Photo by Jerry Rousselle

FOR MOST PEOPLE, Halloween is enough to satiate any urge to dress in ridiculous clothing and pretend to be someone else. For Portland's theater professionals, it's an itch that burns all year long—but it's scratched with particular vigor during Halloween shows, when the powdered wigs are put away and the zombie face paint comes out.

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Atomic Arts erupted onto the local theater scene in July with the unexpectedly charming Trek in the Park, a faithful reenactment of a vintage Star Trek episode. Their second production is a fresh adaptation of the 1922 silent film classic Nosferatu, in the tiny and creeeepily intimate Shoe Box Theater. 2110 SE 10th, 927-5699, Fri-Sat 10 pm, through Nov 21, $15,, reservations recommended

Night of the Living Dead

It's the definitive zombie flick Night of the Living Dead performed live—or dead, or un-dead, or whatever term is zombilogically correct these days. Either way, the Blue Monkey Theater Company will blow your mind. And then eat it! (...Brain-eating joke? Get it? Sigh.) Pacific Crest Community School, 116 NE 29th, 593-2466, Wed Oct 28-Sat Oct 31, 8 pm, $12,

The Fields of Fear

A cross between a stage production and a haunted house, The Fields of Fear is a 30-minute, interactive performance set at the Washington County Fairgrounds. Premise: A meteorite hits the suburbs, releasing a poisonous gas that turns everyone who breathes it into "zombie-like monstrosities." (Oh, that's the term we were looking for.) Washington County Fairgrounds, 873 NE 34th, Hillsboro, Wed Oct 28-Sat Oct 31, 8 pm-midnight, $12,

Ben Franklin: Unpluggedand Ragtime

It’s not a Halloween themed-production—but the October 31 performances of both Portland Center Stage’s Ben Franklin: Unplugged and the musical Ragtime will be followed by a party with free beer from Ninkasi and a costume contest judged by the show’s casts. For $20 tickets to either show, order tickets online with promo code “Spooky.” Portland Center Stage, 128 NW 11th, Sat Oct 31, 7:30 pm, $20,