Published on October 13th, 2014 | by Lorraine Constantine


If you’ve got it, haunt it: celebrate Halloween with the Tacoma City Ballet

Haunted TheaterLet’s face it – the probability of a Halloween night in the great Pacific Northwest leaving your child’s costume utterly unrecognizable is very high. Ghastly wind and piercing rain tend to leave your little princess or pirate trotting about in galoshes and a parka.

Even if the favorable weather continues to hold, the options for holiday merriment for small children is limited – unless you’re willing to stay up for nights on end, comforting your small one from the terrors of a haunted house and a masked man with a chainsaw covered in blood, or fear of abandonment when getting lost in a corn maze.

Luckily, Tacoma City Ballet has you covered. Celebrating its sixth anniversary, Tacoma City Ballet’s The Haunted Theatre: Backstage Tour and Eerie Dances is the perfect solution to your potential dilemma.

It all began when Tacoma City Ballet Artistic Director Erin Ceragioli thought to present a family-friendly Halloween event that not only appealed to young children, but that would also entertain their adult counterparts.

“I wanted to create a place for little ones to come and have fun that didn’t involve the goriness that is often associated with Halloween,” says Ceragioli. Since its premiere, The Haunted Theatre has entertained thousands: over 15,000 annually.

All guests are encouraged to arrive in costume (better get a couple uses out of that Frozen costume before it ends up in shreds at the bottom of the dress-up box) and the young-of-age receive a goody bag.

In order to keep the show fresh and exciting, every year the production gets a bit of an upgrade: new ballets are added, sets get more elaborate, and new partnerships are highlighted

Upon entering the historic Merlino Arts Center, you are ushered through a “backstage” tour of the ballet school, which has been transformed into a spooky, albeit not too scary, haunted studio. Then, you are taken into the gorgeous Jan Collum Ballroom (turned black box theatre) where Tacoma City Ballet’s company dancers and its students will perform a variety of fancifully macabre dances featuring ghosts, witches, mummies, and skeletons. Not only are each of the dances a delight to watch but your child will have the opportunity to get up on the stage and boogie with the creatures of the night.

One of the best things about The Haunted Theatre is that it makes the arts accessible and inviting; it’s affordable, interactive, local, family-friendly, and get this, one hour long. Yes, one short, sweet hour to bring a smile to your and your child’s face.


So, if you’re looking for a way to save scarring your child for life and instead, exposing them (and yourself) to the classical arts, and celebrating the fun of Halloween, bring your little pumpkin(s) to Tacoma City Ballet.

(And stay tuned this December for Tacoma City Ballet’s world premiere of The Nutcracker and the Tale of The Hard Nut – the family holiday classic told for the very first time in its entirety.)

Tacoma City Ballet’s The Haunted Theatre: Backstage Tour & Eerie Dances, October 18-26

The Jan Collum Ballroom Theater is located in The Merlino Arts Center, 508 6th Avenue Tacoma, WA 98402.

More details are available at, 253.272.4219

Photos courtesy of Tacoma City Ballet. Originally published October 2013.

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