Events & Programs

A Rich Selection of Activities for Young and Old and In Between

Mark Twain loved a good circus, and so do we. So we are proud to present a rich array of events that range from the "Trouble Begins at 5:30" lecture series, to the "Tapping into Twain" Oktoberfest, to the many family activities such as Tom Sawyer Day and the Ice Cream Social, to our spooky Graveyard Shift ghost tours, to our Mark My Words event and other appearances by major authors – and much, much more. So have a look through the year ahead by clicking on the tabs below.

Apr

April


# Two Exhibitions on View Through January 2018

Saturday, April 1,

RENEWING THE ROYAL CHAMBER: THE CLEMENSES MAHOGANY SUITE REBORN

Renewing the Royal Chamber explores the detective work, craftsmanship, and painstaking research behind the museum’s restoration of its Mahogany Suite, which reopened to public view last December after close to a decade. The restoration, made possible by a 2014 state bonding grant, involved a fascinating bout of detective work and a hunt for authentic fixtures and decor, ranging from a final decision on whether the bathtub had a shower to what year Candace Wheeler produced her honeycomb wallpaper. An extraordinary, research-driven architectural firm and some legendary craftspeople have aided in this effort.

The exhibition features photographs and text panels describing the restoration along with images and information about the suite’s history and the famous guests who stayed there. One guest, author Grace King, wrote of her 1887 stay in the suite, “The maid has hung up my dresses and placed all my things for the night on dressing tables. There are lights lighted everywhere, and I do feel very much like Beauty did when the Beast left her alone in the palace.”

TWAIN'S TEMPER: Top Ten Tantrums & Righteous Rages

“When angry, count four,” Samuel Clemens wrote in and 1894 calendar of his maxims. “When very angry, swear.”

“Throughout his lifetime – and his literary life as Mark Twain – the author found many things to provoke his profanity,” writes Beatrice Fox Auerbach Chief Curator Tracy Brindle in the exhibition’s introductory panel. “But his critical strength didn’t just lie in swearing. His command of the American language enable him to encircle his enemies with grace and skill – and then eviscerate them with his pen.”

From what he perceived as his 18-year-old daughter Clara’s imprudent behavior when she was living in Germany to Yankee imperialism in the Philippines, this exhibition explores what made Mark Twain mad, diving into his eloquent, humane thunderings against injustice and his quirkier dislikes and irritations. Books, political cartoons, letters, and illustrations, arranged in imaginative and compelling ways, make up this light-and-serious read-fest.

The curatorial staff of The Mark Twain House & Museum has chosen a top-10 list of Samuel Clemens’s furies, from his disgust with the telephone and with James Paige, inventor of the typesetting machine in which Clemens unwisely invested, and lost, his fortune to the scourge of slavery and the banning of his masterpiece Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

# New Living History Tours with Susy Clemens!

Tuesday, April 4,

susy

NEW: A Very Happy Family, as told by Susy Clemens, Mark Twain’s daughter

Mark Twain’s oldest daughter, Susy, begins the tour by telling visitors about a book she’s writing called Papa and quoting the first line: “We are a very happy family!  We consist of Papa, Mama, Jean, Clara and me.”   From there, Susy delights visitors by taking them through her childhood home and divulging family stories that only she can tell. By all accounts, Susy is her father’s favorite, and visitors will clearly see the similarities between the great author and his complex, intelligent and affectionate oldest daughter.

Tickets are $25; $17 for children; $20 for members of The Mark Twain House & Museum.

Buy yours here!

# The Trouble Begins at 5:30: The Haunted Mark Twain

Thursday, April 6, 5:00 Reception, 5:30 Lecture

In his autobiography, Mark Twain described a childhood filled with adventure and innocent fun--in the daylight hours. In his Autobiography, however, Twain wrote that he "was never quite sane in the night." In her talk, Dr. Ann M. Ryan will explore Twain's fears and the gothic literature that he both consumed and created. 

Ann M. Ryan is O’Connell Professor of the Humanities and Professor of English, LeMoyne College, Syracuse, New York. She is a past President of the Mark Twain Circle of America, a former Editor of the Mark Twain Annual, and co-editor of Cosmopolitan Twain (University of Missouri Press, 2008).

 

Refreshments for this event are generously provided by Park & Oak Restaurant, West Hartford.

The Trouble Begins at 5:30 Lecture Series is sponsored by Connecticut Humanities.

This event is presented at no cost but reservations are highly suggested. Call (860) 247-0998 or to reserve tickets click here.

# Frank Rizzo Two-Part Lecture About HAMILTON

Thursday, April 20, 7-8:30 p.m.

Hamilton Rizzo

Have you seen HAMILTON and want more? Can’t get tickets to the hottest Broadway show of this century? Want to be prepared when the touring show comes to The Bushnell next year? Then share in an experience that explains why HAMILTON is not simply a landmark show but part of a zeitgeist that is affecting American education, politics, and culture.

In two 90-minute audio/visual-filled classes especially designed for The Mark Twain House & Museum, Variety theater critic and Connecticut arts writer Frank Rizzo explains why the musical HAMILTON has become a phenomenon.

