Community, Compassion & Communication
Ghost lights in theatres are traditional symbols used for safety, to energize a space left unoccupied that would typically be dark. Last Friday night at The Spot theatre in Ketchum, it was cold, and it was dark, but there was light. The Spot joined hundreds of theatres across the country on January 19th to encourage a safe space for those who feel targeted because of their race, class, religion, country of origin, immigration status, disability, age, gender identity, sexual identity, or dissident actions. The idea started in theatre companies across the country post the 2016 election when many suddenly felt unsafe in their beliefs and identities.
Those who gathered with their lights Friday night were symbolizing hope for the coming year, wanting greater inclusion, participation, and compassion. “Keeping inclusivity at the forefront of everybody’s mind. And kindness. That’s what this celebration is about for me”, said Kevin Wade, Creative Director.
If you’re not represented fictionally you feel like you don’t exist.
Jordan Ford, a visiting actor from Boulder, Colorado who lives in New York City believes empathy is important for communities to share. “Exploring the world through another person’s point of view, that’s what’s magical about the theatre; inhabiting their circumstances and the situations that they’re in, I think that’s something the world can learn from.”
Many of the creators at The Spot believe that the theatre can be an impetus for conversations. They want to encourage people not to hold discomfort inside, but for the theatre to be a safe space to inspire engagement and active listening through their productions. “Communication is so important”, said one young participant. Added Wade, “Be inviting. Be ready to talk with somebody new. And just be loving.”
Aliki Georgakopoulos of Ketchum shared, “I know so many kids in this community who struggle with their identity. I like the idea of them feeling loved, you know?”
- Natalie Battistone, The Spot
- Yanna Lantz, The Spot
- Kevin Wade, The Spot
- Brett Moellenberg, The Spot
- Jordan Ford, visiting actor with The Spot
- Aliki Georgakopoulos, Ketchum
- Various Event Attendees