Ghost Light 2022

Oct 21Oct 22, 2022
3rd Annual Haunted Night of Songs and Stories from KC’s Cultural Crossroads
Free frightful fun for the whole family!
Conceived and Directed by:Stuart Carden

Ghost Light: A Haunted Night of Songs and Stories from KC’s Cultural Crossroads returns! This hybrid concert and ghost-story event weaves together local storytellers and musicians to share frighteningly fun tales from KC’s cultural crossroads that will leave you shaking with excitement.

Nestled in the dark woods of Roanoke Park (3601 Roanoke Road, Kansas City, MO 64111), this year’s event will be free to the public, and will feature extraordinary musicians, writers, and storytellers that reflect the cultural riches of our KC community. And as a special treat for revelers of all-ages, join us before the performance on Saturday, October 22nd for your chance to make art, join the Ghost Light Orchestra, and march in our Haunted Parade led by artists Amado Espinoza and Karen Lisondra. Costumes are encouraged!

When is Ghost Light?

Friday, Oct. 21

  • 5:30 p.m. Grounds and Food & Beverage Trucks Open
  • 7:30-9:30 p.m. Ghost Light Performance

Saturday, Oct. 22

  • 4:00 p.m. Grounds and Food & Beverage Trucks Open
  • 4:30-7:00 p.m. Ghost Light Arts Engagement for All Ages:
    • Ghost Light Orchestra – Amado Espinoza and Karen Lisondra
    • Mask Making – Concept by Rafael Toribio led by KCRep Costume Department
    • Luminary Making – Concept by Rafael Toribio and led by KCRep Props Department
  • 7:00-7:30 p.m. The Haunted Parade with Arts Engagement all-ages participants -Led by Karen Lisondra and
    Amado Espinoza
  • 7:30-9:30 p.m. Ghost Light Performance


Tickets and Seating

Ghost Light is a free event. Tickets are not required, but RSVPs are appreciated. Seating for this show is general admission, outside on a grass lawn and is ADA accessible. Parking is free; parking for cars is available at lots on the Westport Roanoke Community Center and the surrounding area. There are bike racks in the Westport Roanoke Community Center parking lot. Food and drink trucks will be on site and patrons are welcome to bring in their own food and drink as well. Restrooms are available in the Westport Roanoke Community Center.

Ghost Story Contest

KCRep partnered with the Kansas City Public Library and the Kansas City, Kansas, Public Library for a ghost story writing contest! We invited youngsters ages 10-14 to unleash their inner R.L. Stine and craft their spookiest, spine-chillingest tales. Submissions are closed and the winners will be announced soon. Winning entries will be performed at Ghost Light!

Why you Should See Ghost Light

Because this frightfully fun event is KC’s new favorite fall tradition… and this year, the festivities are FREE for all!


Ava Armstrong

Calvin Arsenia

Isabella Rose Burch

Brendan Culp
Haunted Parade Leader

Deshica Rage

Amado Espinoza
Musician and Haunted Parade Leader

José Faus

Sheri Purpose Hall

Karen Lisondro
Haunted Parade Leader

Teri Quinn

Vanessa Severo
Story Writer

Brandon Yangmi

Creative Team & Management

Directed and Conceived by
Stuart Carden

Environmental Designer
Rafael Toribio

Lighting Designer
Lexy Canon

Sound Designer
Jeffrey Keirsey

Event Coordinator
Addison Price

Event Coordinator
Pam West

Production Assistant
Michael LeDesma

COVID Compliance Officer
Mackenzie Goodwin Tran


JOSÉ FAUS (Playwright) is a visual artist, writer, performer, and independent teacher/mentor with an interest in the role of artists as catalysts for community building. He received degrees from the University of Missouri at Kansas City in studio art and creative writing. He is the winner of the UMKC Defying the Odds Award in 2019.  José is a co-founder of the Latino Writers Collective and sits on the boards of Latino Writers Collective, UMKC Board of Governors Alumni Association, the Full Frame Initiative, and Charlotte Street Foundation. His writing appears in various anthologies and journals. His chapbook This Town Like That was released by Spartan Press. His second book of poetry, The Life and Times of José Calderon, was published by West 39 Press. He has participated in large scale mural programs regionally and internationally. As a performer, his credits include Stanya Kahn’s film Don’t go Back to Sleep; Marlo Angell’s film The Wishing Well 2019; Wiccans in the Hood (Unicorn Theater Fringe Festival, 2014); Tomas and the Library Lady (Papa Grande, The Coterie); Ghosts of Lotte Bravo (El Matador, premiere, Unicorn Theatre); Anna in the Tropics (Metropolitan Ensemble Theater); Fire in the Heart (Jewish Community Center). Other performances include Inge Festival actor, Octavio Solis celebration, Independence KS 2019; ToT Group Performance Rocket Grant Project (2019); Jewish Community Center Fellows Performance (2014); Art in the Loop Performance (2014); ToT Group Performance TEDX Kansas City, 2015.  José Faus maintains a studio art practice in Kansas City, Kansas. Instagram: @qarido 

