Holiday Horror: Gingerbread Grindhouse Featuring Nutcracker Nightmare

Holiday Horror: Gingerbread Grindhouse Featuring Nutcracker Nightmare

“Fear comes crawling out of the toy box and onto the stage this holiday season!”

Ghostlight Ensemble returns with more holiday horror in store for those seeking a more macabre take outside of mainstream activities. This year's theatre offering is Gingerbread Grindhouse, which features live grindhouse-styled trailers for plays yet to exist, moving on to the feature production, Nutcracker Nightmare.

“There's only so much joy & peace on Earth and A Christmas Carol that people can take during the holidays. Sometimes, you just need to see folks get stabbed with comically large scissors to make it through the season,” said Director Chad Wise. “We're here to provide that, while still telling a darkly funny story about loss, recovery and how children have something to teach us all about the healing power of love.”

Nutcracker Nightmare is a holiday-themed tale about children and the toys they love (which try to murder everyone the children happen to love). Written by Maria Burnham, the dolls in this world come to life while the kids are dreaming of sugar plum fairies. However, a new evil bursts out of the toy box and it's up to a young girl, a rag doll, a toy soldier, and a ballerina mouse to stop it from totally destroying Christmas.

“And, coupled with that, there are very real traditions centered around dolls coming to life to achieve some objective – from Guatemalan worry dolls, like the ones you'll meet in this story, meant to take away people's worries – to Elf on a Shelf, meant to keep an eye on boys and girls for Santa,” she continued. “And, every time I hear one of these stories, I just think, ‘This sort of thing never ends well.’ And that's where this play was born.”

Performances run late nights at 10:30pm on December 8th, 9th, 15th, and 16th at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614.

Nutcracker Nightmare stars Alexandra Alontaga, Jean E. Burr, Sean Harklerode, Annie Hogan, Maura Hogan, Tatum Hunter, Kirk Jackson, Victoria Jacobson, Serina Johnston, Allison McCorkle, P. Tyler Nielsen, and Mark Pracht.

Included within the production are violent, grindhouse-style trailers by Babes with Blades, New Millennium Theatre Co., Improvised Twilight Zone, Improvised Jane Austen, The Stuntmen, and Ghostlight Ensemble.

Tickets are currently available for $15 each at, email or call 773-404-7336.

Ghostlight Ensemble is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit theatre whose mission is to shed light on the human experience and provoke communal connections beyond the edge of the stage.

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    Kristin Wicks

    Horror movie fanatic. Sculptor of oddities. Owner of Chicago Creepster Yahoo!, festival volunteer, writer, artist, social media freelance. Officially a biomechanical Frankenlady. Doing what I can to support our spooky community.

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