Spirited plays take center stage

When novelist Franklin Woolsey suffers a stroke mid-sentence while dictating his latest novel, his typist, Myra, continues to type out his words even after he’s dead.

As she attracts the suspicion of critics and the author’s widow, who believe she’s just a talented forger, Myra sets out to prove his spirit is still dictating his story to her.

Myra and Franklin are the two characters at the heart of “Ghost Writer,” the winner of the 2011 Barrymore Awards for best new play, and an upcoming production at the Winchester Little Theatre.

Despite its title, “Ghost Writer” director Bill Heavner is quick to point out it isn’t a ghost story.

“They’ve [Myra and Franklin] developed a relationship as they were working that they could finish each others’ sentences,” Heavner said. “After he dies, she sits down and continues to type and hears his voice in her head.”

Heavner said the period drama, set in 1919, is staged “very interestingly” and contains a number of flashbacks that show the pair’s working relationship.

“The transitions are really interesting because as she goes back in her memory, the lights change and all of a sudden, he’s there,” he said. “There’s definitely a surrealness about it.”

“Ghost Writer” runs from Jan. 9 through Jan. 18, at 8 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and at 2 p.m. on Sundays. The production is 90 minutes long with no intermission.

Tickets are $19.75 for adults, $17.75 for seniors and $15.50 for students.

To purchase tickets, visit the Winchester Little Theatre at 315 W. Boscawen St. in Winchester or its website at http://www.wltonline.org.

In New Market, the Schultz Theatre presents “Polter-Heist,” a dessert theater show about a group of wacky characters trying to make contact with a ghost haunting the Mouldering Pines Inn.

The “hauntingly hilarious” play will be performed at 7 p.m. on Jan. 9 and 10.

Tickets are $16 for adults and $14 for seniors and students, and includes two desserts and unlimited coffee and iced tea.

The Schultz Theatre is located at 9357 N. Congress St. in New Market. To purchase tickets, visit http://www.schultztheatre.com or call 540-740-9119.

Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rcornell@nvdaily.com