Playwright and performer Joe Ngo will present “Words, Words...”, a play about the Cambodian genocide and the immigrant experience, at the Legion Hall in Southwest Harbor on Oct. 13. PHOTO COURTESY OF FLORDELINO LAGUNDINO

Pair of plays ponder cultural loss, family responsibility

TREMONT — A pair of works-in-development at the Barn Arts Collective will be performed as part of Southwest Harbor Week. On Friday, Oct. 13, at 7 p.m., writer and performer Joe Ngo will present his one-person show, “Words, Words…,” at the Legion Hall in Southwest Harbor. On Saturday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m., New York City-based theater company the Renovationists will present work on their new play “Three Seconds” at the Barn.

“Words, Words…” weaves memory, the history of the Cambodian genocide and the language of Shakespeare to delve into what immigrants must go through to retain their senses of self. As a writer struggles to connect with his mother in her native Teo Chew language, he realizes he is in a constant fight to stop the loss of his cultural heritage.

Written and performed by Ngo, the show is directed by Flordelino Lagundino and Vichet Chum and is presented by the New York City-based creative studio Leviathan Lab. The performance will run approximately 60 minutes and is self-rated PG.

“Three Seconds,” written by playwright Corbin Went and directed by Emma Went, tells parallel stories of a lonely lighthouse keeper in 1906 and his present-day relative, who also keeps the lighthouse in a continuation of the family line.

“The play shifts tidally back and forth across a century,” said Emma Went. “The two distinct timelines weave into one family story of responsibility, thwarted hope and the sea.”

The presentation will run approximately 100 minutes and is self-rated PG-13.

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 works-in-progress at the end of each residency. Events at the Barn occur every week throughout the summer and fall and are offered by donation.

The Barn Arts Collective is a local organization that brings people together for live events that make the arts and creativity a vital part of life on Mount Desert Island and beyond. Visit


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