Northfield, the southern Minnesota home of St. Olaf and Carleton, enjoys an “arts town” reputation. So much so that to accommodate its strong drama-geek crowd, the Northfield Arts Guild this month debuts the NAG LAB alongside its regular programming, strapping local playwrights with small budgets to stage lo-fi, less-orthodox shows. The experiment opens with a double-feature of classic ghost-story one-acts: “The Monkey’s Paw” and lesser-known “The Drop of Water.” In one, an older couple tangles with death after wishing back a lost son. The other watches one mistake trickle toward horror. Lo-fi hasn’t hampered first-time director Russ Paladin; staging his adaptaions, he’s drawing inspiration from darkness—Audrey Hepburn’s pitch-black scramble in Wait Until Dark and even the swathes of nothingness in The Blair Witch Project.