The two 90-minute lectures will take place on Thursday, April 20, and Thursday, April 27, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.at The Mark Twain House & Museum. NO SINGLE-LECTURE TICKETS WILL BE SOLD.

Tickets for the two-class event are $60; $55 for members of The Mark Twain House & Museum and Let’s GO Arts! members. To purchase tickets go to marktwainhouse.org,  call 860-247-0998, or click here.

 

# One Big Home Film Screening

Friday, April 21, 7-9 p.m.

In the film One Big Home, a community determines its own destiny.

one big home

Gentrification comes in many forms. On the tiny island of Martha’s Vineyard, where presidents and celebrities vacation, trophy homes threaten to destroy the island’s unique character. Twelve years in the making, One Big Home follows one carpenter’s journey to understand the trend toward giant houses. When he feels complicit in wrecking the place he calls home, Thomas Bena takes off his tool belt and picks up a camera. Bumping up against angry homeowners and builders who look the other way, he works with his community and attempts to pass a new bylaw to limit house size.

Join us just in time for Earth Day 2017 for this thought-provoking film. http://onebighome.com/

Tickets are $5. Buy yours here!

# Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours

Friday, April 28,

Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours are Back!

Friday, April 28, and Saturday, April 29

Tours run at 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m, and 9 p.m.

ghost tour image

Filled with haunted history, dark tales, and Victorian traditions surrounding seances and spiritualism, these nighttime tours are as educational as they are goosebump-inducing. Participants will hear lots of creepy tales -- and learn about Mark Twain's interest in the supernatural.

The Mark Twain House has been featured on Syfy Channel's Ghost Hunters and the Biography Channel's My Ghost Story.

The tours sell out fast, so be sure to call 860- 247-0998 soon to make your reservations!

The tours are sponsored by Tsunami Tsolutions.

Tickets are $25, $17 for children ages 6 to 16, and $20 for members of The Mark Twain House & Museum. Click here for tickets.

Can't make it this time? Ghost Tours will be offered on June 23 & 24, July 28 & 29, August 25 & 26, and October 6, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27 & 28.

 

May

May


# The Trouble Begins at 5:30: The Innocents Abroad: A Virtual Tour

Thursday, May 11, 5:00 Reception, 5:30 Lecture

Kevin Mac Donnell will take the audience on a virtual tour of the Middle East, following the exact route of Mark Twain and his fellow pilgrims on board the steamship Quaker City in 1867. Each stop along the way will be illustrated with original photographs taken by one of the pilgrims (many previously unpublished), excerpts from previously unpublished letters and diaries, and relics gathered by one of the pilgrims that have never been shown before, along with other original artifacts and materials that will bring the historcal experience alive.

Mark Twain’s experiences on the Quaker City Excursion resulted in his second book (and first bestseller) The Innocents Abroad, in 1869. Mac Donnell’s virtual recreation of that excursion is the first attempt to bring this historic event alive outside of print.

Kevin Mac Donnell has built the largest private collection of Mark Twain artifacts in the world.  He has spoken and written extensively about Mark Twain and about his collection, and has consulted on exhibitions related to Twain.  He is also the co-editor of Mark Twain and Youth: Studies in His Life and Writings (Bloomsbury, 2016).

The Trouble Begins at 5:30 Lecture Series is sponsored by Connecticut Humanities.

This event is presented at no cost but reservations are highly suggested. Call (860) 247-0998 or to reserve tickets click here.

# CLUE Murder Mystery House Tours

Friday, May 12, Tours leave every 15 minutes from 7 to 7:45 p.m.

CLUE Mystery Murder Tours of the Mark Twain House

 

CLUE!

CLUE Murder Mystery Tours take participants through the various rooms (secret passageway, conservatory, billiards room, and more) of the Twain house -- and some of the author's favorite literary characters -- as part of the game. 

Who killed that varmint Pap Finn? Was it Tom Sawyer in the Library with the Wrench? Merlin in the Billiard Room with the Knife? The Pauper in the Kitchen with the Rope?

Play our live-action version of the classic board game CLUE in an hour-long tour featuring the famed comedy troupe SEA TEA IMPROV as Twain's beloved characters/suspects. CLUE Tours provide all the murder, mayhem, and merriment you expect in a whodunit. Our Clue Tours were featured on an episode of the Travel Channel show "Wackiest Tours!"

Sea Tea Improv is an improv comedy company, professionally trained by Hartford Stage Company, ImprovBoston, and the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York, that dazzles Hartford and beyond on a regular basis with its witty interpretations of audience suggestions.  The troupe performs short improvised games and long improvised plays at public & private functions, teach classes to students of all ages, and train professionals in the art of communication. They've performed all over Connecticut, New England, and up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

This event is supported by Webster Bank.

Reservations are required, and tours sell out, so please book early.

Tickets are $24; museum members are $17; children 6 to 17 are $15.  

Lets Go Arts program members are entitled to a discount; click the ticket-purchase link below to learn more.

To purchase tickets call 860- 247-0998 or click HERE!

# "A Southern Belle in the Land of Twain": Author Miki Pfeffer Talks about Grace King, Mark Twain's Lively and Literary House Guest

Tuesday, May 23, 5:30 p.m.

