If you ever visit a theatre late at night, you will more than likely see an eerie blue glow shining through the darkness of the stage. This haunting blue beacon is what we in the theatrical world, call a ghost lamp.
As you can imagine, there are a few different stories explaining the purpose of this light. The explanations range from the paranormal to the practical. Some say that the lone light bulb is to light the paths of ghosts as they mill about in the darkness, while the more practical (and true) explanation is that the lamp is to mark the edge of the stage so that someone doesn’t break their foot or neck in the darkness. (Actors may want you to tell them to “break a leg” before a show, but directors would rather avoid the mess of a lawsuit from someone actually doing so.)
The last ghost lamp of my college career now shines on the stage of Rudd Auditorium. In just under a week, the Hilltop Players will open Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma, and I will have the privilege of taking the stage three more times as I play the role of Curly.
It hasn’t quite hit me yet that this is my last time. I’m not sure when it will. But the truth is that regardless of when the truth sinks in, the orchestra will sound their last note and the red curtain will close one final time.