 SHERI PURPOSE HALL (Playwright) is an award-winning spoken word artist and author, radio personality, educator, and minister who uses her work to provide perspective and engage conversational empathy.  She has Four books: a book of poetry, epistles, and essays titled “Black Girl Shattered”(2017); two poetry chapbooks “Mélange du Femme Noir” (2019) and “Chosen for Both” (2015); and a workbook/workshop “Writing Wrongs: Writing to Heal” (2016) which won an award from Bike for the Brain, a non-profit organization that works to reduce mental health stigma.  She is the founder of Arsyn Spit Fire, East of Red ArtHouse, and PenFire Publishing; Executive Director of Poetry for Personal Power; and provides consulting and assistance for many other non-profit, community-based, and arts organizations. Purpose is also a member of the Head Hunterz and a member of the Regulators Slam Team. Sheri Purpose Hall is currently ranked as the #2 woman poet in the world WOWPS Virtual 2022 competition, Season 3 Word Play Champion, #8 Southern Fried Indie 2021, 2020 National Spoken Word Awards Female Spoken Word artist of the year, a 2019 Charlotte Street Generative Performing Artist Awardee and Previous two-year Studios Resident, 2019 Art in the loop grant recipient, 2019 and 2017 Arts KC Inspiration Grant recipient, and the 2017 ArtsKC Inspiration Breakfast featured artist.  She won the Poet and Activist award at the Music and More Foundation Poetry Awards 2 years in a row and was nominated for best-spoken word artist in the KC People’s Choice awards, Pitch Best KC, and the National Spoken Word Awards. She has also earned the opportunity to represent Kansas City Nationally as an individual competitor at the Women of the World Poetry slam (years 2017/18/21) and as a team competitor at the National Poetry Slam 4 years in a row. 

VANESSA SEVERO (Playwright, Sueno de Agua) is the playwright and actor of Frida…A Self Portrait (2020 Kilroys’ List), a one-woman production about the tumultuous and brilliant life of Frida Kahlo. She has co-written a bare-bones, eight-person production of A Christmas Carol with Joannie Schult, and is working on a full-length play/children’s fable about the choices we make and the consequences they have. Regional Writing Produced: Advice from a Spider (The Fishtank Theatre); Frida…A Self Portrait (Kansas City Repertory Theater, Portland Center Stage, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and The Pittsburgh Public Theater). Ms. Severo is the recipient of the 11th Round of the Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowships (2017) and she is certified in Suzuki Method, and Viewpoints under the instruction of Ellen Lauren, SITI Company. Vanessa is passionate about utilizing the element of Suzuki method in her work to challenge the boundaries of storytelling and explore the depths of movement, composition, and the power of stillness. Affiliations: Actors Equity Association. KCRep: Twelfth Night, Ms. Holmes and Ms. Watson, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Frida…A Self  Portrait (Playwright/Frida), Sex with Strangers, Vanya Sonia Masha and Spike, August: Osage County, Cabaret, Roof of the World, Lot’s Wife, A Christmas Story: The Musical, A Christmas Carol. Regional: Frida…A Self Portrait (Playwright/Frida, Portland Center Stage). Local: Collective Rage; A Play in 5 Bettys (The Black Box); Desdemona, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Death and the Maiden, Blithe Spirit, Taking Sides, Hamlet (Kansas City Actors Theatre); Dance Nation, The Revolutionists, Venus in Fur, Men on Boats, Motherf**ker with the Hat, The Clean House (Unicorn Theatre); Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night (Heart of America Shakespeare Festival); The Miracle Worker (The Coterie); Annapurna, Black Bird, Burn This (The Living Room Theatre); Black Pearl Sings!, West Side Story (Spinning Tree Theatre). Ms. Severo is the recipient of the 11th Round of the Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowships, 2017.  Upcoming: Frida…A Self Portrait (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park) as well as (The Pittsburgh Public Theater). AEA Member

AVA ARMSTRONG (Storyteller) Ava Armstrong is thrilled to be making her KCRep debut in Ghost Light 22. Ava attends Academie Lafayette French immersion school, and is fluent in French, and is self teaching Japanese.  Ava is an avid dancer at Empire, and plays piano under the instruction of Po Sim Head.  In her spare time, Ava enjoys learning how to draw Anime, and reading to her cat Hermés.  Ava would like to thank the KCRep, and her parents for this wonderful opportunity.

