Nutcracker Nightmare



Alexandra alontaga

Alexandra Alontaga (Balam) is elated to be playing a murderous doll in her first production with Ghostlight Ensemble. She has most recently been seen as Marcy in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Summer Place Theatre) and as Eleven in Strangest Things! The Musical (Random Acts Chicago). She has assistant directed shows with MunroePark Theater Guild and also works as Company Manager of Random Acts Chicago. Alex would like to thank her friends for always supporting her and following her on her journeys.

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Jean E. Burr

Jean E. Burr (Clara) moved up to Chicago during the Polar Vortex of 2014 after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington with degrees in Film Studies and Japanese. Some of her favorite roles include Winifred (Once Upon a Mattress), Sally Brown (You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown), Cassie Hack (Hack/Slash), Margalo (Stuart Little: The Musical), Paulina (The Seagull), Safari Guide (Kilimanjaro Safaris Expedition at Disney World), and Linda (Blood Brothers). You can catch her burlesque persona, Trash Bandicooch, perforing with PS...Burlesque, Bad Taste, Smudged Lipstick Review, Vaudezilla and Plan 9 Burlesque. Love to her family, friends, Ghostlight Ensemble company members, the cast and crew of Nutcracker Nightmare, her cat and Chippo for their support and general amazingness.

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sean harklerode

Sean Harklerode (Drosselmeier) is glad to be back once again in the Gingerbread Grindhouse, having previously performed with Ghostlight Ensemble in last year’s holiday horror offering, Krampus! He most recently  appeared in New Millennium Theatre’s The Tragedy of He-Manlet, Prince of Eternia. He is also currently appearing in Miracle on 34th Street: The Radio Play at The Artistic Home..

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Annie hogan

Annie Hogan (Mother) is a graduate of Carthage College and the Conservatory at Act One Studios. Annie is an ensemble member at The Artistic Home, where her credits include The School for Lies (Celimene), The Time of Your Life (Mary L), the 2015 Cut to the Chase festival, and assistant directing By the Bog of Cats. Other Chicago theatre credits include Forty-Two Stories (Alice) with City Lit Theater, Fault Lines (Kat) with Broken Road Theatre, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Helena) with Midsommer Flight, Life Separates Us (Marie) with Oracle Theatre and productions with Steep Theatre, Raven Theatre, Hobo Junction Productions, Red Tape Theatre, The Ruckus, The Chicago Mammals and WNEP Theater.

maura hogan

Maura Hogan (Itzamna) originally from Baltimore, Maryland, is excited to be apart of her first show with Ghostlight. Previous Chicago performances include blackfish: the musical (MCL), American Sinkhole (Stage 773), Dank Tank (The Annoyance). Regional credits include: Mary Poppins (TDT, Maryland), Man of La Mancha (Shakespeare Theatre, D.C.), Bachelorette (Dominion Stage, Virginia). She holds a BM from Catholic University. She is a graduate of the Second City Conservatory and Music Conservatory, as well as a member of the House Team Ranger at CSZ Chicago. Thanks to my family, friends and Tim for all the love and support!

tatum hunter

Tatum Hunter (Marie) is thrilled to be involved in her first Chicago theatre project. A Cincinnati native, Tatum attended Xavier University where she studied theatre, English and economics. Regional credits include A Prayer for Owen Meany, A Christmas Carol, Jane Eyre and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Cincinnati credits include shows with Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Queen City Flash, Sh*t Talkers Anonymous, Improv Cincinnati and OTRimprov. When she's not on stage, Tatum works as a copywriter, a journalist and a playwright.

