The 31st annual Arts and Society Bloomsday Celebration — of music and drama based on the text of James Joyce — will be performed Tuesday, June 16, at the Katharine Cornell Theatre in Vineyard Haven. Curtain time is 8 p.m.

Martha’s Vineyard resident and Arts and Society founder John Crelan (who first organized the original pageant in Boston in 1979 and introduced the show to the Vineyard in 1995) promises this year’s Bloomsday concert to be a fresh and delightful bouquet of Joycean gems. “We have some wonderful new artists to join our veteran Bloomsday cast, and the whole show looks very polished and exciting,” Mr. Crelan said.

The new Vineyard participants include soprano Lia Kahler, actress Katharine Pilcher, penny whistler Jay Schofield, and violinist Anna Helena Yukevich.

June 16th is named Bloomsday, because that is the fictional day in 1904 when epic anti-hero Leopold Bloom explores Dublin’s sensual nooks and mythical crannies in Joyce’s monumental modernist 1922 novel Ulysses. Joyce enthusiasts around the world celebrate this day with pageantry inspired from the novel and from Joyce’s other works and lore.

Mr. Crelan’s Bloomsday is believed to be the oldest on-going celebration in the United States. (Mr. Crelan was featured in Newsweek Magazine in 2004 for the 100th anniversary of Bloomsday.) Through three decades, the Arts and Society concert has appeared in many storied theaters in Boston, including the New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall, Sanders Theater, Faneuil Hall, and the Boston University Music Hall. This year’s Boston venue is the more modest, but eclectic “back room” of The Burren on Davis Square, Somerville (Monday, June 15, 8 p.m.)

Since 1995, Bloomsday on the Vineyard has grown steadily in popularity. Recent concerts have packed the Katharine Cornell with a variety of Joyce scholars, music buffs, and enthusiastic Gaelophiles.

Donal O’Sullivan and Cahal Stephens, both native Dubliners and longtime Bloomsday cast members, come every June from Boston to perform on the Vineyard. This year they share the stage with Bostonians Jean Sheikh and Andy Macdonald in a vivid passage from A Trip to Cork, from A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

Mr. O’Sullivan remarks wryly, ”My own father came from Cork and Joyce beautifully evokes the folksy, friendly, clannish and convivial ambiance of the city, something which maintains a hold in the hearts of its exiles. The edgy, bantering attitude of Corkmen towards Dubliners is very well represented.”

A hugely successful operatic career has led mezzo-soprano Lia Kahler from Glimmerglass to Amsterdam, and on to the most celebrated opera houses in Europe. This will be her first Vineyard Bloomsday performance. Currently Ms. Kahler lives both in New York and Menemsha, and she teaches solo and group voice lessons in both locations. Tuesday evening she joins with the Vineyard’s master composer and pianist Philip Dietterich to perform Samuel Barber’s songs from Ulysses, including Solitary Hotel, with its evocative and tricky fast tango sequence.

Actress Katharine Pilcher is appearing concurrently in Island Theater Workshop’s original production of An Island of Women, by E. St. John Villard with original music by, again, maestro Philip Dietterich.

Ms. Pilcher and Gerry Yukevich will collaborate on stage in Eveline from Joyce’s short story collection of Dubliners. In one of the young Joyce’s more masterful and penetrating character studies, she plays the title role of a young Dublin single woman who plans her escape from her suffocating, humdrum existence and her abusive father.

Natalie Rose comes down from Maine every June to perform her magnificent Molly soliloquy as the concert’s celebrated finale piece. When asked what she thinks when performing her frank and endearing Molly, Ms. Rose at first announces, “I never think. I just do it and let the audience think about it.” But when pressed, she adds, “Joyce has a particularly realistic way of portraying women. Molly is, especially for the time, strong, coarse, sensual, tender, truthful and vibrant and all woman.”

Jay Schofield will treat the audience to some vintage Irish penny whistling, and Anna Helena Yukevich will perform a brief violin solo of Love’s Old Sweet Song, perhaps the melody most often associated with the wistful, reflective moments of Joyce’s novel and with Bloomsday itself. Anna first came to Vineyard Haven at age one in 1995, when her father appeared in the first Vineyard Bloomsday. The day after the Bloomsday celebration, the family decided to move to Vineyard Haven, a block from the Katharine Cornell Theatre, where they have lived ever since.

When asked what it’s like to perform on the Vineyard, actress Natalie Rose says she enjoys “the appreciative, enthusiastic and knowledgeable audience that attends.”

Actor and native Dubliner Donal O’Sullivan comments, with a mordant Joycean sting: “To be inside the Katharine Cornell Theatre is a joy. To actually perform there is a delight. To wait at the top of the outside stairway before the show and view the beautiful garden opposite with the clock counting down to show time is exhilarating and frightening. Also — the night sky and night air of the Vineyard after the show! (Who let the skunks out?)”

Tickets for Bloomsday are $15 and can be purchased at the door. Further information is available through John Crelan at 508-696-0539 or by e-mail to