AUTHOR SPEAKS AT THE MARK TWAIN HOUSE & MUSEUM ABOUT GRACE KING, MARK TWAIN’S LIVELY AND LITERARY HOUSE GUEST

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-bx1Rv_czr2U/VipHIUDfW_I/AAAAAAAACwU/Rdu4VGU4Pps/s1600/pfeffer%2B%2528detail%2529.jpg

Grace King knew what it was like to talk to Mark Twain, and what the rewards were. “He is an easy man to get along with socially, in his own house, and with his own family,” she wrote in 1888. “He is quick to catch your idea – and nice to it, after he catches it.” For a New Orleans writer whose work was just catching on, and was being patronized and coddled by Yankee literary men, it was refreshing to be treated as an equal.

King was the author of sentimental regional tales of the Civil War and its aftermath, and the racial ironies of her home city. She had met the Clemenses the year before on a visit north. A sumptuous meal she enjoyed of claret and chicken, finished off by Charlotte Russe, has passed into the lore of Mark Twain House tours. Staying in the Mahogany Room guest suite – now newly restored and reopened – she felt “much like Beauty did when the Beast left her alone in the palace.” She became a close friend of the whole Clemens family, a glamorous figure to the daughters, and a confidante to Livy for many years afterward.

Until now only known in excerpts, her letters offer tantalizing views of Twain, of life in the Clemens home, and in Hartford in general. They repose at Louisiana State University. Now independent scholar and author Miki Pfeffer is transcribing them and bringing to light not only a literary woman’s keen observation, but also wonderful gossip about Nook Farm, the Clemenses’ and Harriet Beecher Stowe’s neighborhood.

Pfeffer will speak on her work at The Mark Twain House & Museum on Tuesday, May 23, at 5:30 p.m. in a lecture entitled “A Southern Belle in the Land of Twain.” A reception will precede the lecture, which is free. Local author, Mark Twain House historian and Grace King devotee Steve Courtney will emcee.

The talk is offered in conjunction with the museum's exhibition Renewing the Royal Chamber, which explores the recent restoration of the Mahogany Guest Suite in Mark Twain's house.

King, who met Clemens after church on June 5, 1887, said he “of course kept me giggling all the time.” In letters to her sister and her mother she offers sometimes scathing portraits of neighbors.

We learn which of them were rude, or unattractive: “In the evening Mrs. Cabell came for a visit of a week. ...She is ugly – and talks all the time.” The town was dull: “I believe the young lady like most young ladies of her age was blue on account of the scarcity of gayety and beaux in Hartford.”  New England cuisine horrified her: "a soup which seemed made of clear water with little flowry balls in it, highly seasoned with salt and pepper – not another thing I assure you. … How these people live on so little is a great mystery to me."

But King, whom Pfeffer describes as “one of the genteel Southern poor and a keen observer,” also relays a sense of affection for these dour Yankees, including Harriet Beecher Stowe: “Her face is really beautiful – more spiritual than her pictures. Her short grey curls flutter as as she walks from under the frills of velvet.”

Miki Pfeffer is an independent historian and visiting scholar at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux,Louisiana. After careers as a fashion illustrator in New Orleans department stores and as a manufacturer’s representative of women’s business fashions, she returned to academia. She holds a Ph.D. in Urban History from the University of New Orleans. Her book, Southern Ladies and Suffragists, won the 2015 Eudora Welty Prize for scholarship in Women’s Studies and Southern Studies from Mississippi University for Women. She was named the Distinguished Alumnus of the Master’s Program in the English Department at University of New Orleans.

Admission is free, but registration is recommended and appreciated! Click here to sign up!

# Book Sale and Signing: At the Broken Places: A Mother and Trans Son Pick Up the Pieces by Mary Collins and Donald Collins

Thursday, May 25, 7 p.m.

donald collins

The authors talk about their new book, a collaborative memoir in which a mother and trans son reflect on the emotionally complex journey they shared as Donald transitioned from female to male.

“A necessary and beautiful book.” - Jill Soloway, creator and director, Transparent

“This is the best, most thorough narrative of the trans experience I’ve read: mind, body and soul.” - Kate Bornstein, author of A Queer and Pleasant Danger and Gender Outlaw

In At the Broken Places: A Mother and Trans Son Pick Up the Pieces, Connecticut residents Mary Collins and her son and co-author Donald share their feelings, pain, hopes and frustrations with one another, discussing their often conflicting feelings about Donald transitioning, in his teens, to being a transgender man. The emotional vividness and candor of the essay exchange, in which they speak to one another, across one another and sometimes at one another, is riveting, occasionally upsetting, and ultimately illuminating.

As the series editor for the book, Harvard Professor Michael Bronski states in his editor’s note, the emotional clarity they capture through their writing is the “essence of social change. At the Broken Places is not a superficial feel-good journey but rather a book that pushes us, through the emotional evolution of the writers, to face emotions and concerns we might be tempted to sidestep or avoid.”

The authors wrote the book to appeal not just to families with transgender children, but also any families facing deep conflicts and the professionals and educators that work with those families.

mary collins

Mary Collins is a Professor of Narrative Nonfiction at Central Connecticut State University. At the Broken Places is her fifth book. Donald Collins, an Emerson College graduate, writes regularly for a range of publications, including Vice, PopMatters!, and Salon. In June, the two authors will be Poynter Fellows in Journalism for Yale University’s Mental Health Clinic.