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Kirk Jackson

Kirk Jackson (Truncheon) is thrilled to be working once again with Ghostlight Ensemble Theatre Co.! He had great fun appearing in their Jurrasic Park staged reading Something Has Survived, and their Pirandello one act festival, Six Authors in Search of a Character, in The Mountain Giants. Among the companies he has worked with in the recent past are Interrobang Theater Project, Refuge Theatre Project, Underscore Theatre, Hell in a Handbag, Cowardly Scarecrow, Strangeloop Theatre  and  New American Folk Theatre (of which he is a company member.) He was last seen as Bruce Springsteen and The Most Pathetic Man in the World in the Jeff Award winning High Fidelity: the Musical. He is a graduate of Illinois State University's acting program.

victoria jacobson

Victoria Jacobson (Zipakna) trained at the University of Illinois at Chicago and has played roles from first stage productions to Chekhov. Her latest was in Moonglow, kicking off the premiere of Broken Nose Collective’s first performance. Victoria is making her Ghostlight Theatre debut in Nutcracker Nightmare, and this Lakeview living actress couldn’t be more excited to dive into classic or funky new works in the future!

serina johnston

Serina Johnston (Rose) is a recent graduate of Columbia College Chicago, and she is just absolutely thrilled to be working with Ghostlight Ensemble. She was last seen terrorizing good Christian folks as Ms. Looney in Our Christian Nation and being worshipped like the Goddess that she is as Horus in Oh My Gods.




allison mccorkle

Allison McCorkle (Dora, Evil Doll Queen) studied theatre at Texas Wesleyan University before being lured to Chicago in 2007. Her credits include Piccolo Theatre, Black Ensemble Theatre and GreatWorks Theatre, among others. Her most recent role was mom in Ghostlight's production of Krampus! last year. Allison is thrilled to reprise the role of Dora and the Evil Doll Queen and play with Ghostlight once more. 

P. Tyler Nielsen

P. Tyler Nielsen (Nutcracker/ Police Officer). With a silent “P” (think pterodactyl), Tyler is thrilled to be a part of this unique production with such an exciting new company. In 2012, Tyler graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a BFA in Performance. While at UIC, Tyler helped co-found a socially conscious company called Realize Theatre Group (RTG) in collaboration several of his closest peers, including his wife Taryn Smith. Since 2012 Tyler has performed in several RTG shows including This is Our Youth (Warren) or The Foreplay Play (Kyle). More recently he has appeared in Oracle of the Gutterpunks (Brandon) with Prop Thtr, Macbeth (Donalbain) with Shakespeare All Stars, and The Diary of Anne Frank (Peter) with Old World Theatre Company. Tyler would like to thank his wife for her constant support, love and patience, as well as the rest of his family for inspiring him to persevere.

mark pracht

Mark Pracht (Father) was raised near Colorado Springs, Colorado, and graduated from the University of Nebraska, Kearney. He has worked as an actor with many Chicago theatre companies, including A Red Orchid Theatre, Griffin Theatre Company, Strawdog Theatre Company, Redtwist Theatre and Stage Left Theatre. He is also a director, and written several produced plays. Favorite roles include McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest with Open Eye Productions; Milt Shanks in The Copperhead and The Creature in Frankenstein, both with City Lit Theater; and Lanfield in Blizzard ’67 at 16th Street Theatre (2017 Equity Jeff Nomination for Best Ensemble). Most recently, he was seen as Frank in The School for Lies with The Artistic Home Ensemble.

Production Crew

Maria Burnham

Maria Burnham (Playwright, Props Designer) finds dolls unsettling. Especially ones that come with ready-made stories about how they come to life to do things when you're sleeping. (All she's saying is those elves on shelves are going to come back to haunt you. Quite literally.) In addition to being the world's leading authority on killer doll (non)fiction, Maria is a writer and director, who sometimes stage manages, produces and prop designs when asked. In Chicago, she's worked with TUTA, Otherworld, Hobo Junction, New Millennium, Strangeloop, Nothing Special Productions, Stockyards Theatre Project and Red Theater. Behind it all is a love of storytelling. Sometimes whimsical, sometimes dark, always subtly dissident, the stories Maria tells shine light in places people rather leave dark. 

