PLAYING AROUND: The final selection of plays has been made for the annual New Works Festival at the Firehouse Center for the Arts in Newburyport next month.
The festival, which is the 11th annual for the community theater, showcases one full-length play as a staged reading, a one-act play, and several 10-minute plays as memorized productions.
Plays were submitted from throughout New England and the selected playwrights are from the Newburyport area as well as from New Hampshire and Boston.
The five judges reviewed each piece anonymously before the scores were tallied and the final selections made.
Merrill Meadow of Lexington took first place for his full-length play, “Purple Hearts;” John Minigan of Framingham for his one-act, “Till That Lucky Day;” and Patrick Gabridge of Brookline won in the 10-minute category for “Second Look.”
Other selected playwrights in the 10-minute category include: Andrea Fleck Clardy of Jamaica Plain; Alexandra Crawford of Salisbury; Steven Eimert of Boxford; Stephen Faria of Newbury; Susan Ferber of Rye, N.H.; David W. Frank of West Roxbury; Shari D. Frost of Marblehead; Gregory Hischak of South Yarmouth; Christopher Lockheardt of North Andover; Jay MacNamee of Rye, N.H.; Carl A. Rossi of Brookline; Priya Tahiliani of Brookline; and Richard Westcott of Boston.
The New Works Festival runs Jan. 18-19 and Jan. 25-26.
The Firehouse Center has a 195-seat theater on the waterfront in Newburyport.
For more information on the New Works Festival, call Caron Nardi at 978-499-9931 or visit www.firehouse.org.
MAKE A BREAK FOR ART: Montserrat College of Art in Beverly is offering area residents and college students home for break an opportunity to earn college credits next month through Wintersession classes. The sessions run Jan. 2-4 and Jan. 7-11.
Wintersession is designed to allow participants time and instruction to delve into a new skill or subject through short-term, 3-credit, intensive classes.
Courses available are contemporary mixed-media approaches, sign painting, papermaking, and glass jewelry methods. They fulfill art history, humanities, and liberal arts electives, among other subjects.
Montserrat’s courses are designed for undergraduate students, visiting students from other institutions, and adult art enthusiasts of all backgrounds and professions.
Montserrat is a small, private, residential college of visual art and design, founded in 1970, by artists, for artists. It offers a bachelor of fine arts degree, continuing education classes, and four galleries exhibiting works by international, national, and regional contemporary artists.
It also presents a series of public lectures, gallery talks, catalogs, and events.
For more information or to register for Wintersession, contact Shelton Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org or 978-921-4242 ext. 1202. Or visit www.montserrat.edu to make the most of this winter and start the new year with new skills and insights.
WEAVING A WEB: Theatre in the Pines presents a stage adaptation of an E.B. White children’s book, “Charlotte’s Web,” at the Community House and Senior Center in Rockport at 2 p.m. Sunday, with added performances Friday through next Sunday.
The book was adapted by Joseph Robinette.
The play about friendship features Wilbur the pig, a girl named Fern, Templeton the rat, and Charlotte the spider.
The run continues 7:30 p.m. Friday, and 2 p.m. Saturday and next Sunday. Tickets are $10; $5 for children.
IN LOCAL GALLERIES: A solo show of works by Coco Berkman is at Sovereign Bank in Manchester-by-the-Sea through Jan. 2. The art is inspired by Berkman’s imagination and images from literature. For several years, she has been working on a series of prints inspired by James Joyce’s novel “Ulysses,” and many of the pieces are in the permanent collection of the Dublin Writer’s Museum. Berkman uses Japanese carving tools to cut her drawings from a sheet of linoleum, which she then prints with oil based inks onto cotton paper, one color at a time from the lightest to the darkest. . . . “Nature’s Bounty,” an exhibit of paintings by Nancy Caplan, is at the Rockport Art Association through Dec. 31. Caplan enjoys painting in watercolor because of the unexpected results that occur with the merger of paint and water on paper. An avid gardener, she chooses flowers, fruits, and vegetables as the subjects of her art.