Free; no registration required.

# Mark My Word: Amy Dickinson and Gina Barreca

Wednesday, May 31, 7:00 p.m. VIP reception 7:30 p.m. \\\\\\\"Gina Asks Amy\\\\\\\" program

May 2, 2017: Don't miss out on a very special evening with 'Ask Amy" advice columnist AMY DICKINSON and her friend GINA BARRECA at The Mark Twain House & Museum on Wednesday, May 31, 2017.

For this program, part of the MTH&M's "Mark My Word" series of author talks, Dickinson will read from her new book STRANGERS TEND TO TELL ME THINGS, then join with Barreca for Gina Asks Amy, a rollicking conversation about.... whatever these two close friends decide to discuss!

amy dickinson

Readers know Amy Dickinson best as the witty and wise voice behind America’s most popular advice column “Ask Amy,” which is enjoyed by millions of fans every day, and as a frequent panelist on the popular NPR show “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me.” In her 2009 New York Times bestselling memoir The Mighty Queens of Freeville, readers followed Dickinson’s reluctant journey into single parenthood, as she struggled to find a fulfilling career, bumbled through awkward blind dates, and changed cities with her daughter Emily in tow. Ultimately she discovered that her small hometown of Freeville, New York (population 458), and the supportive and strong women who lived there, held the answers to putting her life back together.

Dickinson’s highly anticipated follow-up memoir, STRANGERS TEND TO TELL ME THINGS: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Coming Home (Hachette Books; 3/14/17), picks up where The Mighty Queens of Freeville left off, immersing readers in the wonderfully familiar town that nurtured her, sharing quirky and moving details about the tight-knit family that raised and sustained her, and introducing the true-love affair that changed her life.This touching, funny, and heart-felt narrative reveals how Dickinson learned (often the hard way) the valuable life lessons she shares with readers in her advice column. The book explores such relatable themes as finding love in middle age, and the awkwardness that can ensue when you find yourself shopping for both birth control and menopause remedies (at the same time); navigating the joys and struggles of raising a blended family; the heartbreak of caring for an ailing parent at the end of life; and finding closure in her never-ending quest for self-improvement.

A funny and poignant story of family, hope, and love, STRANGERS TEND TO TELL ME THINGS is a striking reminder that second chances are lurking around the corner—often when you need them most—and a grounded exploration of the ways we can master the keys to handling life’s challenges without losing our sense of self. 

Dickinson’s "Ask Amy" advice column appears in approximately 200 newspapers in North America, including the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago TribuneNewsdayThe Boston Globe, the Denver Post, the St. Louis Post Dispatch, and the Washington Post. She currently lives in Freeville, New York. 

gina barreca

Called “smart and funny” by People magazine and “Very, very funny. For a woman,” by Dave Barry, Gina Barreca was deemed a “feminist humor maven” by Ms. Magazine. Novelist Wally Lamb said “Barreca’s prose, in equal measures, is hilarious and humane." Barreca’s weekly columns from The Hartford Courant are now distributed internationally by the Tribune Co.

A member of the Friars’ Club and the first female graduate of Dartmouth College invited to have her personal papers requested by the Rauner Special Collections Library, Barreca can be found in the Library of Congress or in the make-up aisle of Walgreens. Barreca grew up in Brooklyn and Long Island but now lives with her husband in Storrs, Connecticut. She recently joined the Mark Twain House & Museum Board of Trustees.


The 7:30 program is preceded by a 7:00 VIP reception in the museum's new Carriage House Barn. VIP ticket sales include a copy of STRANGERS TEND TO TELL ME THINGS and a copy of Barreca's IF YOU LEAN IN, WILL MEN JUST LOOK DOWN YOUR BLOUSE?

After the authors speak, a Q&A session with the audience will be followed by a book sale and signing.




General-admission tickets are $40; $35 for members of The Mark Twain House & Museum and Let's GO Arts! cardholders.

Tickets for the VIP reception are $80 and include copies of both authors' books and preferred seating for the Gina Asks Amy program.


This event will likely sell out quickly, so order your tickets TODAY by CLICKING HERE or calling 860-247-0998.

Jun

June


# Book/Mark with Jenny Allen

Wednesday, June 7, 7 p.m.

 

jenny allen

Jenny Allen is a writer and performer. Her essays and articles have appeared for years in many magazines, including The New Yorker, The New York Times, New York, Vogue, EsquireMore, The Huffington Post, and Good Housekeeping. Recent essays appear in Andy Borowitz’s anthology The Fifty Funniest American Writers and in In the Fullness of Time: 32 Women on Life After 50.

Now, for the first time, Allen’s hilarious and wonderful works are collected in one place. Jenny is many things—a playwright, journalist, essayist, actress, and monologist, perhaps best known for her one-woman show I Got Sick Then I Got Better. She fearlessly tackles the serious and the not-so-serious with equal candor and curiosity. Reading Jenny Allen is a lot like sitting with a best friend; her essays are intimate and immediate. WOULD EVERYBODY PLEASE STOP? is as thoughtful as it is entertaining. We hope you enjoy this hilarious gem jam-packed with thirty-five inventive, provocative essays from one of our beloved humorists.

