Zombie-Themed Christmas Show CHRISTMAS HORROR MELODRAMA Lights Up the Holiday Season
Stomping Ground Comedy debuts its first holiday show of the season, a fully scripted "Deck the Halls. With Brains: A Christmas Horror Melodrama", to be performed at 8pm on Friday evenings December 7-21 at Stomping Ground Comedy Theater, located at 1350 Manufacturing Street, #109, Dallas, Texas, 75207.
The show follows a group of strangers who have found themselves stranded together in a bunker trying to survive the zombie apocalypse while also trying their best to survive and celebrate Christmas. "Deck the Halls" isn't your conventional holiday show, but Stomping Ground Managing Director Lindsay Goldapp says that was the goal when she tapped local playwright Greg Silva to write something specifically for the Stomping Ground stage.
"I wanted to put up a holiday show, but something that was different than your purely 'feel-good' holiday shows out there. I love those shows too...but I thought we could explore a little push the boundaries of the holiday spirit. And Greg delivered on that," said Goldapp. "This show has a lot of laughs but still has heart, which is what I think Stomping Ground is all about."
Director Jacie Hood, a staple of the Stomping Ground stage and numerous stages throughout DFW, agrees with this sentiment.
"Whether you're a fan of melodrama, horror, or a classic Christmas special, this show will have something in it you can love and laugh at," said Hood.
Hood, who trained with Watertower Theater's Joanie Schultz and has previously directed with Camp Death and Stomping Ground, brings her vast experience as a comedic and dramatic actress to her directorial role in "Deck the Halls". Since moving to DFW in 2014 she has appeared in over 15 productions, including shows at Uptown Players, Watertower Theatre, Theatre Three, and Lyric Stage. Hood is assisted by Jonathan Hardin, another student of Schultz. Hardin has a respectable resume of his own, having worked locally with Lyric Stage, Uptown Players, Brick Road Theatre, and Theatre Arlington to name a few. Bringing this level of experience to Stomping Ground is a dream for the Creative Team at Stomping Ground.
"I'm so incredibly grateful to have the expertise of Jacie and Jonathan," said Goldapp. "They bring a level of professionalism and chops to our li'l comedy theater that really raises the bar."
Hood and Hardin worked to assemble a cast stacked with seasoned local actors from the Dallas metroplex who are well-versed in comedy, camp, and wowing audiences. The show stars Mandy Reichelt, Flexible Grey Creative Team member who has performed with Flexible Grey and at Pocket Sandwich Theater, and Jared Culpepper, recently featured with Pegasus Theatre, NTPA Rep, Mainstage Irving-Las Colinas, and Theatre Arlington. "Deck the Halls" also features longtime DFW creative Brad McIntire, the Artistic Director of Audacity Theatre Lab, who has graced the stages of Dallas Theatre Center and Ochre House, and Brandon Whitlock, who has performed at WaterTower Theatre and with Shakespeare Dallas. Also featured in this ensemble piece is Averie Bell, a comedic actor from Dallas Comedy House who has also been featured at Pocket Sandwich Theater and Bishop Arts Theatre Center.
Rounding out this formidable cast is Stomping Ground's own Ashley Rountree, a powerhouse who spent most of her time gracing the stages in Chicago including stints with The New Colony, Chicago Dramatists, and the Chokhov Project and since moving to Dallas has worked with Pegasus Theatre and directed numerous sketch comedy revues at Stomping Ground. "Deck the Halls" also features newcomer and Stomping Ground improviser Tiffani Rodriguez. Hood credits this stellar cast with making "Deck the Halls" shine.
"The actors in 'Deck the Halls' have really latched on to these fantastically warm and hilarious characters created by our playwright Greg Silva. The ensemble really shines in this piece, and I think it's a testament to both Greg for the world he created and the performers for the joy they bring to the stage every night," said Hood.
"Deck the Halls" was written by local playwright Silva, whose children's play Galaxy Lemonade recently wrapped a successful run at Linden Grove Theatre Company. But the show is far from a children's play; complete with zombies and campy horror tropes, this production will satisfy the cynical holiday-goer but will still leave patrons with plenty of Christmas spirit.
"Every year, I write a few holiday shows. And every year they tend to be of the marshmallowy, creamy-middle variety," said Silva. "I love warm and fuzzy as much as the next guy, but this year, I thought it'd be fun to take the idea of a traditional Christmas story, along with the core values of family, hope and the joy of togetherness, and run it through the filter of an undead apocalypse. "
Deck the Halls. With Brains: A Christmas Horror Melodrama runs Friday evenings at 8 pm December 7-21 at Stomping Ground Comedy Theater. Tickets are $5 for students with a valid student ID and $10 General Admission. The show is rated M for Mature and tickets are now on sale at www.stompinggroundcomedy.org.
Stomping Ground Comedy Theater & Training Center is Dallas' only nonprofit improv comedy theater. Stomping Ground is dedicated to enriching the community through comedy and is committed to Outreach, Inclusion, and Collaboration. Lead by a Creative Team of producers, performers, advocates, and instructors with over 100 years combined experience performing and teaching comedy, they hope to collaborate with the existing Dallas comedy community and community of artists to expand the comedic arts. Stomping Ground also houses the ground-breaking Improv for Life program, which offers therapeutic improv classes for those in the community with unique needs. Find out more at www.stompinggroundcomedy.org
The members of the bunker hear a strange sound on Christmas and await what is coming down the chimney in Deck the Halls with Brains: A Christmas Horror Melodrama by Greg Silva. Top (L to R): Brandon Whitlock, Mandy Reichelt, Ashley Rountree. Bottom (L to R): Tiffani Rodriguez, Averie Bell, Jared Culpepper. Photo by Jacie Hood.