Ghost Light 2023

Oct 13Oct 14, 2023
Conceived and Directed by:Stuart Carden
4th Annual Haunted Night of Songs and Stories from KC’s Cultural Crossroads
Free frightful fun for the whole family!

Ghost Light: A Haunted Night of Songs and Stories from KC’s Cultural Crossroads is back! Nestled in the dark woods of Roanoke Park (3601 Roanoke Road, Kansas City, MO 64111), we invite you to celebrate the start of Spooky Season with us at this free, frightfully-fun event! Ghost Light features extraordinary musicians, writers, and storytellers that reflect the cultural riches of our KC community, art-making opportunities, and a chance for little-ones to march in the Ghost Light Orchestra and our Haunted Parade. Costumes are encouraged!

Click to read the program!


Schedule of Events

Arts Activities 4:30-6:30
Haunted Parade 7:00
Performance 7:30-9:00

Food Trucks

Jadabay’s Tasty Kitchen
Ragusa’s Italian Cafe
Taqueria Las Peques
City Barrel Brewing
One More Scoop

Jadabay’s Tasty Kitchen
Ragusa’s Italian Cafe
Taco Republic
City Barrel Brewing
One More Scoop

Musicians & Writers

Black Light Animals

J Burch
Arts as Mentorship Youth Performer

Tehreem Chaudhry

Amado Espinoza
Haunted Parade Leader

Nico Holguin


Karen Lisondra
Haunted Parade Leader

Glenn North

Julia Othmer

Mary Silwance

Brandon Yangmi
Arts as Mentorship

Creative Team & Management

Directed by
Stuart Carden

Associate Director
Karen Lisondra

Environmental Designer
Rafael Toribio

Lead Event Coordinator
Mary Honour

Production Coordinator
Dana Peterson

Arts Engagement Coordinator
Michelle Lawson

Laley Lippard

Andi Meyer

MARY SILWANCE (PoetMary Silwance is motivated by the belief that the imagination at play is emancipatory medicine through which we create community: with ourselves, each other, and Earth. Born in Egypt, Mary lives in Kansas City and is the mother of three daughters. She has been an English teacher, Farm to School Coordinator, an environmental educator, and a farmhand. Mary provides writing workshops, serves on the editorial team of Kansas City Voices, is the 2023 Poetry Editor-in-Residence for Flying Ketchup Press where she is co-editor of the Room of One’s Own anthology, a retrospective of women’s embodied experiences, as well as co-creator of Poetry Jam, a poetry festival designed for everyone along the poetic spectrum. Mary is also an adjunct writing instructor at KCAI. Lastly, Mary explores ecology from an intersection of justice and spirituality in workshops and writing. While her poetry and essays appear in numerous publications, you can find her work, chapbooks, radio and zoom presentations as well as workshop offerings at Mary’s first collection of poems, I Remember Myself, will be released in late 2023. When not writing, you can find Mary gardening, hiking, thrifting, or dreaming about her off-grid village. Connect with Mary on IG and on FB.

GLENN A. NORTH (Poet) KCRep: debut.  

Glenn North, Director of Inclusive Learning & Creative Impact 
Glenn North has over 20 years of experience in museum education along with working with numerous arts and culture institutions and nonprofit organizations. Born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. He attended Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri, majoring in English and completed his undergraduate degree in English at Rockhurst University. He later received an MFA in Creative Writing with an emphasis in poetry at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. His career in museums began in 2003 at the American Jazz Museum as the Poet-in-Residence and Education Manager. In 2013 he became the Director of Education and Public Programs at the Black Archives of Mid-America. Prior to joining the Kansas City Museum staff, Glenn was the Executive Director of Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Center and State Museum. His interest in poetry and youth advocacy led him to establish the Kansas City chapter of the Louder Than A Bomb Youth Poetry Festival while also serving as the festival’s Artistic Director. He is the author of City of Song, a collection of poems inspired by Kansas City’s rich jazz tradition. He is a Cave Canem fellow, a Callaloo creative writing fellow and a recipient of the Charlotte Street Generative Performing Artist Award. His ekphrastic and visual poems have appeared in art exhibitions at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the American Jazz Museum, the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Kansas City Museum. Glenn is also an adjunct English professor at Rockhurst University and is currently filling his appointment as the Poet Laureate of the 18th & Vine Historic Jazz District.  

Areas of specialty for museums: Education Programs, Curriculum Development, Public Programs, Ekphrastic Poetry, Public – Facing Poetry Programming, Event Planning, Traveling Exhibits, African American History, Multicultural Programming, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives, and Restorative Practices. 

