“In a Sea of Faces: A New Folk Opera” by Jahn Sood will be presented Sunday, Aug. 14, at 7 p.m. at the Strand Theatre, 345 Main St. The work comprises folk songs and movement; and is a celebration of oral tradition, family and life near the ocean.

“In A Sea of Faces” tells the story of an isolated island community and a family that lives there. Long ago, foreign ships came to the island and introduced its people to grandiose ideas and desires, and the promise of opportunity abroad. Myth and idealism about faraway places developed from the stories and, ultimately draw Jacob, the father, away from his family and home. The family longs for his return; as they wait, the people of the island relate the legends of the island in folk songs and rhyming verse.

The cast includes nine members plus a five-piece band. The label “folk opera” does not refer to classical opera, but instead to the storytelling style established by Bertolt Brecht (“Three Penny Opera,” “Rise and Fall of the City of Mahogony”) and George Gershwin (“Porgy and Bess”), as well as the deliberately Brechtian Kander & Ebb musicals “Cabaret” and “Chicago”; and the rock operas “Rent,” “Tommy” and “Passing Strange.” All are examples of theater pieces that use folk music, rock ‘n’ roll, colloquial language and third-person narrative to tell the audience a story, usually with a subversive social perspective.

Brooklyn-based writer Sood chose to characterize the island in his story as an island in Maine because it is a community he knows and loves. His mother was born on Mount Desert Island, and he has visited often.He said this show is, in many ways, “a love song for the people of the Maine coast.”

Sood has written a number of musicals and was a founding member of Ezra Furman & the Harpoons, touring nationally with the group.  He also worked as a guitarist, audio engineer and assistant to composer Pat Irwin on Showtime series scores and several feature films. To make the tour possible, the playwright/composer has partnered with the Barn Arts Collective, run by Andrew Simon and Brittany Parker, who have the mission of bringing great art to Maine every summer; as well as inventive director Katie Melby, a veteran performer, puppeteer and physical theater visionary.

“In a Sea of Faces” runs approximately 100 minutes with one intermission; and would be rated PG-13 for allusions to violence, sex and drinking in the songs. Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 at the door. For more information, visit  visit rocklandstrand.com; call 594-0070, ext. 3; or email info@rocklandstrand.com.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.