CALVIN ARSENIA (Musician) was voted Kansas City’s Best Musician 2018, 2019, 2020. and 2021 (Pitch KC), and featured on Billboard,, NEWNOWNEXT,, and Singer and harpist Calvin Arsenia has built a reputation for turning the arts world on its head.  Arsenia’s angelic, classically trained voice soars over audiences, enchanting even the fussiest of fans, beckoning them to join him as he flirts between genres. But the music is just one part of his prodigious performances, for Calvin believes the art is in crafting the perfect moment. His music is best served live, with sensational performances and high fashion from the visually striking performer who stands at 6’6”.  Arsenia’s height, energy, and curated environments fill the often-intimate spaces he performs in. Brought into 9 countries through public and private grants in less than a decade, Arsenia builds a scene for his audience and for himself, packed with beauty and lasting delight. 

DESHICA RAGE (Musicians)  Kadesh Flow + Jessica Paige = Deshica Rage – A fun variety night of band-backed hip-hop, vocal gymnastics, and donkin’ dance grooves. KADESH FLOW (Musician) is a rapper with an MBA, a trombone Super Saiyan, and a Billboard Charting recording/ performing artist. He brings all of the above together, both on tracks and on stage, in riveting form as he actively blends his jazz and hip hop backgrounds, blending personal, candid lyrical moments and storytelling with call-outs to history, social issues, anime, video games, and anything else that may inspire him at the time. At age 11, ‘Desh, as many of his listeners call him, began rapping and playing trombone within two weeks of one another. Now, his playing can be heard on records with hip hop stars like Jidenna and underground stalwarts like Ubiquitous and JL. He also boasts performances supporting artists such as Rakim, Janelle Monae, Dave East, The Revivalists, Tech N9ne, and numerous other prolific acts. Kadesh is a member of the NPC (Nerdy People of Color) Collective, through which he is working with Founding Member Mega Ran and fellow NPCs such as EyeQ and Creative Mind Frame to both collaborate on fun, relevant content and foster a community for underrepresented nerd enthusiasts. He can be found lighting up stages around the U.S., gracing such events as Official SXSW Showcases, MAGFest, PAX, Momocon & Otakon, as well as various other music festivals and venues.  JESSICA PAIGE (Musician) brings the roots of her rural Kansas childhood to life with heartfelt, folky lyricism contrasted by her huge voice and personality. Jessica wavers between the influences of powerhouse voices like Janis Joplin and Brandi Carlile to the sultry and delicate inflections of Norah Jones and Jeff Buckley, a true master of vocal range and emotion. A three-time semi-finalist on American Idol, twice voted “Best Vocalist” in Kansas City, TEDxKC Artist, Folk Alliance International Showcase Artist, featured vocalist with the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra, Jessica has become one of Kansas City’s most respected musicians and band leaders. As an advocate and mentor of girls and women entering the music profession, and a private instructor in voice and guitar, she is equally passionate about lifting up other aspiring musicians. Jessica has over a thousand performances touring and with residencies across the country and internationally. Whether she is serenading a small listening room with just her guitar or rocking a massive stage with an impressive line-up of musicians, she will draw you in and blow you away with her passion and dedication to the craft being an ever-growing musician. 