Join us to hear Jenny Allen talk about her new book Would Everybody Please Stop? Reflections on Life and Other Bad Ideas.A book sale and signing will follow the talk.

Tickets are $10. Click here!

# The MOuTH: Take My Advice!

Friday, June 9, 7:30 p.m.

the mouth take adviceWe could use your advice! And stories about advice - What led up to the helpful hint? What happened after? Was it good advice, or terrible? Hear and tell stories on the theme “Take My Advice” hosted by Chion Wolf at The MOuTH at the Mark Twain House & Museum on Friday, June 9, at 7:30 p.m!

E-mail HartfordMouth@gmail.com with your name, and a short description of what your story is about. No need to give me every detail, just a few sentences that get me curious. Submissions close a week and a day before the event, but the sooner you can email me, the happier I’ll be, and the happier I’ll be… Well, the happier I’ll be.

Your story must be FEWER THAN 10 MINUTES. (Note - it usually takes longer to tell your story than you think! Tell it a few times to friends, refine it, and time it!) During the event, you'll see me in the front row with a fancypants iPad that will count you down. If you go over the time limit, I'll tackle you in front of everybody (IN MY MIND).

***STORIES ARE TOLD WITHOUT NOTES! You just get up there and tell the tale off the top of your head***
***STORIES ARE REAL! Not that we’ll be doing any fact-checking, but this event features TRUE stories***

If you don't get on the list, don't take it personally! It's our loss, and hopefully we can hear from you at a future MOuTH event (see below).

There is also a "Wild Card"! After the fifth speaker finishes, I ask volunteers to raise their hands and holler out a number. Those numbers are put into a hat/pocket/bowl/basket/crock pot/human skull, and whoever is chosen has a 5 minute limit to tell their story on that night’s theme before the final speaker goes on.

No stories on this theme? Well, I’m always accepting submissions for our remaining 2017 themes:
September 8 - Realizing the Obvious: Epiphanies
November 17 - All In The Family

PLEASE NOTE:
- $12 to get in (speakers and their plus-one get in free!)
-The event audio is recorded, and though I’ll ask you to sign a release if you are telling a story, your participation on stage doubles as permission to use the story in any broadcasts that I’m scheming up. If you are a speaker and want to keep your recording private, please let me know before the event is over.
-Profanity IS allowed, dammit!
-Have an idea for a theme in the future? Have something on your mind about The MOuTH? Email HartfordMouth@gmail.com.
-TO BOOK TICKETS WITH A REAL PERSON WHO HAS FEELINGS AND EXPERIENCES: 860- 280-3130.

Admission is $12. Get your tickets HERE!

# CLUE Murder Mystery House Tours

Saturday, June 10, Tours leave every 15 minutes from 7 to 7:45 p.m.

CLUE Mystery Murder Tours of the Mark Twain House

 

CLUE!

CLUE Murder Mystery Tours take participants through the various rooms (secret passageway, conservatory, billiards room, and more) of the Twain house -- and some of the author's favorite literary characters -- as part of the game. 

Who killed that varmint Pap Finn? Was it Tom Sawyer in the Library with the Wrench? Merlin in the Billiard Room with the Knife? The Pauper in the Kitchen with the Rope?

Play our live-action version of the classic board game CLUE in an hour-long tour featuring the famed comedy troupe SEA TEA IMPROV as Twain's beloved characters/suspects. CLUE Tours provide all the murder, mayhem, and merriment you expect in a whodunit. Our Clue Tours were featured on an episode of the Travel Channel show "Wackiest Tours!"

Sea Tea Improv is an improv comedy company, professionally trained by Hartford Stage Company, ImprovBoston, and the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York, that dazzles Hartford and beyond on a regular basis with its witty interpretations of audience suggestions.  The troupe performs short improvised games and long improvised plays at public & private functions, teach classes to students of all ages, and train professionals in the art of communication. They've performed all over Connecticut, New England, and up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

This event is supported by Webster Bank.

Reservations are required, and tours sell out, so please book early.

Tickets are $24; museum members are $17; children 6 to 17 are $15.  

Lets Go Arts program members are entitled to a discount; click the ticket-purchase link below to learn more.

To purchase tickets call 860- 247-0998 or click HERE!

# TOM SAWYER DAY!

Saturday, June 10, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Join us on Connecticut Open House Day 2017 for Tom Sawyer Day, our annual family event, featuring free music, games, activities, ice cream and more! We’ll also offer discounted tours of the Mark Twain House.

tom sawyer day

Tom Sawyer Day is supported by the Greater Hartford Arts Council with major support from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

# The Trouble Begins at 5:30: "My Dear Howells:" The Literary Friendship of Samuel Clemens and William Dean Howells

Thursday, June 15, 5:00 Reception, 5:30 Lecture

The personal and professional relationship of Mark Twain and William Dean Howells was one of the most important in American letters. Howells was a significant literary gatekeeper as editor of the Atlantic Monthly, as well as a major novelist in his own right. Understanding their relationship illuminates the culture, business, and ideas that animated post-Civil War American literature.

