Lee Theatre And School Of Music To Present “Songs By Ghost Light”

Thursday, April 8, 2021 - by Merritt Jenkins, Lee University
Macy Patton, a sophomore theatre major and vocal music minor at Lee, singing a song from “The Color Purple” during rehearsal for “Songs By Ghost Light” which opens Friday
Macy Patton, a sophomore theatre major and vocal music minor at Lee, singing a song from “The Color Purple” during rehearsal for “Songs By Ghost Light” which opens Friday

The Lee University theatre program, along with the School of Music, will present “Songs by Ghost Light,” a showcase of songs from great American musicals, new and old, familiar and beloved. These free performances will take place on April 9, 10, 16, and 17, at 7:30 p.m. via livestream.

“Songs by Ghost Light” is taking place in lieu of a full-scale musical that was made difficult by COVID-19 safety parameters and will feature songs such as “Soon It’s Gonna Rain” from “The Fantasticks,” “Astonishing” from “Little Women,” “Watch What Happens” from “Newsies,” and “The Beauty Is” from “Light in the Piazza.”

The performance is hosted by Abby Newman, senior theatre education major, and Noah Seaman, junior theatre and psychology double major. Dan Buck, associate professor of theatre, is the director, and Drs. Ron and Chery Brendel from the School of Music will serve as the musical directors.

According to Mr. Buck, the title of the performance comes from a very practical element in theatre tradition. The ghost light is a simple lamp that is kept on when all the other lights are off. It is a safety precaution so that people walking onto the dark stage don’t run into things or fall into a pit. But over time, superstitions and lore arose about ghost lights, some saying they keep ghosts at bay, while others believe they provide light by which the theatre’s ghosts can perform their own plays.

As new lighting technology and newer theatre spaces appeared, the traditional ghost light was no longer needed, but in the time of COVID-19, they have made a reappearance. Theatres around the world have placed a single light on their stage in anticipation of theatres’ eventual return. Mr. Buck says Lee Theatre and the School of Music are doing the same.

“We hope our love letter to musicals, ‘Songs by Ghost Light,’ serves to hold space for that time when we can all gather and enjoy live theatre once again,” said Mr. Buck.

The performance contains 16 songs, featuring 18 singers and musicians who are masked and/or distanced both onstage and backstage. 

Each performance is approximately 80 minutes long and is appropriate for all ages. The performances are available for livestream viewing by visiting livestream.com/leeu.

For more information about Lee Theatre, visit leeuniversity.edu/theatre/, email theatre@leeuniversity.edu, call the box office at 614-8360, or follow LeeUTheatre on Facebook.


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Lee University School of Music will present “A Night of Jazz” on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Conn Center. The event will be a joint concert performed by the Lee Small Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble ... (click for more)

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