AMADO ESPINOZA (Musician) is a unique performing artist, composer, and instrument maker from Cochabamba, Bolivia, that respects his folk traditions of the Andes Mountains while creating compositions that are sincere to his musical-wanderlust personality. Amado most recently received the 2022 Spirit of Folk award from Folk Alliance International. He is a 2019 grant recipient of the Lighton International Artist Exchange Program, a 2017 Charlotte Street Foundation Generative Performing Arts Fellow. Amado works as a solo performer and with his groups the Amado Espinoza Quartet, Colectivo Yanquitl, and Ayllu. He is a featured artist with Ensemble Iberica (Kansas City, MO), Oil rock band (Cochabamba, Bolivia) and guides musical meditations. He composes for film, theatre, and dance. Notable projects include The Tempest (2021), with Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, El Amor que Mueve el Sol y Las Demas Estrellas (2020) for Kansas City Public Theatre, The Storytelling Project (2018) with UMKC’s MFA Theatre Acting and Directing Program, and We are the Landscape (2016), an independent theatrical offering to the Pachamama (Mother Earth) in Kansas City, Mo. In October 2019, Amado was invited by the Berklee School of Music in Boston, MA, to give a masterclass on Andean Music, with emphasis on pre-Colombian instruments. He co-founded Resonation Music and Arts, LLC with theatre-artist Karen Lisondra to use educational programming to inspire curiosity and respect for world cultures through music, dance, and storytelling. Amado is a graduate of Milan Conservatory in Cochabamba, Bolivia. 

KAREN LISONDRA (Arts Engagement Consultant) Karen Lisondra is a performing artist, theatre-maker, and educator. Along with her husband, Amado Espinoza, she promotes self-esteem, creativity, and cultural and ecological respect through world musical workshops in elementary schools, libraries, and festivals. She plays native percussion, sound healing instruments, the bandurria with the Filipino Association of Greater Kansas City’s Rondalla and studied cello with Sascha Grosschang. She has written and directed innovative theatre projects here in Kansas City, including El Amor Que Mueve al Sol y Las Demas Estrellas – a Spanish language radio play with Kansas City Public Theatre, the Storytelling Project for UMKC’s MFA Acting and Directing program, and We Are the Landscape, made through the Charlotte St. Foundation Studio Residency Program. Karen performed with world-renowned theatre companies in South America (Fuerza Bruta, Teatro de los Andes) and studied in the master’s degree program Musical Creation, Traditional Arts, and New Technologies at the University Tres de Febrero in Buenos Aires, Argentina, before making Kansas City her home again in 2014 together with Amado. Karen has taught Ashtanga Yoga since 2015 and studies Chen-style Tai Chi under Master Chen Huixian. 

TERI QUINN (Musician) Composer and Multi-instrumentalist, Teri Quinn has a way of drawing their audience into the misty and melancholic underbelly of the human spirit. Nominated Kansas City’s Best Musician for The Pitch in 2018, Quinn creates music that harmonizes sweet with savory, entwines lace with barbed-wire, and romances old-fashioned charm with modern grit. Primarily a songwriter on banjo, Quinn pushes the sonic boundaries of what most believe a banjo is capable of. Quinn’s banjo styling hums and hollers, and their lyrics are both celestial and cerebral. Their enchanting voice often gets compared to Kate Bush and Siouxsie Sioux. Hailing from Grand Rapids, Michigan, Quinn moved to Kansas City in 2009 to study Music Composition and Clarinet Performance at UMKC Conservatory of Music. Quinn got their start in the Kansas City music scene playing clarinet in the new music ensemble Black House Collective. From there they went on to play clarinet with Claire and the Crowded Stage which was the springboard to branching out on their own as a songwriter. Quinn picked up the banjo in 2014 and with the help of songwriter and producer, Chase Horseman, they released their first EP ‘Moons and Meltdowns’ in 2016. Since then they have made appearances on bass and vocals as a member of multiple Kansas City bands such as Monta At Odds and True Lions.

BRANDON YANGMI (Musician, Program Director for Art as Mentorship, Previous project – The Greeting Committee) is a musician, composer, and producer based in Kansas City. Brandon’s career was jump-started in 2015 when “The Greeting Committee’s” song “Hands Down” was picked up by local radio station 96.5 The Buzz. After regular rotation on 96.5, his band caught the attention of various record labels and soon after signed to Harvest Records at the age of 15 years old. For the next eight years, Brandon toured across the U.S. and Canada selling out headline shows and supporting acts such as Bombay Bicycle Club, Death Cab for Cutie, Hippo Campus, Rainbow Kitten Suprise, and many more. During this period his band, The Greeting Committee released 2 albums and 3 EPs. With almost a decade of professional experience at the age of 23, Brandon focuses his efforts on producing, audio engineering, and programming for KC-based music non-profit “Art as Mentorship.” @artasmentorship

In partnership with:

Special thanks to Pete B. Browne & Julie Walker-Browne

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