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The Liminal Space

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.

-Blaise Pascal, 17th-century French mathematician,
physicist, inventor, writer, and philosopher

A ghost light is simply a lamp left burning on the stage after everyone has gone home at night. Practically, it lights the way for anyone crossing the stage in the dark, keeping them safe from trip hazards. Traditionally, the light is left burning to appease the ghosts of the theatre. While we have no evidence of Court Theatre being haunted, the spirits of more than 200 plays certainly linger in this space.

Welcome (back) to the Abelson Auditorium at Court Theatre. We invite you to join us in a favorite ritual—sitting alone in an empty, dark theatre, long after the audience and the artists have gone home. Absorb the quiet, absorb the energy of all the sounds and emotions that have moved through this space in the past 40 years. There is a tremendous hush of emotional memory contained in these walls.

Contemplate the beauty, and the loss, of our most recent production, THE LADY FROM THE SEA, which closed just hours before its first preview. When we returned to the theatre in mid June to turn on the cameras, the set was exactly where we had left it three months earlier. Props stacked on shelves backstage. A hat where it was placed on the sand. A circle of chairs where the acting company had gathered on our last day to make the hard decision to close the show. And of course, a ghostlight still shining in the darkness.

Temporarily shuttered by the global pandemic, American theatres hang in a liminal state, moving from what was to what will be next. We invite you to sit with us during this pause, this breath, and to contemplate all that has transpired between these walls and all our ambitions for what theatre can be in the future.

Sometimes this space will be quiet and dark, other times you may hear or see echoes of THE LADY FROM THE SEA, and maybe other glimpses of Court Theatre’s past and possibly even our future. We invite you to return often and see how the physical space evolves.

Drop in for 30 seconds or for 30 minutes. Court Theatre will be here waiting for you. Until we can be together in the theatre again,

Scenic Design by Andrew Boyce
Costume Design by Linda Roethke
Lighting Design by Paul Toben
Video Content by Erin Pleake
Sound Design by Andre Pluess
The production was directed by Shana Cooper and choreographed by Erika Chong Shuch.
Built by the production team at Court Theatre.
Production photos by Michael Brosilow.

Posted on June 28, 2020 in Theatre News

7 responses on “The Liminal Space”

  1. Daniel J McMillan says:

    What is the Plan to return to the theater? I see that Steppenwolf has scheduled Plays for later this year. Do we have a return date for the Court?

    1. Traci Brant says:

      We hope to share an announcement about our reimagined 2020/21 Season in the next week or so. We’re still working through a few details, but we’re getting close!

  2. JLP60615 says:

    Thanks for this space in which to relax and meditate.

    My cat enjoyed it, too, especially the call of the seagulls.

  3. Amanda Frederick says:

    I love this. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Mike Fischer says:

    Court Theatre has meant so much to me, for so long. Thank you for giving me this priceless chance to commune with its ghosts. They live on, in this hallowed space; they play on, in my mind. They will be with me, all my life.

  5. Betsy Rubin says:

    Listening to the waves… Looking for the spirits. And looking forward to what Court Theatre shares in the future. Thanks for all your dedication and work.

  6. Rosemary Wojdyla says:

    The ghost lights remind me of gazing at a night sky filled with stars ~ beautiful, distant but beckoning with the promise of possibility.

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