Ghost Light

Ghost Light

By Tony Taccone and conceived and developed by Jonathan Moscone and Tony Taccone

Directed by Jonathan Moscone

Originally produced at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland OR

June 28, 2011 through October 30, 2011

Co-production with Berkeley Repertory

About the Premiere Production:
San Francisco. Mayor George Moscone is assassinated. A city mourns and a 14-year-old boy is left fatherless. Now grown, Moscone’s son is a theatre artist struggling to direct Hamlet, while ghosts from the past and visions from the present threaten to undo him. Inspired by real events, this world premiere, the second production in the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s history cycle, American Revolutions, explores a child’s loss and a man’s search for his identity.

Artistic Statement: 
Americans often think of history as something that happens somewhere else, at some other time, to someone else. Rather than portraying history as inevitable and distant, Ghost Light reminds us that we are agents not only in what happens to us, but in how we allow ourselves, as individuals and as a society, to shape the future. Ghost Light is told in very personal terms: a story of how history diminished the importance of a heroic politician, and how his son, by reclaiming his father’s story, champions the possibilities of his own life to remake his personal history. History is complicated stuff, and Ghost Light is a wondrous, complicated play that meets the intimidating challenge of its telling. As a collaboration between institutions, it expands ownership of our shared American story – the kind of partnership that is essential to the success of the United States History Cycle - From Bill Rauch, Artistic Director


What this grant has allowed us to do: Given the complexity of its interwoven narratives set in different decades and locations, real and imagined, and its second production at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, the extra rehearsal time for Ghost Light over and above the six weeks of rehearsal usually assigned an Oregon Shakespeare Festival production is vitally important. Bringing Tony and Jon to Ashland to collaborate together and with the Ghost Light cast and artistic team is absolutely critical; their partnership is at the heart of this powerful theater piece. - From Bill Rauch, Artistic Director:

Director: Jonathan Moscone

Set Design: Todd Rosenthal

Lighting Design: Christopher Akerlind

Sound Design: Andre Pluess

Costume Design: Meg Neville

Additional Funders:

Ed McCurtain
The Hobbes Family
Betty and Jack Schafer

Subsequent Productions:

Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Roda Theatre in Berkeley, CA January 15 – February 26, 2012

Kansas City Repertory Theatre in Kansas City, MO October 13, 2023 - October 14, 2023


Legacy of S.F. Mayor Revived on Stage by Son

PBS NewsHour

February 8, 2012


No Looking Away; 'Ghost Light' Grips

August 2, 2011


A slain San Francisco mayor is back in the spotlight

Los Angeles Times

July 30, 2011


'Ghost' captures George Moscone's progressive role

San Francisco Chronicle

July 19, 2011


A Son's Ghosts

The Register Guard

April 21, 2011