The Ghostlight Stage Company is a brand new nonprofit arts organization and professional theater company in the Greater Cincinnati area. The Ghostlight Stage Company is just as the name suggests. Similarly to how a ghost light in a theater is a constant reliable source of light at all times regardless of if the theater is open or not, we hope to be that for our community of artists and our patrons alike. With a commitment of always hiring 80% of all teams for any given project to be made up of local Greater Cincinnati professional artists, we are a company for the community BY the community.
We believe in accessible, affordable art for all to enjoy, mentoring and fostering young talent, unique community-engaging art experiences and theatrical productions with inclusive storytelling ranging from reinventing old classics for the modern audience to cutting edge new works.
The Ghostlight was founded by Alyssa Batsakis, with the support of her sister, Eliana Batsakis and artistic colleague, Aiden Dalton. After years of dreaming up a company while living on the East Coast, Alyssa found there was not a better place to make her vision come to life than in her hometown of Cincinnati. In the fall of 2022 she moved back to the Cincinnati area after almost a decade away working professionally as an actor, director, host and teaching artist on the East Coast and got to work brainstorming. She met Aiden in September of 2022 while working on a theater contract together and found they both, along with her sister Eliana, all had similar goals and visions for what the future of the Cincinnati arts scene, and even the arts industries at large, could be. They all got to work and once April 2023 rolled around The Ghostlight Stage Company officially became recognized as a tax exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. We established our first Board of Directors after meeting with many amazing Cincinnati artists and nonprofit professionals, and our first event was scheduled for May of 2023. It's been nonstop programming ever since!
All three Ghostlight founders that make up our core staff are practicing and professional artists. Currently we are working in the mediums of design, direction, acting, voice, fashion and painting.
ALYSSA BATSAKIS (she/her)
CEO/President & Producing Artistic Director
Alyssa Batsakis is an actor, vocalist, host, director, acting coach and teaching artist, who works in both the theater and film industries. She holds a BFA from The University of the Arts in Musical Theater. Alyssa recently returned to the Cincinnati area after almost a decade working professionally on the East Coast in Boston, NYC and Philadelphia.
As a performer she has worked in famous venues like Ars Nova in NYC and Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in CT helping develop new work and has taken on roles in professional regional theater companies across America in shows like A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, Beehive, the 60s Musical, American Idiot, Mary Poppins, and more. She has also appeared on-screen in several commercials for companies like Penn Medicine, Backstage.com, Aloft Hotel, Spoiled Child, Wasabi Technologies, Visit Indiana and more. Most recently Alyssa was seen in (and directed) A Holiday Cabaret with The Ghostlight Stage Company in December 2023. As a teaching artist and director, Alyssa has worked with companies like Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, The Walnut Street Theatre, Cincinnati Arts Association, Storybook Musical Theater, American Legacy Theatre, Cincinnati Actor's Studio and Academy, and more. Most recently Alyssa directed The Wolves at Cincinnati Actor's Studio and Academy. Alyssa also runs her own private acting coaching business that is conducted mainly over zoom. She has taught students all over the world from the USA to Sweden to Israel to Hong Kong and counting!
Alyssa loves spreading the joy of art in all its forms and can't wait to see how The Ghostlight progresses. Cincinnati is full of dedicated, talented and passionate artists and she is excited to be a part of helping foster and uplift that local talent with this company.
UPCOMING: Alyssa will be seen in feature films, Another Day (2025) and Round The Decay (2024).
AIDEN DALTON (he/they)
Aiden Dalton is a native Cincinnatian and professional theatre artist. They attended Xavier University, receiving their Bachelor of the Arts in Theatre with a Writing minor. While focusing mostly on acting in college, Aiden also served as the Producing Artistic Director for Xavier Players and was able to produce over six shows while attending Xavier University. After graduating they continued their training, after being selected to attend the highly competitive Professional Acting Apprentice program at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati (ETC). In this apprenticeship, Aiden worked for a year to get more hands-on experience in as many aspects of theatre as possible, guided by industry veterans. Since then Aiden has worked professionally at companies like ETC, American Legacy Theatre, South Bank Shakes, and more. Aiden is excited to now serve as the Theatrical Director for The Ghostlight Stage Company. In his new role Aiden wants to focus their efforts on bringing further inclusivity and community to the thriving Cincinnati arts scene.
