Dream Theatre Company, 5026 N. Lincoln, 773-552-8616, dreamtheatrecompany.com
Already known for thoroughly immersive theater experiences, Dream Theatre sealed its standing with Jeremy Menekseoglu's Halloween show Audience Annihilated Part Two: Gold Star Sticker, the most chillingly horrific 15 minutes I've endured in recent memory. As in Audience Annihilated Part One: Women Only Train, staged back in 2011, audience members play the part of the lead, in this case six-year-old Princess, who's subjected to a junkie amputee careening a bit too close for comfort, a cold hard bitch of a mother whispering beer-soaked expletives (the unflinching Nicole Roberts), and Bear, a cruel teddy whose catchphrase "I don't like things the way they are" still pops up in my mind quite unsettlingly. Why subject yourself to this, you ask? For the same reason we like haunted houses and scary movies: nerves jangling, heart racing, and mouth agape, you walk away from the experience feeling thrillingly alive. Coming up next for Dream Theatre Company, which just moved into new digs in Lincoln Square: two more from Menekseoglu.