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Bob Keyes

Bob Keyes has written about the arts in Maine since 2002. He’s never been much an artist himself, other than singing in junior high school chorus and acting in a few musicals. But he’s attended museums, theaters, clubs and concert halls all his life, and cites Bob Dylan as most influential artist of any kind since Picasso. He lives in Berwick.

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Posted: March 6, 2018

Farnsworth museum stages a play about art

Written by: Bob Keyes

Jen Hodgson as Maude and Paul Hodgson as Lionel.
Photo courtesy of Everyman Repertory Theatre

The Farnsworth Art Museum has hosted staged readings of plays for three years. This weekend, the museum tackles its first fully staged production when Everyman Repertory Theatre presents the one-act “Bakersfield Mist.”

Following a national trend, the Farnsworth has branched out beyond the visual arts to reach new audiences. This production is its deepest foray into the performing arts, as the museum will turn over its auditorium to Everyman Rep for three consecutive weekends.

The play by Stephen Sachs is a dramatic comedy about art. An unemployed bartender buys a painting at a thrift store and becomes convinced it’s a lost masterpiece by Jackson Pollock. The play’s drama turns when an art appraiser flies out from New York to authenticate the painting. The play asks the audience to consider what makes art and the people who love it authentic.

It’s a perfect show for an art museum, said David Troup, the museum’s communications officer, who, not coincidentally, is also a local thespian. Troup is part of Everyman Rep and is directing “Bakersfield Mist.”

“Being able to stage a play about art, the importance of art and how it affects people in so many ways at a world-class museum is a wonderful opportunity,” Troup said.

The museum installed new sound and light equipment in its auditorium and has been moving toward more theatrical programming. The museum hosts a museum series in its library and has been working with Everyman Rep on staged readings for three years. “Bakersfield Mist” was part of the Art on Stage series last year. “People overwhelmingly wanted to see it,” Troup said.

He directs a cast of two, Jen and Paul Hodgson, a married couple and co-founders of Everyman Rep. The play lasts about 75 minutes.

Everyman Repertory Theatre’s “Bakersfield Mist”

WHERE: Farnsworth Art Museum, 16 Museum St., Rockland
WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 17-18 and March 24-25
INFO: 236-0173,, or in person at the Farnsworth Museum Store or Zoot’s Coffee in Camden.

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