BLACK LIGHT ANIMALS (Band) – Black Light Animals are a psychedelic soul band out of Kansas City featuring lush pop vocals crooned over spaghetti western riffs, psychedelic synth, and hip hop drums. Their debut album, Playboys of the Western World, was released in 2020 to acclaim. Most recently,  they’ve followed that record up with the string laden single Persephone and the dance floor heater Pink Lemonade.  Black Light Animals consists of: Cole Bales on lead Vocals, guitar, and keys; Cody Calhoun on lead guitar; Branden Moser on bass and background vocals; Alex Hartmann on drums; and our recent addition: Nate Hubert on keys and background vocals.
Our second album will be out via The Record Machine in 2024

J BURCH (Performer) (they/them) J Buch is a senior at Lincoln College Prep and has been part of the Art As Mentorship Program since summer 2023. They are a singer/songwriter and in bands that have played at several spots across town. They aspire to release lots of music from solo and group projects in the near (and far) future! 

JASS R. COUCH (Musician) KCRep: debut. Jass is a vocalist, poet, multi-instrumentalist, and creative from Kansas City, MO. She was introduced to music at a young age, through church choir and school band. Jass has been writing, producing, and performing her own music since 2019 and has had the privilege to sing at many local venues, open for several national recording artists, and many of the amazing Kansas City artists. She continues to write and produce her own music, performing either as a solo act or with a supporting band.  IG jassrcouch 

JULIA OTHMER (Musician) Julia Othmer is a captivating piano-playing singer/songwriter known for her energetic live performances.  Passionate and engaging, Othmer creates intimate warmth with her audiences. The child of refugees, Othmer draws from a richly cultured palette of experience to inspire her intensely human yet otherworldly songs. Her piano-driven performances are mesmerizing fusions of raw power, vocal artistry, and joy. Among recent accolades, Othmer was one of seven artists chosen to represent the USA in Global Music Match 2021, Official Showcase Artist for Folk Alliance International 2022, and M-AAA Artist Leadership Fellow 2023.
Her most recent studio album “SOUND” is a collaboration with producer/composer James T Lundie and features re-imagined vintage and bespoke equipment.  “SOUND sounds so good” writes Elmore Magazine, it has “stunningly sophisticated and dramatic architecture” and is “spellbinding and visceral.”  Acclaimed music writer Tim Finn describes SOUND as a “self-made record with a big-label sound, rich in space and soaring dynamics and rife with layers and textures and melodies and grooves.” Their work has been featured on NPR and the BBC.

Tracks from Julia’s critically acclaimed debut album, “Oasis Motel,” have been featured in TV shows like Witches of East End, Switched at Birth, The Lying Game, Army Wives, and DeGrassi: The Next Generation. She received songwriting awards from the Billboard World Song Contest and the International Songwriting Competition.  Julia shared the stage with Sarah McLachlan, Emmylou Harris, Heart, Regina Spektor, The Alarm, Amanda Palmer, Lisa Loeb, and John Waite among others.  

Julia is obsessed with books, used-book bookstores, forbidden archeology and Western esotericism.  Julia lives in the woods by a lake with James and their pit bull rescue Mary, keeping watch for wintering bald eagles and making music. 

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 two albums and three 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

TEHREEM CHAUDHRY (Storyteller) Tehreem is an actor based out of Kansas City. She received a B.A. in theatre-performance and a B.S. in accounting from the University of Kansas. Her credits include Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (Idaho Shakespeare Festival Education Tour), Madeleine in Her Own Devices, Zara/Doctor in Mirrors, Meredith in Heirlooms, Ziggy in Dead Zone (Kansas City Public Theatre), Marcellus et. al. in Hamlet, Starveling/Cobweb in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Flagstaff Shakespeare Festival), various roles with the Bright Star Touring Theatre and others. She appeared as a Storyteller in Kansas City Repertory Theatre’s 2022 Ghost Light event and is a proud member of KCRep’s Box Office team.

