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LONG BEACH - Suspense thriller "Ghost Writer" opens Aug. 24 at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center, with performances continuing until Sept. 16.
In "Ghost Writer," something mysterious has happened: acclaimed novelist Franklin Woolsey has died, but his devoted secretary remains poised at her typewriter - waiting to channel the words that will complete his masterpiece.
The ghost story questions where we draw the line between fact and fiction, between this life and beyond. It's up to the audience to decide what to believe.
"I love language, and that's what this play is all about," said director and producer caryn desai [sic]. "It has something beautiful to say about the actual art of writing - what writers go through to create a literary piece, down to which words to choose and even which punctuation."
"Ghost Writer" was inspired by an anecdote writer Michael Hollinger came across about the secretary to early 20th century novelist Henry James. She typed as he dictated his novels and stories, and after his death claimed to continue receiving dictation from her late employer.
"My mother had died shortly before I encountered this story, and, through conversations with my father, I began thinking about 'the presence of absence' - that is, the power that a departed loved one holds over us, and how we negotiate the space left by that person," Hollinger explained. "As the play continued to develop, I also found myself looking at the nature of the creative process itself, that mysterious combination of craft and what most people would call inspiration."
Hollinger's other plays include "Opus," "An Empty Plate in the Cafe du Grand Boeuf," "Red Herring" and others. He has written seven touring plays for young audiences, as well as numerous short works.
For PBS, he has scripted three short films and co-authored the feature-length "Philadelphia Diary."
"Ghost Writer" will run Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., Aug. 24 through Sept. 16. Tickets are $37 for Thursday shows, and $44 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays except opening night, which is $55 and includes a reception with the actors following the performance.
For tickets, call (562) 436-4610 or go online to internationalcitytheatre.org.
Published: July 19, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 14