Folger Shakespeare Library To Screen DC Premiere Of The New Film GHOST LIGHT
The Folger Shakespeare Library will host the DC premiere of Ghost Light, a new dark comedy by filmmakers John Stimpson and Geoffrey Taylor. The film, a Feature Film Award-winner at the Austin Film Festival, will be shown in the historic Folger Theatre located on Capitol Hill. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at www.folger.edu/talks or by calling the Folger Box Office at 202.544.7077.
The runtime is approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes. A post-show Q&A session with the filmmakers will follow the screening.
Ghost Light begins as a band of rag-tag summer stock actors in a traveling Shakespeare company prepare to perform The Tragedy of Macbeth at the rustic Riverside Resort and Theater compound in the mountains of Western Massachusetts. The company includes Alex, played by Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride, Robin Hood: Men in Tights), an inept former soap star with deep pockets; Thomas (Tom Riley), a disgraced former New York theater star; Henry (Roger Bart), the director; and Madeline, played by Carol Kane (The Princess Bride, Annie Hall, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), a fading grand dame of the stage, among others.
When they arrive at the desolate theater, Thomas and his lover, Liz Beth (Shannyn Sossamon), mock and wantonly disregard the superstition of "The Scottish Play." They unwittingly trigger its curse when they arrogantly shout the name "Macbeth" on stage. In due course, a wandering, young Appalachian Trail hiker named Juliet (Danielle Campbell) arrives, whose seductive charm prompts the cast to invite her to play one of the witches in the production. Needless to say, things begin to go awry shortly thereafter. The terrifying sorcery of the ancient curse that has followed performances of Macbeth for centuries strikes yet again.
Ghost Light has been featured in dozens of national and international film festivals, including the Austin Film Festival, LA Film Festival, Portland Film Festival, Sedona International Film Festival, and the Monadnock International Film Festival, among many others. Behind the Lens Online writes that Ghost Light "is what filmmaking is all about... a terrific, fun, deliciously dark comedy!"
John Stimpson is a producer, writer, director and editor. Having worked extensively in episodic, documentary style television on programs for Discovery, Animal Planet, HGTV and Outdoor Life, Stimpson turned his focus on scripted, narrative content in the early 2000's. Over the last fifteen years he has directed many independent films including The Legend of Lucy Keyes, A Christmas Kiss, Sexting In Suburbia and The Wrong Car among others. His interest in film and television began at Harvard where he majored in Visual and Environmental Studies and was President of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals. He then spent five years as a professional actor in Los Angeles before returning to the East Coast and refocusing his talent on the other side of the lens. Stimpson has directed more than ten features and worked on many others as a writer, editor, producer or consultant.
Geoffrey Taylor is a long-time feature film producer and writer who worked with famed director Paul Mazursky for many years. His films include Tempest, Moscow on the Hudson, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Moon Over Parador, Enemies a Love Story, Faithful and Taking Care of Business. He has produced music by Little Richard and Billy Preston, designed national ad campaigns for his films and produced and directed a documentary for PBS. Over the years he has worked with almost every major studio and a few minor ones. Starting with running his film society at Yale, Taylor earned a law degree from Georgetown and left a career as an LA music lawyer after winning a contest as a comedy writer at Fox Television. In the last decade Taylor has concentrated on his first love, writing, and has written or co-written half a dozen screenplays.
The Folger Shakespeare Library, opened in 1932, featured the first replica in North America of an Elizabethan theater, a 250-seat space designed to suggest the inn-yard playing spaces. Founders Henry and Emily Folger envisioned it as a place for the performance of plays in Shakespeare's style, and the first nationally televised broadcast of a Shakespeare play in the U.S. was Julius Caesar from the Folger stage in 1949. Director of Public Programs Janet Alexander Griffin established Folger Theatre in 1991 and has since, as Artistic Producer, produced more than twenty-five seasons of Shakespeare, other plays from the period, and new works, including commissions, inspired by the period. Folger Theatre premiered the original Shakespeare for My Father, Lynn Redgrave's reminiscence of her theatrical family, as well as Roger Rees' What You Will; co-produced Teller and Aaron Posner's magical Macbeth, released on video; was the first Washington venue to present a production from Shakespeare's Globe from London; and has collaborated with the Classical Theatre of Harlem, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Guthrie, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Third Rail Projects, Bedlam, and other theater companies across the country.
Since 1991, Folger Theatre has been honored by the Helen Hayes Awards with 30 awards and 148 nominations for excellence in acting, direction, design, and production-including the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Resident Play in 2007 for Measure for Measure, 2011 for Hamlet (a year in which all three of Folger's theatrical productions were nominated in that category), 2013 for The Taming of the Shrew, and most recently, for the 2016 staging of Sense and Sensibility (which garnered four Helen Hayes Awards).
Folger Shakespeare Library is a renowned center for scholarship, learning, culture, and the arts. Home to the world's largest Shakespeare collection and a primary repository for research material from the early modern period (1500-1750), Folger Shakespeare Library is an internationally recognized research library
offering advanced scholarly programs in the humanities; a national leader in how Shakespeare is taught in grades K-12; and an award-winning producer of cultural and arts programs -theatre, music, poetry, exhibits, lectures, and family programs. A gift to the American people from industrialist Henry Clay Folger, Folger Shakespeare Library-located one block east of the U.S. Capitol-opened in 1932 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Learn more at www.folger.edu.