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Disappearances at Lost Nation Theater

October 01, 2018

“My father was a man of indefatigable optimism.” 


So begins Howard Frank Mosher’s novel Disappearances and indefatigable optimism brings that novel to the stage in an original world premiere production by Kim Allen Bent and Lost Nation Theater, October 4-21, at Montpelier City Hall Arts Center.


Disappearances is compelling rambunctious storytelling with a twist.


Vermont-dairy-farm-son and theater professional Kim Allen Bent keeps those twists & turns coming in his true-to the-book stage adaptation.

Disappearances is the first novel of favorite Vermont author, the late great Howard Frank Mosher.
It’s fitting then, that this novel is the first of his works to ever be adapted for the stage.


Quebec Bill tells another Tall Tale. Photo by Robert Eddy, First Light Studios photo courtesy of Robert Eddy, First Light Studios

The story is at once authentically Vermont and larger-than-life, mystical, mythical & funny.
Author Stephen King has described it as “full of heartbreak and hilarity.”  It is a thrilling tall-tale adventure.


Desperate for money to keep his farm & family afloat in the winter of 1932, Quebec Bill, head of a clan of hardy Vermonters, returns to whiskey smuggling - introducing his teen son to the other family trade. On their epic journey through the wilderness, they encounter a cast of unforgettable characters—and magical incredible escapades.


Playwright and director Bent says:
“It’s a great honor to be granted permission by the estate of Howard Frank Mosher to adapt his debut novel “Disappearances” for the stage. I read the book shortly after it was published in 1977, and I’ve read most of his work since, but Disappearances remains my favorite. Its characters are totally authentic old time Vermonters, raised to mythic dimensions by his loving and insightful imagination. Thanks to Mosher, they will never disappear.”


Portrait of the cast of LNT's Disappearances, by Robert Eddy, First Light Studios photo courtesy of Robert Eddy, First Light Studios

Joining Bent at Lost Nation Theater to bring the story to life onstage are some favorite LNT artists. Cora Fauser (Judevine, Stone, Lyddie) brings her deep understanding of rural Vermont to the costuming. Stuart Holland (Becoming Dr Ruth) returns to create Disappearances evocative and highly theatrical soundscape. Wendy Stephens is back to provide atmospheric lighting and Rachel Langley designs the imaginative set and projections.

The cast of first-rate storytellers includes Mark S. Roberts (Judevine), Paul Molnar (Sylvia), Aaron Aubrey (Complete Works of Shakespeare-Abridged) Lara Foy (Around the World in 80 Days), Christine Williamson, and Leon Axt (Sense & Sensibility) as the irrepressible Quebec Bill. Young Vermonter Tim Worn makes his professional debut as son Wild Bill. The cast also features renowned fiddler Bill Cameron who adds the sound of authentic French-Canadian fiddling throughout the show.

Despite his death last year, Howard Frank Mosher remains one of Vermont’s most admired writers.
Disappearances, written in 1977 – the year Kim Bent founded Lost Nation Theater – won the New England Book Award. Mosher has received numerous awards for his work since.

quebec bill and his bride evangiline share a tender moment. photo courtesy of Robert Eddy, First Light Studios  photo courtesy of Robert Eddy, First Light Studios


Bent is no stranger to putting Vermont stories on stage. His play STONE about the Barre Granite Community won the inaugural Hathaway Prize from the Vermont Historical Society, his dance-theater adaptation of Katherine Paterson’s Lyddie was a huge hit, and the late poet-playwright David Budbill said Kim’s production of Judevine was his favorite.

“In its comedy, its dark fantasy, and its outrageous characters, Disappearances is delightful.” – Washington Post.


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