Daniel Mrozowski is a Visiting Lecturer in English at Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut. Dr. Mrozowski is the President of the William Dean Howells Society of America, a scholarly organization dedicated to the study of the 19th century editor, author and critic, that sponsors regular panels at the annual American Literature Association convention.  Dr. Mrozowski’s research and writing focuses on 19th century American literature and its intersection with business history.  He is working on a book about the rise of the corporation and its influence on American fiction during the Gilded Age.

The Trouble Begins at 5:30 Lecture Series is sponsored by Connecticut Humanities.

This event is presented at no cost but reservations are highly suggested. Call (860) 247-0998 or to reserve tickets click here.

# Day-long Writing Workshop: "Using Our Voice for Others" with Susanne Davis

Saturday, June 17, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

susanne davis

Albert Murray, American essayist, critic, and novelist, said it is the writer who sounds the warning bell to show when a time is out of joint. We live in our time, tied to it, shaped by it, and shaping it. Stories of witness, whether personal or political, individual or social, local or global, help our culture to understand the human heart of the matter. In this one-day workshop we will cultivate tools to use our writing voice to get to the heart of the matter. 

The workshop will be a blend of theory discussion and time for writing exercises and small group sharing to include the following topics:

1.    Opening our eyes to see “the other” in our midst.  That person, or group of people, whose life or lives looks so different from ours.

2.    Compiling a list of questions.  Where to start?

3.    Approaching interviews with respect and assurance that the interviewer will first use active listening, allowing the voice of the other to be heard.  Discussion of the writer’s skills:  interviewing, research, active listening, fact checking. 

4.    Considering what has not been said and how to probe for deeper understanding. 

5.    Examining our raw material.  Who will be the audience?  Who needs to hear this story?

6.    Examining our own theoretical and/or political underpinnings.  How do we address them?

7.    Enlisting those whose stories need to be heard and accept their help in making the story in order to serve a fuller truth and to avoid cultural appropriation. 

8.    Intending to write stories that live as art, and not as political propaganda. 

Registration is $60 ($55 for members of The Mark Twain House & Museum).

To register, click here!

# International Wine Tasting Sponsored by Friends of The Mark Twain House & Museum

Saturday, June 17, 5 to 6:30 p.m.



Taste wines from Italy, Spain, Australia, Argentina, and America accompanied by a selection of savory appetizers & decadent desserts.

Music provided by Rob McCrann.

All proceeds benefit The Mark Twain House & Museum.

Tickets are $35   

Advance purchase by JUNE 15 required. No tickets sold at the door.

To purchase tickets click HERE. Deadline: June 15, 2017!

 

Sponsors:

Pond House Café * Whole Foods *Taylor Rental

Wines from Frederick Wildman & Sons, LTD  Wine Enthusiast: Importer of the Year Award 2016:                                      

El Coto Blanco, Rioja, Spain                                                                                       El Coto Crianza, Rioja, Spain

Melini Chianti Riserva DOC, Tuscany, Italy

Hewitson Sauvignon Blanc, Adelaide, Australia    

Cavicchioli 1928 Prosecco, Veneto, Italy

La Linda Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina

Wines from Allan S. Goodman, Inc.:                      
Chateau Ste Michelle Chardonnay, WA

Motto Zinfandel, California

Questions: friendsmth@yahoo.com or 617-905-1912

Tickets are $35

Advance purchase by JUNE 15 required. No tickets sold at the door.

To purchase tickets click here. Deadline: June 15, 2017!

# JUMPING FROG JUBILEE!!

Thursday, June 22, 1 p.m.

jumping frog jubileeThis fun event for children and families takes its inspiration from Mark Twain’s famous short story “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.” Registered guests will see a demonstration of live frogs, courtesy of The Children’s Museum, followed by a Jumping Frog Contest, using rubber frogs and a wooden catapult that’s been custom-built for this event. Prizes for all!

The Family Series is sponsored by The Hartford.

Tickets are $5 per person. Reservations are suggested, but tickets will be available at the door. To purchase tickets, click HERE!

 

 

# Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours

Friday, June 23,

Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours are Back!

Friday, June 23, and Saturday, June 24

Tours run at 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m, and 9 p.m.

ghost tour image

Filled with haunted history, dark tales, and Victorian traditions surrounding seances and spiritualism, these nighttime tours are as educational as they are goosebump-inducing. Participants will hear lots of creepy tales -- and learn about Mark Twain's interest in the supernatural.

The Mark Twain House has been featured on Syfy Channel's Ghost Hunters and the Biography Channel's My Ghost Story.

The tours sell out fast, so be sure to call 860- 247-0998 soon to make your reservations!

The tours are sponsored by Tsunami Tsolutions.

Tickets are $25, $17 for children ages 6 to 16, and $20 for members of The Mark Twain House & Museum. Click here for tickets.

Can't make it this time? Ghost Tours will be offered on July 28 & 29, August 25 & 26, and October 6, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27 & 28.

 

# "Mark Twain" serves as celebrity bartender at Hartford Marriott Downtown fundraiser for The MTH & M!

Thursday, June 29, 6 to 9 p.m.

