy student, discovers the comic Lenny Bruce’s work in his university’s archives and is blown away. Bruce’s ferocious and transgressive voice is a revelation to Ron, who plans a performance “tribute” in honor of Bruce. Instead, he provokes a campus protest, administrative panic, and escalating mis-steps that threaten the university with the possible loss of a huge endowment. DR2 Theatre 101 E 15th Street NYC December 11, 2017 The Gentleman Caller By Philip Dawkins Directed by Tony Speciale Although now regarded as two of history’s finest American playwrights, back in 1944, William Inge and Tennessee Williams hadn’t yet experienced anything close to success. Before the Chicago premiere of The Glass Menagerie, Inge, a dissatisfied newspaper critic, invites Williams to his St. Louis apartment for an interview. This sexy, fraught rendezvous sparks a relationship, which radically alters the course of their lives and the American Theatre. DR2 Theatre 101 E 15th Street NYC December 4, 2017 Subverted Written and performed by Dominique Fishback Directed by Chad Chenail Subverted is the story of the destruction of black identity as seen through the eyes of Eden, an 18-year-old girl living in an urban city in the USA. Through the colliding viewpoints of friends, family members, and historical figures, Eden discovers that the promise of “equal opportunity” still, to this day, does not exist. She questions why the people she loves the most continue to live blindly subverted by an unrelenting history that they did not live through, yet inherit and must accept. The Lucille Lortel Theatre 121 Christopher Street NYC November 6, 2017 Between Here and the City of Mexico By Tony Meneses Directed by Tony Speciale Featuring Frankie J. Alvarez (HBO’s “Looking”), Danaya Esperanza (Men on Boats, Our Lady of Kibeho), Diana Gonzalez-Morett (Intersections), Zabryna Guevara (Fox TV’s Gotham; Water by the Spoonful, Second Stage), Jeffrey Omura (These Seven Sicknesses; EPBB; Carnival Kids, Lesser America) and Ramon O. Torres (Hello Again, Getting Go the Go doc Project) It’s 1968, and as a wave of student protest washes over Mexico City, a girl journeys into the ever-shifting capital to find a path to call her own. Between Here and the City of Mexico is a beguiling, sweeping ode to a city flush with the promise of revolution, and to the times in life when everything seems possible. Vineyard Theatre 108 E 15th Street NYC Monday, June 12, 2017 Carlo at the Wedding By Bryna Turner Directed by Jenna Worsham Featuring Cassie Beck (The Humans; Picnic, Broadway), Eboni Booth (Daredevil), Leale DeVerges (Club), Andrew Garman (Salome, Broadway; The Christians), Eve Lindley (Outsiders, Mr. Robot) and Kelly McAndrew (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Broadway; Orange is the New Black) Carlo is going to be really well behaved today. She’s not going to get drunk. She’s not going to give any longwinded speeches. And she’s definitely not going to try to steal the bride back. Inspired by Dorothy Baker’s Cassandra at the Wedding. Monday, June 5, 2017 The Subject By Chisa Hutchinson Directed by Jade King Carroll Featuring Ryan King (Eurydice, Second Stage Theatre; Defiance, Manhattan Theatre Club), Nedra McClyde (Marvin’s Room, Broadway; Jessica Jones), Celestine Rae (Boardwalk Empire, Law & Order SVU), and Michael Tisdale (Straight White Men, Venus in Fur) The Subject focuses on an upstart documentarian who builds his success on the death of one of his subjects and faces the consequences. Monday, December 19, 2016 Jericho By Michael Weller Directed by Austin Pendleton Featuring Rebekah Brockman, Amy Crossman,Wayne Duvall, Lauriel Friedman, Annie Henk, Alex Hernandez, Darlene Hope, Joshua Everett Johnson, Andy Lucien, Austin Pendleton and Kristin Villanueva Jericho is an adaptation of Ferenc Molnár’s 1909 masterpiece Liliom, which was an international sensation and subsequently produced on Broadway in 1921. In 1939, Orson Welles performed the title role and directed a radio adaptation co-starring Helen Hayes and Agnes Moorehead. In 1940, a second American stage revival was produced in New York City, starring Burgess Meredith, Ingrid Bergman and Elia Kazan. Originally set in Budapest, the story centers around a cocky and charismatic carousel barker. Most famously, Molnár’s Liliom served as the inspiration for the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel, which moved the narrative out of Budapest and into Maine during the end of the 19th century. Jericho is Michael Weller’s attempt to locate Molnár’s story more accurately in an American time and place – depression era Coney Island – and to confront the notion of love expressed as violence. Thursday, December 15, 2016 Tall Skinny Cruel Cruel Boys By Caroline V. McGraw Directed by Danya Taymor Featuring Owen Campbell, Quincy Dunn-Baker, Cleo Gray, Elise Kibler, Nate Miller, Kristin Villanueva and Zoe Winters Brandy is the city’s most sought-after birthday party clown who has never let her drinking, gambling, and bed-hopping interfere with her work—until now. Her teenage boyfriend won’t stop calling, her clients are getting needy…and the monster under her bed is growing restless. Weaving fantasy and clowning with brutal reality, TALL SKINNY CRUEL CRUEL BOYS asks…what is the price of growing up? Monday, November 28, 2016 The Life of George Washington By Charles Mee Directed by Leon Ingulsrud Featuring Gisela Chípe, Lanxing Fu, G.M. Gianino, Nike Kadri, Lucy Martin, Anson Mount, Larry Powell & Preeti Vasudevan A backyard barbecue with George Washington, Walt Whitman, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Aunt Eller, Curly, Bambi, and some guys dancing with rifles and some bloggers—because: how it is, always, when you check into the old folks’ home, or you go to your deathbed, you think you’re finished, but you’re not. And George Washington: he lives on in all of us.