The company was founded in 1993 by Katharine Noon, Don Gordon, and Ferdinand Lewis, recent graduates of The California Institute of the Art's theater program. Our inaugural production, Eloise; A Ghost Play, developed by the three founders, played at numerous theatres in the LA area and performed at Dell'arte in Blue Lake, CA. In 1995, Ghost Road's critically acclaimed adaptation of the Elektra story, Elektra-La-La, by Katharine Noon and Brian Howry and directed by Noon premiered in downtown Los Angeles at the Spanish Kitchen. In addition to a successful LA run, Elektra-La-La received stellar reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland and was subsequently invited to perform at other festivals in Europe and the Middle East. Also performed in Edinburgh were LRG Lot GRT VU, written and performed by Kimberly Pearce-Haynes and The Last Vegas Lounge Act, created by Rodger Henderson, Ferdinand Lewis, Pearce-Haynes and Cody Henderson.
A collaboration between Ghost Road and the Burglars of Hamm produced Resa Fantastiskt Mystiskt which ran in 1999 and 2000 in Los Angeles. The production also completed criticallyacclaimed runs at the Seattle Fringe Festival and Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2001 and the NYFringe in 2002. Resa won a Garland award for writing and was nominated for production of theyear by the LA Weekly. Carrots for Hare by Cody Henderson closed out Ghost Road's 2000 seasonat the Powerhouse Theatre, for which Cody Henderson received an LA Weekly awardnomination for playwriting.
The 2001 season saw both a workshop and a full production of Katharine Noon and Chris Dewan's adaptation of Agamemnon entitled Clyt at Home: The Clytemnestra Project, conceived and directed by Noon and produced by Ghost Road in collaboration with Theatre of NOTE. Clyt at Home was developed through workshop by the ensemble and presented at the ASK Common Ground Festival in 2001 at UCLA and at NOTE in the fall. We remounted Clyt at Home in 2003 at the KO Festival in Amherst, MA as part of the Network of Ensemble Theatres Conference and Festival. Clyt at Home garnered an LA Weekly Award nomination for best adaptation and Jacqueline Wright won the award for best Lead Performance for her portrayal of Clytemnestra. The show also received numerous Backstage West Garland Honorable Mentions.
In 2003, after nearly a year of workshops and ensemble development, Ghost Road presented a workshop production of Excavate the Monster at 24th Street Theater.
In 2004 the Ghost Road Company created a new piece of theatre, loosely adapted from and influenced by The Tale of the Four Dervishes, a set of ancient Sufi folk tales. The piece was developed in workshop with the ensemble and co-written and adapted by Tamadhur Al-Aqeel and Katharine Noon. The finished product, The Four Dervishes, followed Victorian spy Richard Burton as modern troops collided in the desert. Creating a world at once mystical and real, magical and harsh; intimate moments weaved an epic tale of culture and identity, the play premiered at the 24th Street Theatre in downtown Los Angeles. The production continued as part of The Edge of the World Theater Festival in October, 2005 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center.
In 2004 and 2005, under the direction of Mark Seldis, Ghost Road began work on a new piece, Duck(t) Tape Soup, a dark farce about how greed, lies, and manipulation can lead to the end of the world. Using the Marx Brothers film Duck Soup as a launching point, we devised a theatre piece that mixes the classic farce with modern political satire and harsh realism. In May 2006, a workshop of the first section of Duck(t)Tape Soup was presented at the Shakespeare Festival/LA. In 2008, more of the piece was presented at Diavolo’s space in the downtown Brewery complex. Development on this piece continues today, and we will present a completed version of the work in 2010/2011
In 2007, Ghost Road was a hub partner in the Los Angeles presentation of Suzan-Lori Parks’ groundbreaking 365 Days/365 Plays project and the ensemble performed week 32 of the 52-week long event.
Also in 2005 Katherine Noon began work on the final play of the Oresteia trilogy, The Eumenides. Orestes Remembered: The Fury Project focused on justice in public and private life as well as the role of manipulation as ameans to maintain the status quo. In June 2005 Katharine presented an initial workshop using his material at the Network of Ensemble Theater Festival at Dell'Arte in Blue Lake, CA. Ghost Road was then invited to develop the piece in residency at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. In January 2007, a workshop production was presented as part of the LMU theatre department’s season. Orestes Remembered: The Fury Project then premiered at the Powerhouse Theatre in March '07. The piece was then invited to tour to the Fool's Fury Festival in San Francisco in April '07.
Following the success of the final part of her trilogy, Katharine began integrating Orestes Remembered into the previous adaptations of Agamemnon and The Libation Bearers in order to complete Ghost Road's adaptation of the entire Oresteia. In 2007 and 2008, working with the ensemble, she completely re-workshopped the previous two adaptations and reshaped the entire trilogy, along the way presenting workshops of the “new” Elektra at NACL’s Festival of New Theatre in New York and at the Arcata Playhouse in Northern California. In February 2009, Ghost Road was invited to present the new version of Orestes at the Getty Villa in Malibu, and in March 2009, we presented the entire trilogy, entitled Home Siege Home, in repertory for six weeks at [Inside] the Ford in Hollywood. Nine actors performed all the roles in the three plays, presented on a single moving set and with a total running time of around three and a half hours. We are currently planning to tour Home Siege Home in 2011.
Also in 2009, The Ghost Road Company was selected to be included in the Community Redevelopment Agency’s Mid-City Arts Retention Program, along with two other performing arts companies, including Trade City. We and Trade City had approached the CRA about our plan of establishing a shared permanent home, to be located in the Mid-City area of Los Angeles. The artistic leadership of both ensembles resides in the Mid-City and Trade City and Ghost Road have developed, presented and performed work in this area. As 2009 came to a close, we participated in a series of workshops held by the CRA and, with their guidance, began developing a capacity plan.
Ghost Road's newest work, "Stranger Things," influenced by the writings of Albert Camus, was presented as part of the Network of Ensemble Theatres Micro-Fest in Los Angeles in December 2010. "Stranger Things," created in collaboration with composer David O, will premiere in 2011.
In August 2010 Artistic Director Katharine Noon and Producing Director Mark Seldis travelled to Warsaw, Lodz, and Lublin, by invitation of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute of the Polish Culture Ministry, to explore potential collaborations and exchanges with leading Polish ensembles.