“Mark Twain” Celebrity Bartender Fundraiser hosted by the Hartford Marriott Downtown; held at the L Bar

Come enjoy a drink served by celebrity bartender “Mark Twain” and support The Mark Twain House & Museum! The Hartford Marriott Downtown is hosting the event and will donate all tips plus 10 percent of the bar and sit-down dining-room food and drink orders for those who have reserved tables or communicated with the host before dining. The Hartford Marriott Downtown is at 200 Columbus Boulevard, Hartford.

Jul

July


# CLUE Murder Mystery House Tours

Friday, July 14, Tours leave every 15 minutes from 7 to 7:45 p.m.

CLUE Mystery Murder Tours of the Mark Twain House

 

CLUE!

CLUE Murder Mystery Tours take participants through the various rooms (secret passageway, conservatory, billiards room, and more) of the Twain house -- and some of the author's favorite literary characters -- as part of the game. 

Who killed that varmint Pap Finn? Was it Tom Sawyer in the Library with the Wrench? Merlin in the Billiard Room with the Knife? The Pauper in the Kitchen with the Rope?

Play our live-action version of the classic board game CLUE in an hour-long tour featuring the famed comedy troupe SEA TEA IMPROV as Twain's beloved characters/suspects. CLUE Tours provide all the murder, mayhem, and merriment you expect in a whodunit. Our Clue Tours were featured on an episode of the Travel Channel show "Wackiest Tours!"

Sea Tea Improv is an improv comedy company, professionally trained by Hartford Stage Company, ImprovBoston, and the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York, that dazzles Hartford and beyond on a regular basis with its witty interpretations of audience suggestions.  The troupe performs short improvised games and long improvised plays at public & private functions, teach classes to students of all ages, and train professionals in the art of communication. They've performed all over Connecticut, New England, and up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

This event is supported by Webster Bank.

Reservations are required, and tours sell out, so please book early.

Tickets are $24; museum members are $17; children 6 to 17 are $15.  

Lets Go Arts program members are entitled to a discount; click the ticket-purchase link below to learn more.

To purchase tickets call 860- 247-0998 or click HERE!

# Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours

Friday, July 28,

Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours are Back!

Friday, July 28, and Saturday, July 29

Tours run at 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m, and 9 p.m.

ghost tour image

Filled with haunted history, dark tales, and Victorian traditions surrounding seances and spiritualism, these nighttime tours are as educational as they are goosebump-inducing. Participants will hear lots of creepy tales -- and learn about Mark Twain's interest in the supernatural.

The Mark Twain House has been featured on Syfy Channel's Ghost Hunters and the Biography Channel's My Ghost Story.

The tours sell out fast, so be sure to call 860- 247-0998 soon to make your reservations!

The tours are sponsored by Tsunami Tsolutions.

Tickets are $25, $17 for children ages 6 to 16, and $20 for members of The Mark Twain House & Museum. Click here for tickets.

Can't make it this time? Ghost Tours will be offered on August 25 & 26, and October 6, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27 & 28.

 

Aug

August


# CLUE Murder Mystery House Tours

Friday, August 11, Tours leave every 15 minutes from 7 to 7:45 p.m.

CLUE Mystery Murder Tours of the Mark Twain House

 

CLUE!

CLUE Murder Mystery Tours take participants through the various rooms (secret passageway, conservatory, billiards room, and more) of the Twain house -- and some of the author's favorite literary characters -- as part of the game. 

Who killed that varmint Pap Finn? Was it Tom Sawyer in the Library with the Wrench? Merlin in the Billiard Room with the Knife? The Pauper in the Kitchen with the Rope?

Play our live-action version of the classic board game CLUE in an hour-long tour featuring the famed comedy troupe SEA TEA IMPROV as Twain's beloved characters/suspects. CLUE Tours provide all the murder, mayhem, and merriment you expect in a whodunit. Our Clue Tours were featured on an episode of the Travel Channel show "Wackiest Tours!"

Sea Tea Improv is an improv comedy company, professionally trained by Hartford Stage Company, ImprovBoston, and the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York, that dazzles Hartford and beyond on a regular basis with its witty interpretations of audience suggestions.  The troupe performs short improvised games and long improvised plays at public & private functions, teach classes to students of all ages, and train professionals in the art of communication. They've performed all over Connecticut, New England, and up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

This event is supported by Webster Bank.

Reservations are required, and tours sell out, so please book early.

Tickets are $24; museum members are $17; children 6 to 17 are $15.  

Lets Go Arts program members are entitled to a discount; click the ticket-purchase link below to learn more.

To purchase tickets call 860- 247-0998 or click HERE!

# Graveyard Shift House Tours

Friday, August 25,

Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours are Back!

Friday, August 25, and Saturday, August 26

Tours run at 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m, and 9 p.m.

ghost tour image

Filled with haunted history, dark tales, and Victorian traditions surrounding seances and spiritualism, these nighttime tours are as educational as they are goosebump-inducing. Participants will hear lots of creepy tales -- and learn about Mark Twain's interest in the supernatural.

The Mark Twain House has been featured on Syfy Channel's Ghost Hunters and the Biography Channel's My Ghost Story.

