This is an age of instant entertainment — you can watch TV and movies, and play video games, on your phone; live-stream plays, operas and concerts; and create your own radio stations. But the only way to see Andrea Itkin’s new play is to get up, get out, take a seat and “Hold Onto Your Hat!”

Camden’s Itkin is well aware of how increasingly hard it is to get people to do that. Which is why, when she decided to stage the show that has evolved from her poems, she knew she wanted to take it on the road. After a one-night premiere Labor Day weekend at Marsh River in Brooks, “Hold Onto Your Hat!” was mounted at the Portland Ballet Studio Theater. Now it’s back on the Midcoast, with shows Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 29 and 30, at 2 p.m. in the auditorium of the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland (talk-back to follow); and Friday, Oct. 5, at 7:30 p.m. at the University of Maine’s Hutchinson Center in Belfast.

“It not only doesn't require a set, it doesn't make sense to have a set, because that would fix it in time and place. And it's not fixed at all,” said Itkin, relaxing over tea a few days after the first performance.

A small room in her Millville home is still bare, having been used as rehearsal space in the preceding months. She’s serious about no set; the show also utilizes very few props and costume pieces. But it has plenty of visual presentation “pop,” thanks to screen projections of contemporary artworks and a short film. There is original music too, and sound effects, making “Hold Onto Your Hat!” a true multimedia experience.

The show began as a series of rhyming memoir-ish poems, inspired by rocker Patti Smith’s memoir “Just Kids,” given to Itkin by her son.

“I read it and I got it, had this epiphany that my writing would now be songwriting! I've written all kinds of other things, but never in rhyme before,” Itkin said.

A few song-poems came up right away. She shared them with her Brooklyn-based poet/musician son, who gave her a lot of feedback. She kept writing, but there was a hurdle: she didn’t write music … and she didn’t sing. But she had some piano experience, having taken lessons as a child and later with local instructor Mary Bevan. She’d put that study aside in recent years to act with Everyman Repertory Theatre. But now she had a different motivation.

“I thought of Mary Anne Driscoll, because she's a singer, and I thought, well, maybe she can work with me on doing music and I could have somebody with a great voice sing my songs and do this concert thing,” Itkin said.

Belfast-based jazz artist Driscoll does indeed sing in “Hold Onto Your Hat!” but via recordings of her own work and some scatting. Although Itkin started shaping the show otherwise, it became clear that, well, these were her words, her stories … and she wanted to sing them.

“I started working with Mary Anne, started to compose some music and we were just kind of working on how to present them and so forth. And she just kept pushing me into doing it myself. I don't know how she did that, but she did it,” Itkin said.

An Everyman Studio-style acting class Itkin was attending also encouraged her to present her poems in a theatrical way. She’d read the first poems to the group, to positive response. One participant, Belfast-area actor Christine West, said while she didn’t usually “go for poetry,” she connected with Itkin’s words.

“She was at Marsh River, and I said, 'It's kind of your fault,' because one of the things that spurred me on was her comment,” said Itkin. “I realized it could reach different people.”

A small clan of different people, including family members, community contacts, theatrical colleagues and a complete stranger overseas, contributed to the multimedia one-woman show. They include local actor/director/photographer Scott Anthony Smith, who directs; tech director Jozsef Balla; stage manager Heather Crandlemire; Dan Dalrymple, who designed and constructed a large “TV set” for the projections; artists Cig Harvey, Tammam Azzam and Natasha Mayers, and filmmaking nephew Dylan Itkin, for what fills the TV screen; Elaine Bielenberg, who designed and constructed a costume “Supercape”; Wylie Fowler, sound recording and editing; John Burstein, who lent a screen for the projections; and Everyman’s Paul and Jen Hodgson and David Troup.

The poster was designed by Ariana Killoran; and the show is capped by Body Stuff music by Curran Reynolds. “That’s my daughter and the name my son uses for his music … everybody has different names,” said Itkin, whose husband, Ben Ellison, also is part of the show support mix.

“Hold Onto Your Hat!” is presented by Everyman Repertory Theatre, and Itkin credits the troupe’s willingness to jump aboard to bring her train of thought to the station, well, stage.

“I said, 'I want your name on it, as I think people trust you guys!' They've been amazing as far as support,” she said.

Last fall’s “The Rise and Fall of Arturo Ui,” an Everyman production in which Itkin had a major role, played into her show. She admired the collaborative, ego-free approach she saw in Smith, also in the cast; and Mayers’ artwork, which was projected. Smith’s work with Belfast Maskers brought in Balla; Driscoll tapped young Fowler, whom Itkin said is “genius!”; and a family connection led to using Harvey’s photographs, which Itkin said “felt like they read my mind.” But she had to reach around the world for one of her show’s elements.

Azzam is a Syrian artist, currently based in Germany, Itkin said, and she found his work on Facebook. The image that initially attracted her is not in the show, as the artist couldn’t provide it at projectable size.

“It was a very striking picture, the Statue of Liberty made out of rubble,” said Itkin, who was able to eventually attach a name to the image and a contact to the name via Google.

Azzam is a painter and paper collage artist who also does digital photo collage, and those are the images that spoke to Itkin. She sent him some of the poems; within three days, he had sent her artworks that made her head spin.

“I had in mind, for the beginning of a piece called ‘Same World,’ to use the classic Blue Marble,” she said, referring to the iconic view of Earth from space. “And one of the pictures had this street in Syria, all rubble … and in the house on the corner is the Blue Marble!”

These and Mayers’ images are part of a section of the show narrated by an elderly woman inspired by Itkin’s late mother, who died a few years ago at age 98.

“It made sense for my mother to say certain parts. There’s one that was clearly her, my mother's words to me, and I always did them in her voice. But then there are others that are kind of social commentary,” said Itkin.

The frail character conveys the angrier poems, about how a world so beautiful could become so horrible — “her voice as if she saw what was going on today.” Itkin said having anger come from that character made sense to her and also for the play.

“I think people can hear some things better from somebody who's in a walker,” she said.

But the show’s poems come from all ages of a woman’s life, some based on Itkin’s own experiences. While the old mother’s character came to her easily as an actor, others were more of a struggle.

“This was a real difficult process, because I'm exposing myself, so it was hard to get to the emotional places,” she said. “But now I'm comfortable and it's all OK and I'm singing and I'm doing all kinds of things I never thought I would!”

Actually performing the show came easier to Itkin than creating it, despite the fact she has written a play or two in the past. She said there were “a lot of anxiety-ridden months” leading up to the first performance, but when the night of dress rehearsal came, her acting muscle memory kicked in.

“You're in rehearsal forever and then suddenly it's dress and they set up the chairs like it's the actual show and I was, ‘Oh, I'm performing — OK, good,’” she said.

In addition to the Midcoast shows, “Hold Onto Your Hat!” will be presented Thursday and Friday, Oct. 18 and 19, at 7:30 p.m. at Theater Project in Brunswick; and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m., Oct. 27 and 28, at the Michael Klahr Center in Augusta. Tickets for all locations are $20, $10 for students, available in advance at

All profits from the Portland and Brunswick performances will go to the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project; and from the Augusta shows to the Holocaust and Human Rights Center.