Most recently Aiden directed Synapse as part of The Ghostlight's recent One Act Double Feature in October 2023. He was also recently seen in South Bank Shakespeare's productions of Romeo and Juliet and Merry Wives of Windsor this past summer.
ELIANA BATSAKIS (she/her)
Visual Arts Director
Eliana Batsakis is a fashion designer, artist, and “world-builder” based in Cincinnati, OH. She thrives in the space where costume and fashion intersect and play. Eliana is a freelancing fashion designer and creative director- very much enjoying collaborative work between artists.
Often told she “laughs at everything,” Eliana brings joy and humor into each of her collections. From a small town in southwest Ohio, her favorite pastime growing up was making up stories and creating worlds to explore with her cousins. These innocent activities carefully evolved into an artistic practice. Through voluminous and colorful garments, she hopes to create other realms in which her viewer can enter and exit with ease.
Eliana has multiple recognitions from the CFDA, a designer profile on Runway360, and showed independently on a sponsorship with Atlantic City Fashion Week. She was most recently seen competing on Netflix's fashion competition series: Next in Fashion, Season 2, which premiered in March 2023.
Eliana currently enjoys soul fulfilling work in her free time that gives back to the community. She recently completed a mural project at the Cincinnati International Airport with ArtWorks Cincinnati leading a team of youth apprentices. Eliana hopes to continue to tie together her interests of community service, story-telling, and design with her role as the Visual Arts Director at The Ghostlight Stage Company.
Board of Directors
Chair / Fundraising Committee
Jessica Runyon (she/her) was born and raised in the Greater Cincinnati area. She graduated from Northern Kentucky University with a BS in Anthropology and a MA in Public History. After graduating, she moved to Charleston, South Carolina where she worked in the Education Department for the Charleston Museum for 8 years. She also was a city certified tour guide for the City of Charleston. She moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for a year to serve as the Education Manager for the Independence Seaport Museum before moving back to Cincinnati. Jessica is currently the Learning and Outreach Manager for the Taft Museum of Art, where she also serves on the High Five Committee as well as the Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion Committee. She is enjoying her time back in the Greater Cincinnati area with friends and family.
Vice President / Equity & Anti-Racism and People over Profits Committee and Fundraising Committee
Ariel Mary Ann
Ariel Mary Ann (she/her) is a local theatre artist and activist born and raised in the Cincinnati area. By day, she’s a public health advocate. By night, she’s a reviewer, playwright, actor, and musical theatre aficionado. You can often find her at various theatre productions around town. As a theatre artist, much of her work centers around issues exploring race, gender, sexuality, and what it means to be othered in America. She’s worked with The Know Theatre through their mainstage and underground programming, The Educational Theatre Association as a featured playwright, Cincinnati Music Theatre as an assistant director, The Overture Awards as part of the adjudication team, The League of Cincinnati Theatres as a theatre reviewer and current co-vice president and Inbocca Performance as a board member. Ariel is so excited to be joining Ghostlight Stage Company as the Board of Directors Vice President. You can follow her adventures on Instagram @thelittleblackmermaid_
Interim Treasurer / Equity & Anti-Racism and People over Profits Committee
Emily Borst (they/them) is a director, playwright, and actor working in the Cincinnati area. They are passionate about representation in theatre and believe that everyone deserves to see themselves onstage, especially in stories and roles that have not previously included them. They have worked with the Know Theatre, Cincinnati Fringe, Cincinnati Landmark Productions, and Kincaid Regional Theatre (to name a few.) They also serve on the Board of the League of Cincinnati Theatres as Co-Vice President.
Secretary / Accessibility Committee
Holly Wanek (she/her) was born and raised in the Cincinnati area. Holly graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a BS in Neurobiology and a Masters of Public Health in Health Promotion and Education. Holly is currently a health educator at Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio where she provides relationship and sexual health education to middle and high school students, adults, and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Holly has also provided professional training on creating trauma-informed spaces and educational settings.
Board Member / Fundraising Committee
Sarah Day Featherstone
Sarah Day Featherstone (she/her) is a Cincinnati native with a passion for the arts and the creative community in this city. For more than a decade, she worked in non profit development locally for ArtWorks and the Contemporary Arts Center and abroad with an anti-human-trafficking NGO. Through this, she has gained extensive experience in fundraising, event production and community-building. In 2020, Sarah decided to pursue a long-time dream and started ZEZII, a small jewelry business. Sarah received her bachelor’s degree from University of Cincinnati in organizational communication and public relations. In her free time, she enjoys travel, watching documentaries, learning about wine and spending time with her husband Asa and doberman Sunny.
