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Stage warp Blog

What is Consent-Based Theater?

By: Eddie Kunz
This is the first in a series of blogs that we will be writing to spread knowledge of what consent-based theater is. The consent-based theater is a theater that is founded on the comfort and respect of all the actors on stage as well as the audience members. It does not sacrifice anyone to the plot, wishes of the directors, or the whims of another actor. The experience for the audience and performers is meant to be exciting, inspiring, and empowering. This can and should be done with safety fires and foremost. The focus of consent-based theater is that each actor will only perform in ways they are comfortable voluntarily doing. The goal is to protect and respect the physical and emotional space of everyone on stage and off. To do this, communication is set up so that everyone can speak their mind and heart to enrich the production. A disagreement can be settled through discussion and brainstorming to ensure everyone is comfortable and safe. After a performance, actors and the audience can discuss the show and, if needed, find areas where things can be
improved. The consent-based theater is not meant to be a one-time thing but an evolutionary process to foster constant growth within the theater community. Although consent-based theater is a relatively new concept, it should become the standard for theater in the future.

5. What is a Ghost Light?

By Eddie Kunz

Spooky season is here again! What better way to celebrate than to tell the story of one of theater's most well-known superstitions: the ghost light! But what is a ghost light? Read on to find out!
History: The concept of a ghost light dates back to the oldest days of theater. There was a time when many viewed a theater as a place of ill omen and superstition. As such, the actors wanted something that could protect them from evil spirits; thus, the ghost light was born.
Modern times: As time passed, the belief in superstitions such as evil spirits haunting the theater began to die down, but the tradition of a ghost light remained. Ghost lights began to evolve: they started as a torch lite in the back of the theater, then became gas lamps, and lastly, their current iteration is often a single lightbulb always left on. What began as a superstition is now used as a safety measure to ensure that if any actors are walking backstage, they do not trip or bump into each other. The next time you are back state at a theater, see if you can find a lone light that is always on. You may feel better knowing that the ghost light is watching over you.

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