The Players Shine 'Ghost Light' Until Clubhouse Gathering Returns

Club President McCurdy: “The ghost light will stay on until our members are back home.”

By: Dec. 22, 2020
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The Players Shine 'Ghost Light' Until Clubhouse Gathering Returns

The Players, New York's fabled social club for the dramatic arts and its patrons, has posted a "ghost light" on the balcony of its Gramercy Park clubhouse as a reminder that live theatre and convivial gathering of its members will return.

"Our ghost light is a beacon and a promise," said Players President Michael McCurdy. "For our members and our fellow New Yorkers who love live performance, the light burns to remind us that there are better days ahead as performers and audience members."

Generally in the form of a single-bulb floor lamp, the ghost light is traditionally placed on a stage to illuminate the space between performances or show runs. Practically, the lamp lights the stage apron of the darkened theatre to prevent falls into the orchestra pit. Plus, in a setting full of haunting legends, the ghost light discourages mischief by resident spirits.

Along with other indoor dining and gathering venues, The Players clubhouse paused in March and reopened with extensive safety protocols in mid-October. With reconfigured social and dining spaces and limited capacity, scores of masked Players returned to enjoy the club and its legendary member camaraderie until the State again paused indoor dining for New York City last week.

"This mandated closure is tough, but we must keep our friends and families safe," said McCurdy. "Our city and our club will be here on the other side of this pandemic. We want our colleagues and neighbors to see that light burning and feel that same conviction."

The balcony from which the light shines was among exterior additions to the building by architect Stanford White in reimagining the mansion for The Players launch in 1888. In 1963, the clubhouse was designated a National Historic Landmark. An extensive restoration of the portico by The Players Preservation Fund was recognized in 2015 by the New York Landmarks Conservancy at the Lucy G. Moses Awards.

"Our members have embraced virtual programs and creative socializing during this time," said Eileen Mulligan, Director of Membership and Programming. "The clubhouse is a second home for many, but that genuine, thriving community among our members continues during this pause."

Club President McCurdy added, "The ghost light will stay on until our members are back home."

Now in its 132nd season, The Players celebrates the rich cultural life of New York City with exclusive member-only events that include live performances, readings by leading authors and playwrights, film screenings, and dining in its famous Grill room. More information about The Players may be found at or by emailing