More than 70 years after his death, James Joyce once again stole the show. For a single night, the Island brought back to life the man and his work through a full-house performance at the Katharine Cornell Theatre. Of course, this is nothing new to Arts and Society, which this year celebrated its 37th annual Bloomsday celebration.

“I loved every bit of it. Especially the music,” said Jonathan Slaff, visiting from New York city. “Everything was beautiful. The music, the performers, the artwork. I mean wow.”

Pam Schnatterly is feeling her Joyce. — Timothy DeWitt

Honoring James Joyce’s book Ulysses, the Bloomsday celebration takes its name from the novel’s protagonist, Leopold Bloom. The book chronicles the life of Bloom throughout the course of a single day: June 16. All around the world people commemorate Joyce’s memory on this day with respect to his masterpiece. Always just a bit different than the rest of the world, the Vineyard celebration was held on June 17.

Instead of simply reading excerpts from Ulysses, a common practice for Bloomsday events, performers on the Island sang and acted out dramatic monologues while wearing attire best suited for early 20th century Ireland.

“It began in ’79 at the Stone Soup Poetry in Boston,” said John Crelan, Arts and Society’s director and founder. “The place just proved the perfect gathering where anybody could get up and read. Stone Soup Poetry actually encouraged anybody to get up and perform. Anybody. That’s why it meant a lot to me.”

Mr. Crelan lived in Boston while teaching English and creative writing at Emerson College and Suffolk University. A long-time participant at the poetic gatherings, he remains one of its greatest advocates. “I call [The Stone Soup Poetry] the City Lights of Boston,” he said, referencing San Francisco’s famous bookstore.

Molly Conole gets into the spirit. — Timothy DeWitt

When the Stone Soup Poetry faced eviction, Mr. Crelan rallied support. “We wanted to do a fundraiser so we created a Joyce Night at Boston’s Emmanuel Church. Everybody kept saying, do it again. Now here I am.”

While it is Mr. Crelan’s vision and leadership that created the Island Bloomsday celebration, the event’s success is definitely a team effort. Phil Dietterich proved an indispensable member of that team with his creativity as musical director.

“Phil just makes things happen,” Mr. Crelan said.

Mr. Dietterich was responsible for researching the music, rehearsing with the performers and choosing the instruments. He was essentially the show’s pulse.

“Joyce loved to have people over his home,” Mr. Dietterich said. “He had a piano, opera singers, burlesque. He loved old music halls as well. We tried to mimic the atmosphere of Joyce’s home and his depiction of a music hall.”

And for an evening, the Katharine Cornell Theatre became just that, a bawdy music hall and an intimate gathering, that celebrated the timelessness of creativity.