Winning works

Seventeen playwrights will have their pieces brought to life when the 18th annual New Works Festival hits the stage at the Firehouse Center for the Arts in Newburyport’s Market Square this weekend and next.

A full-length play, “Seeing Violet” by Peter Snoad, kicks things off this Friday night, followed by an evening of seven shorts this Saturday; two one-acts on Friday, Jan. 24; and seven more shorts on Saturday, Jan. 25. All shows start at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $16 per evening or $44 for all four. For reservations, call 978-462-7336 or visit

Fiery fête

Bid an official farewell to the holiday season with the Old Newbury Christmas Tree Bonfire on Saturday.

The annual fundraiser is a collaboration between Newbury Fire Rescue, Historic New England and Tendercrop Farm.

Festivities surrounding the fire, which takes place at Tendercrop’s growing fields on High Road, start at 3 p.m. and include children’s activities, entertainment, a live auction, a variety of food and drinks for sale, and tours of the 1690 manor home at Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm.

Admission is free, and parking is available for $10.

Sea fare

A wealthy nitwit, played by Buster Keaton, and his pampered girlfriend find themselves alone and adrift on a massive ocean liner in “The Navigator,” screening Monday at 7 p.m. at the Firehouse Center for the Arts.

The 1926 silent comedy will be accompanied by music from Jeff Rapsis, who will improvise an original score, using a digital synthesizer to create the sound of a full orchestra. It will be preceded by the short comedy “The Boat.”

Admission is $15, with all proceeds supporting the Custom House Maritime Museum. For reservations, visit

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