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The Arts Bring Out Newburyport’s Best Side - Part II

Last month, we brought you a sampler plate of the artsiest offerings to be found in Newburyport, both this summer and year-round. This month, we wrap up the smorgasbord with another helping of uniquely local creative pursuits.

Newburyport Documentary Film Festival

This annual showcase offers up some of the greatest new pieces of non-fiction storytelling out there, often from local talent! For over a decade, the festival has featured hundreds of films covering just as many topics, shown at multiple locations around town. This year’s festival will be held September 14-16. Visit for festival information (or to submit your own work!), and don’t miss additional screenings of films throughout the year.

Firehouse Center for the Arts

Built in 1823 as a market house for Newburyport residents and doing time as the Central Fire Station for the better part of the 20th century, the Firehouse now serves as the city’s premier performing arts and entertainment venue. National and international touring acts drop in for sold-out shows, as well as local theatre companies and up-and-coming musicians from the surrounding communities. The 191-seat theatre features excellent acoustics and makes for an intimate audience-performer experience. Take a spin by their convenient Market Square location to see what’s up on the marquee (also to see which local artist they’re featuring in their rotating lobby gallery!), or visit for a list of upcoming shows.

Theater in the Open

Looking for theatre like you’ve never seen it before? You’ve come to the right place. The wild, woolly, wacky, off-the-walls experience that is Theatre in the Open brings fresh takes on classic works into the great outdoors of Maudslay State Park. This collaborative menagerie of actors, writers, musicians, and artists calls the rambling park its home, and makes the stately Victorian grounds come alive each summer and fall with re-worked Shakespeare plays, Greek classics, and original multimedia productions. Workshops and classes for adults and children seek to promote creative thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, and freedom of expression. All while wearing a crazy mask and tutu set, if one so chooses. Enter the fray at

Theater in the Open

Newburyport Choral Society

Members of the Newburyport community and beyond can get up close and personal with the soaring sounds of Handel, Mozart, Britten, and beyond in this 80-year-old choral institution. Under the dynamic direction of Dr. George Case, singers and accompanists alike can add their sounds to the growing ranks of the 125-plus member chorus for a bi-annual fee. NCS sponsors multiple outreach programs, including the “We Sing” program for younger singers, scholarships for high school seniors continuing on musical education tracks, and opportunities for local high school students to participate in the chorus as a community service. Learn more about why NCS has had such an enduring presence in the Newburyport area at

The Actor’s Studio of Newburyport

Tucked away in the labyrinthine halls of the Tannery Historic Marketplace, this 50-seat black box theatre harnesses enough local talent to blow the roof off the whole complex. Executive Director Marc Clopton brings the best of classic and contemporary theatre to the diminutive stage, drawing audiences and acting students into what he calls an “interactive” theatrical experience. “When I see a student come through the door, I don’t see a beginner or an expert,” says Clopton. “I see a whole person full of mystery and inspiration, an actor with a life’s worth of experiences which will inform his or her work.” The Actor’s Studio offers classes for beginners and seasoned performers, and provides a platform for fledgling playwrights to hone their craft with their annual Short Play Festival. Visit to explore TASN’s full range of offerings.

RE/MAX on the River is a proud sponsor of Newburyport Art Association’s 17th Annual Art Auction, held this year on June 16th.

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