When Lionheart Theatre put out a call for submissions of original scripts last summer, it expected to receive, perhaps, 50 plays to be considered.

Instead, 275 were received. Some came from as far away as the United Kingdom and New Zealand as well as from across the United States.

What subject could possibly solicit such enthusiastic results? Halloween, of course!

“We asked for playwrights to submit 10-minute plays that centered on Halloween and associated themes such as the macabre, haunting, ghosts, monsters, horror, creepy, etc,” Lionheart officials said.

“At some point, our call for scripts went viral and was shared by several playwrighting groups.”

The resulting show, “Bewitching,” is a collection of eight short plays, all with a scary theme. It will be produced on Oct. 21, 22. Thursday, Friday and Sunday evening shows begin at 7:30 p.m. There is also a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m.

The city of Norcross is holding a large downtown event on Oct. 23 and there will be no shows of “Bewitching” that day.

Tickets are $18 for adults and $16 for seniors, students, and the military.

Because the Lionheart Halloween show is always very popular, Lionheart strongly recommends making reservations in advance. Also, due to content, “Bewitching” is recommended for audiences 16 and up.

Complimentary dessert is also served during intermission.

Tickets can be purchased at lionhearttheatre.org. For more information call 770-885-0425.

The “Bewitching” playwrights are Robin Baron, James Beck, Richard Castle, Peter Dakutis, David Allan Dodson, Ryan Kaminski, Kathleen Coudle-King, and Jennifer O’Grady.

The “Bewitching” cast members are Carlene Archer, Quorey Billups, Lauren Casola, Carl W. Childers, Meagan Crossley, Jim Dexter, Tanya Gilmer, Morgan K. Gresham, Doug Isbecque, Brandi Kilgore, Scott King, Holli Majors, Joan McElroy, Debbie McLaughlin, Joe McLaughlin, Paul Milliken, Gregory Nassif St. John, Jeremy Reid, Kelly Roarke, Rebecca Rubin, Wesley Salazar, Scott Starkweather, Allen Stone, and Lacy Claire Whitten.

Directing the individual plays are R. Chandler Bragg, Tanya Gilmer, Jeremy King, Scott King, Cat Rondeau, Rebecca Rubin, and Darci Wells.

“Our Halloween play festival, ‘Bewitching,’ is a favorite of both our Lionheart audience and our actors,” Tanya Gilmer, founder and producing Artistic Director of Lionheart, said.

“Every time we do a production, we always have patrons who dress up in costumes and get into the party atmosphere that we create. It’s a lot of fun.”

“Choosing the eight finalists was a tough decision because we received so many great plays,” Brandi Kilgore, leader of the play selection committee, said. “Honestly, we were expecting to receive around 50 scripts. This is the first time we have received such a large number of submissions.”

After “Bewitching,” two more productions are scheduled through the end of the year.

“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” will run from Nov. 5-21.

“The Homecoming” will be performed Dec. 9-19.

The Lionheart Theatre is located at 10 College Street in Norcross.

.Holley Calmes is a freelance writer and public relations consultant specializing in the arts. Email her at hcalmes@ mindspring.com.

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