Whether you’re looking for gut-busting laughs, a classical theater production, something more original and unique, a child friendly-atmosphere, or the creative work of other individuals, there’s something for you on the island! MDI has a robust offering of live performances (not including music- we had to make a separate post for that!).

ImprovAcadia on Cottage Street in Bar Harbor has been rated one of the top 25 things to do in Maine by the Bangor Daily. Offering hilarious improv performances involving audience requests and a new cast each year, they also have an earlier, family friendly show and a later more “adult” show during the summer season. Perfect if you want something on the lighter side while enjoying a drink from the bar and enjoying some light refreshments.
For more information, check out their website or Facebook Page!



Acadia Repertory Theatre in Somesville brings famous works to life with productions such as Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Charlotte’s Web, The Princess and the Pauper, and many more. As long as it’s an “interesting story with interesting people,” the Acadia Rep. is open to performing. In summer 2017, you can go see “Bus Stop” written by William Inge, and the Children’s Theater will present “The Velveteen Rabbit.” Head over to their website for the full 2017 schedule and for ticket booking information.  (No refreshments at these performances, but the Somesville/Southwest Harbor area has a lot to offer if you want to dine out before the show.

Harborside Shakespeare Company also offers live theatrical productions on the island, and, as their name suggests, their primary focus is on Shakespeare’s works (but they also do some other productions as well). Their goal is to make Shakespeare more contemporary and accessible to modern times, without compromising the original meaning. Their 2017 performance schedule has not been posted yet, but stay tuned for updates on their Facebook Page.

Summer Festival of the Arts (or SFOA) is an educational experience  in visual and performance arts for 1st-11th graders located in Southwest Harbor. SFOA is open to both summer visitors and year round residents, and there’s a “Grand Finale” at the end of the three weeks for participants to “perform, present, or display their creativity. All teachers in the program are also experienced artists, and overall it’s a great way to support the community and foster a love for the arts in younger generations. You can learn more about SFOA and their mission here, and check out their final performances during the last weekend of July!



If you’re looking for original performances on the island, you’ll definitely want to check out The Barn Arts Collective. Their performances take place in a Barn in Bass Harbor, which adds to the unique experience they offer. They also have some performances at other locations on the island, such as the Neighborhood House and The Gallery at Somes Sound, which are all listed in their 2017 schedule. (We also have gift certificates available for their performances at the Barn here for purchase!)

Looking for entertainment for a younger crowd? Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers is a family owned touring group that was founded in Bar Harbor and travels all over the U.S. and Canada. In summer/fall 2017, they’ll be at the Criterion Theater performing all three of their shows, “Everybody Loves Pirates,” “The Legend of the Banana Kid,” and “The Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow.” For more information on the individual shows, check out their website. All of their shows are under an hour, so they’re mindful of the younger audiences.



Speaking of The Criterion Theatre, not only do they show feature films, but they offer live performances (and music) as well. The Theatre is also a part of Bar Harbor’s rich history, first opening in 1932 during the Prohibition by a former bootlegger. The theatre was recently renovated and reopened to offer a variety of entertainment options. Their live performance schedule for the summer includes comedian Ian Harvie, The Barn Arts Collective’s Pinocchio, and the Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers.

If spoken word type performances are more your thing, The Jesup Library in Bar Harbor has an alternating monthly Poetry and Word Slam (usually during the third week of the month). The Word Slam is similar to NPR’s “The Moth,” and the only rules are it must be a true story that has happened to you. The Poetry Slam is a fun, friendly environment to share some of your original work. The Jesup also hosts a lot of author talks throughout the year, and their full schedule is available online here.

Whether you’re here for the indefinite future, the season, or a short trip, these performances can be enjoyed by all audiences. Enjoy local arts as well as the local scenery.


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