Looking for a bevy of creative cultural offerings this Halloween? Newburyport has it all, without the crowds, as members of the Newburyport Arts Collective, a nonprofit organization of area creatives, offer Halloween events for kids and adults alike.
“Last year’s Newburyport Arts Collective Halloween events started a new tradition, by inviting so many arts groups to collaborate and create new and original performances together,” says Fontaine Dubus, member of the collective’s steering committee and artistic director of Joppa Dance Co. and Exit Dance Theater.
Here are a few highlights. Visit the Newburyport Arts Collective website for the complete updated list.
The Crucible, Rocky Hill Meeting House, Amesbury | Sept. 29-Oct. 2
Experience Miller’s creepy, spooky, and tragic exploration of what happens when neighbors turn on neighbors, and communities tear themselves apart. This site-specific production, put on by Theater in the Open and Firehouse Center for the Arts, is one you won’t want to miss. Tickets available online.
Newburyport Chocolate Tour, downtown Newburyport | Oct. 1
Kick off trick-or-treating season at this 19th annual celebration of all things chocolate. Ticketed participants visit dozens of downtown stores, scoring a sweet chocolatey treat in each location. All proceeds support local charities. Tickets available for $21 online, or $25 day of.
Wicked Bitter Beast(s), The Actor’s Studio, Amesbury | Oct. 15
Join a reading and feedback session for an exciting and scary new play by acclaimed Boston-based playwright Kira Rockwell. Zoey is a prodigal daughter on the run from her charismatic evangelical past which included being the daughter of a Hell House pastor. When her unforgiveness brews past boiling point, she is forced to reckon with the beast(s) within, and the ones looking back at her in the mirror. Tickets are $10 and available at The Actors Studio website.
Pumpkin Palooza, Inn Street pedestrian mall | Oct. 15-16, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. each day
Inn Street will be filled with kid-friendly activities, performances, and a costume parade for the little ones, while their parents can enjoy the Octoberfest going on along the waterfront with artisans, music, and adult beverages.
The Haunting of the Count, behind the Custom House Maritime Museum | Oct. 18, 5 p.m.
This free, original dance theater piece, put on by the Dance Place and the Actor’s Studio, tells the tale of a roup of ancers who plan to thwart a wealthy man’s greedy intensions to tear down La Place de Danse in order to expand his sprawling estate. Written by Fontaine Dubus, choreographed by Erin Staffiere, and featuring Joppa Dance Troupe Junior and actor Charlie Van Eman.
Evil Dead the Musical, Firehouse Center for the Arts | Oct. 21-31
Evil Dead The Musical takes all the elements of the cult classic films The Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, and Army of Darkness and combines them for one of the craziest, funniest, and bloodiest theatrical experiences of all time. Tickets are $35 for members, $40 for non-members, and $60 if you want to sit in the “splatter zone” where you’ll likely end up sprayed with fake blood. Buy tickets at the Firehouse Center website.
Witches’ Night Out, downtown Newburyport | Oct. 22, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Adult-friendly hospitality and seasonal treats are on offer at merchants in downtown Newburyport and the Tannery, as will witches, ghosts, vampires and other Halloween characters walk the streets Attendees are urged to come in costume.
Maudslay is Haunted, Maudslay State Park | Oct. 22-23
Bring the family for a one-hour walk through eerie vignettes, spooky sketches and haunting scenes at this all-time favorite Halloween event outdoors in Maudslay State Park. Don’t worry about the little ones being too frightened—a magic acorn upon request can keep them safe from the ghouls and ghosts. Admission is $10. More information available at the Theater in the Open website.
A Storm of Witchcraft: The Salem Trials and the American Experience, Newburyport Public Library | Oct. 24
In 1692, more than 150 people would be accused of witchcraft, and 25 would die in the Salem witch trials. This talk with award winning author, professor and documentary consultant on witchcraft Emerson Baker will explore the “perfect storm” of factors ranging religious discord to political factionalism and the worst weather of the century to create the greatest witch hunt in American history. Admission is free, but advance registration is required.
Movie: The Shining, Newburyport Public Library | Oct. 26
In one of the most terrifying horror films of all time, a family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where a sinister presence influences the father into violence while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from both the past and future. Come and enjoy the theater-like screen and sound system with fellow film buffs. Free, all are welcome.
Appleton is Haunted, Appleton Farms, Ipswich | Oct. 30
Theater in the Open’s notorious haunting is coming to Appleton Farms in Ipswich. Join a cast of the undead for a walk through eerie vignettes, spooky sketches and haunting scenes, all surrounded by the changing colors and autumn grandeur of the farm. Bring the whole family for a variety of tricks and treats- this event is intended for all ages. Admission is $10. More information available at the Theater in the Open website.
The History of Halloween, virtual | Oct. 31
Join Jo Ann Tufo, historian and American history teacher, for this “History of Halloween” virtual program. Jo Ann (aka “The Duchess of Doom”) specializes in American cultural practices and celebrations. She will explore the cross-cultural origins of the holiday and how it has translated into the month long extravaganza which features haunted houses, hayrides and so much more. Make sure to register in advance to get the Zoom link.