Board Member / Equity & Anti-Racism and People over Profits Committee
Julie Sonia Locker (she/her) is a Cincinnati-based performing artist and financial advisor with Black Bull Capital Partners. The nexus of her two careers is her belief in inclusion and accessibility, whether she is helping community members see themselves reflected onstage or helping underserved communities grow their wealth. She has performed and written for Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Cincinnati Fringe, Pones, The Know Theatre, The Carnegie, Richmond Shakespeare Festival, and Actor's Theatre of Columbus. She is also an improviser and sketch comedian with ComedySportz and Alphas.
Board Member / Accessibility Committee
Caleb Redslob (he/him) is a Cincinnati native who found his passion and his people in the arts community. Now, his personal mission is to help create creative communities where people can discover themselves and connect with others.
He received his bachelor's in graphic design from High Point University, and creates digital and print materials for churches, theaters, and other local businesses in the Cincy area. He recently joined the instruction team at Wyoming Fine Arts Center. On the performance side of things, he has sung many a season at Kings Island, performing in shows like “Off the Charts” and “Monster Rock.” He is also a house member of Improv Cincinnati, live-writing for their monthly “Hot Mic” musical. He wrote and directed the original musical, “W.Y.R.D”, which premiered in workshop form in 2022.
Caleb serves as the Director of Boys & Girls Club of West Chester/ Liberty. He resides in Lockland with his best friend/wife Maddie, their dogs, Indie and Freddie, and cat Watson.
Board Member / Equity & Anti-Racism and People over Profits Committee and Fundraising Committee
Sarah Spurling (they/she) envisions a world where performance art becomes a powerful vehicle for social change, where communities come together to explore and celebrate their shared humanity through creative expression.
Graduating with a Bachelor's in Theatre Performance with a minor in Dance, Sarah's mission is to use performance art as a catalyst for community growth, creating engaging and transformative experiences that foster authentic connections among diverse cultures and perspectives. Sarah seeks to create a thriving artistic community that transcends boundaries, where people of all ages and backgrounds can experience the joy and transformative power of dance, fostering a sense of belonging and unity.
Sarah's work merges social justice and performance art, using techniques inspired by Pedagogy of the Oppressed and Theatre of the Oppressed, to challenge societal norms, amplify marginalized voices, and create spaces for dialogue, empathy, and transformation.
As a Somatic Practitioner, Sarah is dedicated to providing artistic opportunities that promote healing, self-expression, and transformation through mindful movement practices, empowering individuals to discover and embrace their unique voices. Sarah strives to be a leading force in the field of arts in healing, using restorative dance and movement therapy to foster individual and collective well-being, promoting self-discovery and resilience.
Board Member / Collaboration Commitee
Michael Thompson (he/him) is an interdisciplinary artist, designer, ethnographer, and poet. He takes on the role of artist as archivist; collecting things, spaces, and histories to add to his work and life. His practice focuses on human ecology and nuance and he utilizes both ancient and contemporary mediums to develop woven and multi experiential works of art.
He has been awarded the Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, two ArtsWave Grants, the Cincinnati Art Club Award, and The Carl B. Westmoreland Fellowship for his work, Sanctuaries. Michael is a TEDx Speaker, Artist-in-Residence Emeritus at the Cincinnati Art Museum, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, and Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. He was also a BLINK 2022 Muralist and winner of the largest Secret Walls BattleTM in history.
Board Member / Collaboration Committee
Tori Ullmann (she/her) is an Experiential Producer at AGAR, a creative services and experiential marketing company based in Cincinnati, where she coordinates and executes virtual and in-person events for various clients in the city and beyond. When planning events, she draws a lot of her inspiration from drag and live art and is looking forward to working with Ghostlight to nurture and grow the community of artists in Cincinnati that have given her so much. Tori spent much of her childhood and teen years in drama club and choir, and credits her experience in these organizations with building her interest in her current career.
We are always looking to connect with fellow community members, local businesses, artists and more! How can we best serve Cincinnati as a new nonprofit?