Keith gatchel

Keith Gatchel (Stage Manager) comes to us from Rockford, Illinois, by way of Southern Illinois University (with a few stops in Florida). Since 2005, Keith has worked tech at various theatres, including The Goodman Theatre, Collaboraction Theatre Company, Teatro Vista, Victory Gardens Theater, Pegasus Players, and Blue Man Group. Most recently, he was a stage manager at the Uptown Underground and the Chicago Fringe Festival, and a company member with Strangeloop Theatre. He was also a writer for Big News at iO and Second City, and contributor to several of Strangeloop's Loopshop productions, including Our Perfect Holiday 2012 with the cast, and in 2015, Thinking Caps. Thanks to the cast, crew, and company for making this such a fun experience.

Jaclyn jensen

Jaclyn Jensen (Production Manager) is originally from Sandy, Utah, and received her BFA in Theatre Performance from the University of Central Missouri. Chicago credits include productions with St. Sebastian Players, Chicago Park District, Consortium Project, Strangeloop Theatre, James Downing Theatre and more. Her playwriting debut, Krampus! (co-written by Mike Wozniak) has been produced by Strangeloop Theatre (2015) and Ghostlight Ensemble Theatre Company (2016). Jaclyn is a founding member of Ghostlight Ensemble Theatre Company, serving as the Audience Development Coordinator and Special Events Coordinator.

Johnny Moran

Johnny Moran (Fight Choreographer) is a Jeff nominated fight choreographer, designing stage combat for A Red Orchid, Writer's Theater, ATC, The Factory, UrbanTheaterCompany, Bentlight, Lake Forest College and Lane Tech High School. Johnny has also appeared onstage at the Griffin Theatre (Winterset, Balm in Gilead, Golden Boy, The Burnt Part Boys), The Gift Theatre Company (Body and Blood), A Red Orchid (3C, Sick by Seven, The Earl), The Hypocrites (Cabaret - Winner of five Jeff Awards), Strawdog (Big Love, Red Noses, Marathon '33, Old Town), The Neo-Futurists (Fear) and The Factory Theater (Ren Faire: A Fistful of Ducats, Easy 6, The New Adventures of Popeye, Black and Blue.)

Katy Vest

Katy Vest (Costume Designer) is thrilled to be back at Ghostlight. Katy is a graduate of the University of Kentucky with a degree in theatre, concentrating in tech and design. She was the costume designer for Ghostlight's debut show, Six Characters in Search of an Author. Her other Chicago credits include Jeff Recommended Shakin' the Mess Outta Misery (Props Designer, Pegasus Theatre Chicago), Wild Boar (Props Designer, Silk Road Rising)  Peacebook (Props Designer, Collaboraction)  and Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding  (Assistant Costume Designer, Chicago Theater Works). She is also a performer and one of the founding members of PS...Burlesque, Chicago's newest body positive nerd-lesque troupe. !

Chad Wise

Chad Wise (Director) is excited to return to the Nightmare, this time from the director's chair. He originated the role of Drosselmeier in Nutcracker Nightmare during its original run in 2013. Long before that he founded New Millennium Theatre Company in 1998 and served as its artistic director for many years, bringing experiences like The Texas Chainsaw MusicalMiyagi! A Karate Kid Musical and Silent Night of the Living Dead to Chicago stages. Along the way he’s worked with the likes of The Public House Theatre and Terra Mysterium, as well. Last year he appeared as Chet in Ghostlight Ensemble's inaugural Holiday Horror entry Krampus!, which may come screaming back to life for the 2018 Xmas Season. He hopes you enjoy this unusual holiday tale.

mike Wozniak

Mike Wozniak (Production Manager) is originally from Buffalo, NY, and received his BA in Graphic Design from Mercyhurst University. His playwriting debut, Krampus! (co-written by Jaclyn Jensen) has been produced by Strangeloop Theatre (2015) and Ghostlight Ensemble Theatre Company (2016). Mike is a founding member of Ghostlight Ensemble Theatre Company, serving as the Visual Design Specialist. Special thanks to Cthulhu for all the darkness he brings.