Grindhouse

Every nightmare comes to an end...doesn't it?

Nutcracker Family party.jpg

Thanks to everyone who packed our houses last weekend for Gingerbread Grindhouse!

Only two chances remain to catch Nutcracker Nightmare, plus trailers for Snow Day Bloody Snow Day by Babes With Blades, He'll Raise Her by New Millennium Theatre Co., Krampus!  by Ghostlight Ensemble and various improvised horror by The Stuntmen and Improvised Twilight Zone, all part of Gingerbread Grindhouse!

For those of you returning or attending for the first time, we strongly suggest purchasing tickets in advance, as people were turned away at the door last weekend.

Details

What is Gingerbread Grindhouse? In a nod to the lurid, violent films popular from the 1930s through 1970s, Gingerbread Grindhouse will feature a series of live “trailers” for grindhouse-style plays yet to be, before continuing on to the feature production, Nutcracker Nightmare – a holiday tale of children, the toys they love and the toys that try to kill everyone they love. It’s the perfect holiday entertainment.

Got extra cash lying around and it's been your dream to be killed on stage? We have one victim slot that remains open for Friday night. Learn more about that and all the tantalizing perks that are part of our end-of-the-year fundraiser here.

Jacobson gives life to children's nightmares in horror-inspired 'Nutcracker'

Victoria Jacobson (right) rehearses for the holiday horror play "Nutcracker Nightmare," which opens on Friday, Dec. 8.

Victoria Jacobson (right) rehearses for the holiday horror play "Nutcracker Nightmare," which opens on Friday, Dec. 8.

In Victoria Jacobson’s book, things that slither along the ground are scary. Dolls are not. And yet in her latest role as Zipakna, a worry doll that comes to life and terrorizes the Stahlbaum family in “Nutcracker Nightmare,” she is tasked with making an audience think just that.

“The biggest challenge was trying to find the balance between doll and creepy in a movement sense, Jacobson said. “What I consider to be bump-in-the-night scary are things that slither or move lower to the floor, while a doll would not necessarily be the type of creature to do so. Exploring a spectrum of movements in that sense is something that I worked on the hardest.”

Read more about Jacobson and her work in The Chicago Tribune and the Lakeview Patch.

Nielsen takes on the (red) mantle for iconic Nutcracker role

Cary native P. Tyler Nielsen (second from right) rehearses for "Nutcracker Nightmare," which opens this week.

Cary native P. Tyler Nielsen (second from right) rehearses for "Nutcracker Nightmare," which opens this week.

Words may be the weapon most closely associated with an actor's trade, but for P. Tyler Nielsen taking on the iconic role of The Nutcracker in "Nutcracker Nightmare" meant acting with his body…and with actual weapons.

"I love the physical challenge of portraying such an iconic character who has so few lines," Nielsen said. "There is much to convey without the chance to verbalize the Nutcracker's internal journey.

"In addition, the chance to discover how a nutcracker might move, fight and express love is a joy," he added.

Read more about Tyler and his work in the Chicago Tribune or the Crystal Lake Patch.

Meet the cast of your Nightmare

From left: Serina Johnston, Tatum Hunter, Jean E. Burr and Kirk Jackson rehearse for  Nutcracker Nightmare .  (Photo by Maria Burnham)

From left: Serina Johnston, Tatum Hunter, Jean E. Burr and Kirk Jackson rehearse for Nutcracker Nightmare. (Photo by Maria Burnham)

Ghostlight Ensemble has announced the cast of Nutcracker Nightmare, the main feature of Gingerbread Grindhouse, which takes over the Greenhouse Theater Center's downstairs studio after-hours in December.

In a nod to the lurid, violent films popular in the 1930s through 1970s, Gingerbread Grindhouse will feature a series of live “trailers” for grindhouse-style plays yet to be, before continuing on to the feature production, Nutcracker Nightmare – a holiday tale of children, the toys they love and the toys that try to kill everyone they love. It’s the perfect holiday entertainment.

Written by Ensemble Member Maria Burnham and directed by Ghostlight Managing Director Chad Wise, Nutcracker Nightmare stars Ensemble Member Jean E. Burr as Clara and Guest Artists Alexandra Alontaga as Balam, Sean Harklerode as Drosselmeier, Annie Hogan as Mother, Maura Hogan as Itzamna, Tatum Hunter as Marie, Kirk Jackson as Truncheon, Victoria Jacobson as Zipakna, Serina Johnston as Rose, Allison McCorkle as Dora and the Evil Doll Queen, P. Tyler Nielsen as the Nutcracker and Mark Pracht as Father.

Full bios of the actors and production team are available online.

Gingerbread Grindhouse will also feature grindhouse-style trailers by Babes With Blades, New Millennium Theatre Co., Improvised Twilight Zone, Improvised Jane Austen, The Stuntmen and Ghostlight Ensemble.
 
Gingerbread Grindhouse takes place at 10:30 p.m. on December 8, 9, 15 and 16, at the Greenhouse Theater Center (2257 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, 60614) in Lincoln Park. Tickets are $15 and are available now through the Greenhouse website at https://www.greenhousetheater.org/gingerbreadgrindhouse, via email at boxoffice@greenhousetheater.org or over the phone at 773-404-7336.