The jazz trio Nutria will play a series of shows Aug. 11-13. PHOTO COURTESY OF NUTRIA

Barn Arts opens ‘Disappearing Man’

TREMONT — The Barn Arts Collective this weekend will kick off its Mainstage Series – two musical productions running two weekends each at the Boathouse in Bernard – as well as host visiting resident artists Nutria in a series of weekend shows.

Though the bulk of the Barn Arts summer and fall season is made up of new works in early stages of development, the August Mainstage Series features fully staged productions that are further along in the development process. The Mainstage Series also usually features one production by a visiting resident artist, and one production from the Barn Arts team.

The visiting artist this year is longtime MDI summer resident Jahn Sood, a playwright and composer who brought his folk opera “In a Sea of Faces” to the Boathouse last summer. This year, he returns with “The Disappearing Man,” a new folk opera that takes place backstage at a small-time circus in 1936, Friday through Sunday, Aug. 11-13, and Friday through Sunday, Aug. 18-20, at 7 p.m.

“A magician and his lovely assistant fight to break free of the roles they’ve always played and start anew,” said Sood. “Against the backdrop of a desperate political climate, the characters of this show take on the difficult project of seeking self discovery and a sense of home in the only place it’s safe to be a freak.”

“The Disappearing Man” will be directed by West Hyler, who has directed on Broadway with Cirque du Soleil’s “Paramour” and worked with the Big Apple Circus. The music will be directed by Jacob Fjeldheim and vocally arranged by Brain Cavanagh-Strong. The show will feature visiting artists Nick Blaemire (Broadway’s “Godspell”), Luke Wygodny (U.S. tour of “Once”), Liz Lark Brown (Off Broadway’s “The Plant that Ate Dirty Socks”) and Meghan McGeary (from last year’s “In a Sea of Faces”). Also performing in the show will be members of the Barn Arts summer company seen in “Pinocchio” and “The Tempest” – Andrew Lynch, Katie Melby, Me’lissa Smith and Artistic Directors Andrew Simon and Brittany Parker.

“The Disappearing Man” will run approximately 100 minutes. Admission is by donation. Seats can be reserved at The Boathouse is located at 300 Tremont Road, on the corner of Mitchell Road in Bernard.

Trio to play trio of shows

Following the first performance of “The Disappearing Man,” Nutria will take the stage at the Boathouse, at 9 p.m., in the first of a series of weekend shows. The jazz trio will play at Coda Restaurant in Southwest Harbor on Saturday, Aug. 12, at 8:30 p.m. On Sunday, Aug. 13, at 4 p.m., Nutria will give a final performance, this time at the Barn, 130 Tremont Road, Bass Harbor, featuring local musician Danny Fisher-Lochhead and Friends

The New Orleans-based Nutria, named after a South Louisiana swamp rat, performs original compositions with an emphasis on improvisation. Their music explores jazz, chamber music and traditional music of the African diaspora while staying true to New Orleans jazz and groove traditions. Nutria is Shawn Myers on drums, Trey Boudreaux on bass and Byron Asher on clarinets and saxophones. Asher was a previous Barn Arts resident artist.

The Boathouse performance on Friday and the Barn performance on Sunday are both by donation. Seats can be reserved at The Saturday performance at Coda is part of the restaurant’s Hot Summer Nights, Cool Jazz series. Visit for reservations and ticket information.

The Barn Arts Collective brings people together for live events that make the arts and creativity a vital part of life on Mount Desert Island and beyond. The Barn Arts residency program is a free opportunity for artists to develop a new work of performance on Mount Desert Island. Barn Arts provides free housing and rehearsal and performance space, and the visiting artists present a public event of their work-in-progress at the end of each residency. Events at the Barn occur every week throughout the summer and are offered by donation.


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