From Their Own Mouths: The Ghostlight Awards Acceptance Speeches.

The reason we held the first annual Ghostlight Awards was to shine the spotlight on the people in the wings, in the pits and working front of house at the forty Broadway theaters in town.

And based on the massive number of votes we received, it worked.

But then I realized, announcing the winners was only half of our job.  And my step-dad used to say, “Never do anything half-assed.”

Giving them some attention wasn’t enough.  We also had to give them a voice.

So, I sent an intern or three around to the theaters to shoot acceptance speeches of all of the winners!  And we’ve posted ’em online for you to see and hear (ironic that some of the Tony Award winners speeches weren’t heard this year, but we’ve got the Best Usher speech right here!)

So that’s enough talking from me, let’s let the winners do the talking.

Oh, except let me say one thing before they do . . . I want to thank THEM for what they do.  We can’t all be Idina Menzel or Jerry Mitchell or David Rockwell.  But Idina and Jerry and David couldn’t be Idina and Jerry and David without the thousands of people who staff their shows and help make them a success.

Ok, and now, a few words from the winners of The Ghostlight Awards:


Best Child Guardian:
Jill Valentine – Annie – Palace Theatre

Best Company Manager:
Susan Sampliner – Wicked – Gershwin Theatre

Best Concessions/Bar Staff:
Jeremy Plyburn – The Book of Mormon – Eugene O’Neill Theatre

Best Dance Captain:
Brad Musgrove – Pippin – Music Box Theatre

Best Dresser:
Kathe Mull – Wicked – Gershwin Theatre

Best House Manager:
Michael Composto – The Book of Mormon – Eugene O’Neill Theatre

Best Merchandise Seller:
Paul Moon – Wicked – Gershwin Theatre

Best Musician:
Philip Fortenberry – Rocky – Winter Garden Theatre

Best Musical Director:
Brian Usifer – Kinky Boots – Al Hirschfeld Theatre

Best Stage Door Person:
Rose Alaio – Matilda – Shubert Theatre

Best Stagehand:
Jocelyn Smith – Beautiful: The Carole King Musical – The Stephen Sondheim Theatre

Best Stage Manager:
Lisa Dawn Cave – Rocky – Winter Garden Theatre

Best Usher:
Sarah Pauley – Beautiful: The Carole King Musical – The  Stephen Sondheim Theatre


(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)
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  • Tom says:

    Some of your catagory links are dead.

  • R. Scott Williams says:

    Great idea, but why are all your nominees from musicals? There are a few straight plays running on Broadway, too. The answer is obvious: there are usually more people employed on musicals than plays, so more of your responses are from musical folk. Better to differentiate next year into two awards for each category.

  • Katherine says:

    You are simply awesome, Ken Davenport, and you continue to amaze us! How thoughtful, how inspiring, how human – to honor the people who don’t get the applause but who are integral to a show’s success. A beautiful idea!
    Congratulations to all the Ghostlighters!

  • Becca Stoll says:

    This is so great! But I agree with what Kathe said in her speech. I’d love to see some of these categories (best stagehand in particular) be expanded to include more specific jobs. How about an award for best mixer? Best stage carpenter? Or even best overall stage crew? I love that some of the smaller New York theatre awards give out categories like Best Ensemble, and I think that could be totally applicable here. Keep it up!

  • Bill Avery says:

    The Ghostlight Award is a great idea. In keeping with the concept of including those who “operate the limelight” in a message of gratitude – you might mention your unnamed intern’s name as a contributor. We would not hear the acceptance speeches without that individual’s contribution.

    As you so aptly point out nothing gets done without the contributions of dedicated staff.

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