NICO HOLGUIN (Storyteller) KCRep: Cyrano de Bergerac. Local: The Tempest (Heart of America Shakespeare Festival); Where Did We Sit On The Bus?; Fixing King John; The Motherfu**er With The Hat; Thinner Than Water; Jane Eyre;Cymbeline (UMKC). Regional: The Diary of Anne Frank (Arizona Theatre Company); The Ultimate Christmas Show – Abridged (Blank Conversations Theatre Company); Disconnected (Everyman Ensemble Theatre Company). Upcoming: Big Love (UMKC). Education: BIS, New Mexico State University); Stella Adler – Art of Acting (Summer Conservatory 2016); 3rd year MFA candidate, UMKC. @nicoman_teriyak

MARY R. HONOUR (Lead Event Coordinator) (She/Her/Hers) KCRep/Missouri Repertory Theatre:  Fun Home, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Pride & Prejudice, Last Days of Summer, Sweeney Todd, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Between the Lines, A Raisin in the Sun, Side by Side by Sondheim, The Invisible Hand, The Fantasticks, The Diary of Anne Frank, Sunday in the Park with George, An Iliad, Our Town, Romeo and Juliet, American Buffalo, Death of a Salesman, Little Shop of Horrors, Harriet Jacobs, Bus Stop, A Flea in Her Ear, Winesburg, Ohio, The Glass Menagerie, Radio Golf, The Drawer Boy, A Christmas Carol, Love, Janis, Jitney, The Trip to Bountiful, Man and Superman. Regional: KC Starlight Theatre, LaJolla Playhouse, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Arizona Theatre Company, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Light Opera Works. 

RAFAEL TORIBIO  (Environmental Designer) is a Kansas City based Scenic Designer and Technical Director with extensive experience with both large and smaller scale design budgets. Rafael earned an MFA in Scenic Design from the University of Missouri at Kansas City after having worked at and graduating from San José State University as well as working with other regional theatres such as San Jose Stage Company, The Western Stage, and El Teatro Campesino. Most recently Rafael was the Technical Director at Music Theater Heritage, and The Coterie Theatre. Some designs include American Night: The Ballad of Juan José at The Western Stage, In The Heights at the Music Theater Heritage, and Justice at War at The Coterie Theatre. Currently Rafael is the ATD at The Lyric Opera of Kansas City.

KAREN LISONDRA   (Associate Director) (She/Her) KCRep:  Peter Pan and Wendy (Associate Director), Flood (Edith Jr U/S), Ghost Light 2022 (Haunted Parade Leader). Local: El Amor Que Mueve el Sol y las Demás Estrellas (KC Public Theatre); We are the Landscape (Independent Indigenous Collaboration, CSF); Las Tertulias (Johnson County Library). InternationalArgentina: Fuerza Bruta – Original Cast (Ozono Productions); Clown (Rogo Teatro); Toda Sombra es Ayer (Independent); Independent Aerial Dance (Various Night Clubs). Bolivia: La Odisea – Original Cast/World Tour (Teatro de los Andes ); Mocambo (Teatro Mocambo); Medea Material (Kikn Teatro); Pachakutec (Bolivia National Tour); La Pasión de Cristo por Dario Fo (Independent); Los Argenchinos (Jawapi Variete); Clown (El Tapeque Varieté, Cochabamba, Bolivia). Film: Blackthorn (Magnolia Pictures). Awards: Best Director, Best Actress, Premios Eduardo Avaroa 2013, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Bolivia; Best Actress, Premios Peter Travesi, 2012. Artist-In-Residence: Teatro Tierra (Bogotá, Colombia); Teatro Epi D’Or (Pontigny, France). Education: B.S. Communications, Northwestern University (Radio/TV/Film); Actor’s Training – Guillermo Angelelli (Argentina), Teatro de los Andes (Bolivia).   

DANA PETERSON (Production Coordinator) (she/her/hers) KCRep: A Christmas Carol (2022, Youth Cast Coordinator), Peter Pan & Wendy (Run Crew), Cyrano de Bergerac (Production Assistant). Regional: A Doll’s House (LOF/T Theatre); A Doll’s House (LOF/T Theatre); Dub for Babylon, Ritalin for Two, Jeffrey, The Good Body, Betty’s Summer Vacation, Fuddy Meers, Extremities (Top Floor Theatre). International: The Wizard of Oz, (A Slightly Isolated Dog); Funny, Funny Love (Danang Drama Society); Because She Liked to Talk about It, (Bandolera Productions); Become, Be Moved, (Dao Anh Khanh Studio); White Sheet (White Sheet Productions); Band of Birds Safari, (Banh Mi Productions); Sweaty Shorts, Spring Shorts, Offending the Audience, Shakespeare in Hanoi, Murder & Mystery, My Fair Lady, Love Shorts, Haunted Circus Caravan, (Hanoi International Theatre Society); Let’s Act: Sherlock Holmes, Alice in Wonderland, Wizard of Oz, Four Grimm Tales, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, How Old is Hanoi?  (Language Link Vietnam). Upcoming: Youth Cast Coordinator – A Christmas Carol 2023.  Education: BA Acting, Towson University.  

