New Works Festival

Firehouse Center for the Arts | Winter, 2015

An Evening of Shorts

Firehouse New Works FestivalThe 13 Annual New Works Festival at the Firehouse Center for the Arts in Newburyport really got to the Long & Short of It. 

Featuring talented writers from throughout New England, close to 200 playwrights entered the festival for a chance to have their plays directed and performed by industry professionals.

“We believe in the value these new works can offer to the community of artists and participants in our Festival each year, and we continue to encourage and support writers at all stages in their careers.”  – Firehouse Center of the Arts, Newburyport, MA.

Lead by New Works Festival Committee Co-Chairs Victor Atkins and Teri Contino, each play submitted was anonymously judged by an independent panel of theater pros.

Once selected, playwrights were then paired with directors, who cast actors to make the plays come to life.

A total of eight short works were chosen this year including, Time Travel is Good for the Complexion by Shari D. Frost, a heartfelt conversation between a son and his mother now suffering from Alzheimer’s.

Other powerful plays shared messages of racism (Raghead by Tom Coasch), while others tickled our funny bones with quirky flirtations (Check Out Dinosaur by Stephen Faria).

Firehouse Center for the Arts, New Works FestivalEach year the New Works Festival also awards two playwrights with the Peter Honegger Prize. A gift from Lois Honegger in memory of her late husband, Peter was a long-time member of the Newburyport theater community, and a former judge of the New Works Festival.

This year the winner of the Peter Honegger Prize in the Short Play category was Christopher Lockheardt for his play, The Last Words of Lord Rupert Carrington, As Captured at His Deathbed by His Devoted Nurse.

This play was an hilarious dark comedy. Poor Lord Carrington, so desperately trying to preserve his legacy by hiring a nurse to dictate his last words each night before he goes to sleep.

Not unfortunately, his loud, disrespectful and arrogant demeanor pushes the nurse past her breaking point, leading to the death of Lord Carrington and a silly (provocative) statement recorded as his last.

Lockheardt’s last words? Firehouse…

That said, the Firehouse Center for the Arts is soon to hold their annual Spring fundraiser on March 7, 2015. This year’s Italian-themed event, La Dolce Vita (The Sweet Life), will be held at the Blue Ocean Event Center in Salisbury. Tickets are on sale now. 

Coming Up

2015 Annual Spring Fundraiser – March 7, 2015 @ Blue Ocean Event Center

Juanito Pascual New Flamenco Trio – February 14, 2015

Shall We Dance – February 15, 2015

Aztec Two-Step – February 28, 2015


2015 New Works Credits

Check Out Dinosaur
Playwright: Stephen Faria
Director: Arlene Barnard
Cast: Ariana Federp and Conor Miller

Accidental Death
Playwright: Anne Marilyn Lucas
Director: Judy Muss’ells
Cast: David D’Andrea and Gretchen Stone

Playwright: Tom Coasch
Director: Jannie Kitchen

Cast: Michael Barry and Katharine Jordan

By Accident
Playwright: Kevin Carey
Director: Maureen Daley
Cast: David Frank, David D’Andrea, and Beth Duff

Time Travel is Good for the Complexion
Playwright: Shari D. Frost
Director: Fontaine Dubus
Cast: GLORIA PAPERT amd Brad Ritchie

Scratch Off
Playwright: Scott Tobin
Director: Greg Gaskell
Cast: Sherry Bonder, Don Goettler, Dominique Salvacion, Zach Cranor and Sean Murnane

The Last Words of Lord Rupert Carrington, As Captured at His Deathbed by His Devoted Nurse
Playwright: Christopher Lockheardt
*top honor*
*Recipient of the Peter Honegger Prize*
Director: Weylin Symes
Cast: Mark Linehan*, Ceit Zweil and Meredith Stypinski*
* Actors appearing courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers.

The Sign
Playwright: Kathy Hooke
Director: Geoff Brace

Playwright: Patrick Gabridge
Director: Kimberly Holliday

Cast: Robert Ringuette and Rachel Sacks