A light that guides the way

Ambria King
Ghostlight behind her, professor Kim Chin reads the Performing Arts Department’s pledge of “equality for all.”

Ambria King, Reporter

On Feb. 23, the Bakersfield College Performing Arts Department hosted The Ghostlight Project in the foyer to the indoor theater inside of the Performing Arts Center.

The Ghostlight Project is inspired by the theatrical tradition of keeping a ghost light on in a darkened theater.

The tradition is based in both practicality and superstition.

A ghostlight serves to guarantee that the stage is never dark so that if one were to wander into a darkened theater, they would not be in danger of falling off of the stage or into the orchestral pit.

The more superstitious reasons behind a ghostlight is that it serves to appease the ghosts that may haunt a theater, thus the name ghostlight.

Traditionally, a ghostlight is a single, exposed bulb mounted in a wire cage on a single post.

The ghostlight used for the BC Ghostlight Project was built by tech director Kevin Genger.

The ceremony allowed the audience members to write out pledges and post them on the theater foyer wall.

The event began with a welcome from Professor Kim Chin, and included a saxophone rendition of “We Shall Overcome” performed by Professor Kris Tiner.

Immediately following was a stand-up routine by BC student Cody Ferguson; speeches from Dr. Kathryn Kuby and Professor Brian Sivesind; and a reading of an excerpt from William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” by Bob Kemp.

The final performance was a sing along of “Stand By Me,” which was led by the Performing Arts Department chair, John Gerhold, on piano and followed the lighting of the ghost light.

“I’m hugely, hugely proud of my colleagues and my department for wanting to do this. It’s important. “It’s important that we think and it’s important that we feel.” said Gerhold before lighting the ghost light.

The evening was concluded with the performing arts department posting their own pledge which read: “We are the BC performing arts department. We fight for education for all, the arts for all, and equality for all.”