LALEY LIPPARD (she/her) is a director, dramaturg, and producer dedicated to social justice through art making. Lippard has developed new work and directed across the country at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, Alliance Theatre, Round House Theatre, Cleveland Play House, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, American Theatre Company, Magic Theater Company, Theater J, Kitchen Dog Theater, Eaton Workshop, Dobama Theatre, foolsFURY Theater, Z Space, Solas Nua, and Virginia Stage Company. Recently, she directed the World Premiere of  All Things Equal: The Life and Trials of Ruth Bader Ginsburg  which is currently touring the U.S. Her site-specific work has been noted in  The New York Times  (The Smuggler, Solas Nua) and her first feature film recently premiered in NYC’s 1st Irish Festival (In the Middle of the Fields). Lippard was the co-founding executive producer of The Chicago Home Theater Festival, a five-year city-wide artistic network and annual event that organized artists and neighbors to celebrate local culture, share a communal meal, experience transformative art in alternative spaces, build intentional community across lines of difference, and inspire direct action. Other producing work includes Z/Magic Mondays at Magic Theater as Artistic Associate, with The Welders as Interim Creative Producer, and as the Cleveland Play House inaugural Artistic Directing Fellow. Lippard has collaborated with HowlRound and the American Voices New Play Institute at Arena Stage, Guthrie Theater, Intersection for the Arts, American Conservatory Theater, Court Theatre, TheatreWorks, and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. Lippard has taught, workshopped, and directed at Universities including Stanford University, Northwestern University, Hampshire College, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Maryland, and Case Western Reserve MFA Acting program. Lippard is a member of the National Directors Fellowship, a partnership between the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, National New Plays Network, Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC), and The Kennedy Center; a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab; an Associate Member of the SDC, and holds an MFA in Directing from Northwestern University.

ANDI MEYER (Casting, KC Public Library Youth Ghost Stories) (She/Her) Based in Osage/Kikapoo/Kansa/Sioux/Otoe Missouria ancestral territory (Kansas City), Andi is an award-winning Kanaka Maoli/Asian American theatre maker/activist, arts educator, and parent. She is the Producing Artistic Director of Tradewind Arts, a boutique arts organization devoted to illuminating, motivating, and amplifying the voice of Native Hawaiian, Oceanic, and Asian American artists. Andi was a 2017-18 Charlotte Street Foundation (CSF) Studio Resident. Her work has been recognized with support from ArtsKC, TCG, Asian Arts Initiative, The Kauffman Foundation, Charlotte Street Foundation, JOCO libraries, InterUrban ArtHouse, and the Dramatists Guild Fund, as well as two NEA award winning projects in partnership with The Coterie Theatre including Hana’s Suitcase and Justice at War. Andi has appeared in productions at The Unicorn Theatre, The New Theatre, The Coterie, The Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Disney’s Spirit of Aloha, with voice and on-camera clients including Hallmark, H&R Block, Sprint, and McDonald’s. AEA Member

MICHELLE LAWSON (Arts Engagement Coordinator) KCRep: Cyrano de Bergerac (production stage crew). KCRep Production Assistant: A Christmas Carol, Twelfth Night, The Royale, and Dracula (Co-Production with Kansas City Actors Theatre). Local: Antigonick, The Tempest (Assistant Stage Manager, UMKC Theatre); The All-Inclusive Live Show (Production Stage Manager, Crystal Bridges Museum of Art).  Directing: The Vagina Monologues (UMKC Women’s Center). Design and Technical: Phèdre (Producer, Scenic and Properties Design, University Theatre Association); Lament of the Bullfighter (Scenic and Properties Design, Fishtank Theatre). Education: BA in Theatre (UMKC).


Ghost Story Contest

We partnered with the Kansas City Public Library for a Youth Ghost Story Contest — and the winning stories will be read at the event! Kids ages 10 to 14 were invited to raise some goosebumps – R.L. Stine-style – and share their best original ghost story or spooky poem. Congrats to this year’s winners: Maksim Seufert-Hucks from Indian Woods Middle School (Shawnee Mission, KS) and Alex Serrano Liva from Central Middle School (Kansas City. KS)!

Thanks to our Community Partners

Art as Mentorship


Kansas City Parks and Recreation

Kansas City Public Library

Kissick Construction

Roanoke Park Conservancy

With special thanks to

Pete B. Browne & Julie Walker-Browne
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