The tours sell out fast, so be sure to call 860- 247-0998 soon to make your reservations!

The tours are sponsored by Tsunami Tsolutions.

Tickets are $25, $17 for children ages 6 to 16, and $20 for members of The Mark Twain House & Museum. Click here for tickets.

Can't make it this time? Ghost Tours will be offered on October 6, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27 & 28.

 

Sep

September


# CLUE Murder Mystery House Tours

Friday, September 8, Tours leave every 15 minutes from 7 to 7:45 p.m.

CLUE Mystery Murder Tours of the Mark Twain House

 

CLUE!

CLUE Murder Mystery Tours take participants through the various rooms (secret passageway, conservatory, billiards room, and more) of the Twain house -- and some of the author's favorite literary characters -- as part of the game. 

Who killed that varmint Pap Finn? Was it Tom Sawyer in the Library with the Wrench? Merlin in the Billiard Room with the Knife? The Pauper in the Kitchen with the Rope?

Play our live-action version of the classic board game CLUE in an hour-long tour featuring the famed comedy troupe SEA TEA IMPROV as Twain's beloved characters/suspects. CLUE Tours provide all the murder, mayhem, and merriment you expect in a whodunit. Our Clue Tours were featured on an episode of the Travel Channel show "Wackiest Tours!"

Sea Tea Improv is an improv comedy company, professionally trained by Hartford Stage Company, ImprovBoston, and the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York, that dazzles Hartford and beyond on a regular basis with its witty interpretations of audience suggestions.  The troupe performs short improvised games and long improvised plays at public & private functions, teach classes to students of all ages, and train professionals in the art of communication. They've performed all over Connecticut, New England, and up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

This event is supported by Webster Bank.

Reservations are required, and tours sell out, so please book early.

Tickets are $24; museum members are $17; children 6 to 17 are $15.  

Lets Go Arts program members are entitled to a discount; click the ticket-purchase link below to learn more.

To purchase tickets call 860- 247-0998 or click HERE!

Oct

October


# Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours

Friday, October 6,

Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours are Back!

October 6, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27 & 28

Tours run at 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m, and 9 p.m.

ghost tour image

Filled with haunted history, dark tales, and Victorian traditions surrounding seances and spiritualism, these nighttime tours are as educational as they are goosebump-inducing. Participants will hear lots of creepy tales -- and learn about Mark Twain's interest in the supernatural.

The Mark Twain House has been featured on Syfy Channel's Ghost Hunters and the Biography Channel's My Ghost Story.

The tours sell out fast, so be sure to call 860- 247-0998 soon to make your reservations!

The tours are sponsored by Tsunami Tsolutions.

Tickets are $25, $17 for children ages 6 to 16, and $20 for members of The Mark Twain House & Museum. Click here for tickets.

 

 

Nov

November


# CLUE Murder Mystery House Tours

Friday, November 10, Tours leave every 15 minutes from 7 to 7:45 p.m.

CLUE Mystery Murder Tours of the Mark Twain House

 

CLUE!

CLUE Murder Mystery Tours take participants through the various rooms (secret passageway, conservatory, billiards room, and more) of the Twain house -- and some of the author's favorite literary characters -- as part of the game. 

Who killed that varmint Pap Finn? Was it Tom Sawyer in the Library with the Wrench? Merlin in the Billiard Room with the Knife? The Pauper in the Kitchen with the Rope?

Play our live-action version of the classic board game CLUE in an hour-long tour featuring the famed comedy troupe SEA TEA IMPROV as Twain's beloved characters/suspects. CLUE Tours provide all the murder, mayhem, and merriment you expect in a whodunit. Our Clue Tours were featured on an episode of the Travel Channel show "Wackiest Tours!"

Sea Tea Improv is an improv comedy company, professionally trained by Hartford Stage Company, ImprovBoston, and the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York, that dazzles Hartford and beyond on a regular basis with its witty interpretations of audience suggestions.  The troupe performs short improvised games and long improvised plays at public & private functions, teach classes to students of all ages, and train professionals in the art of communication. They've performed all over Connecticut, New England, and up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

This event is supported by Webster Bank.

Reservations are required, and tours sell out, so please book early.

Tickets are $24; museum members are $17; children 6 to 17 are $15.  

Lets Go Arts program members are entitled to a discount; click the ticket-purchase link below to learn more.

To purchase tickets call 860- 247-0998 or click HERE!

Dec

December


# CLUE Murder Mystery House Tours

Friday, December 8, Tours leave every 15 minutes from 7 to 7:45 p.m.

CLUE Mystery Murder Tours of the Mark Twain House

 

CLUE!

CLUE Murder Mystery Tours take participants through the various rooms (secret passageway, conservatory, billiards room, and more) of the Twain house -- and some of the author's favorite literary characters -- as part of the game. 

Who killed that varmint Pap Finn? Was it Tom Sawyer in the Library with the Wrench? Merlin in the Billiard Room with the Knife? The Pauper in the Kitchen with the Rope?

Play our live-action version of the classic board game CLUE in an hour-long tour featuring the famed comedy troupe SEA TEA IMPROV as Twain's beloved characters/suspects. CLUE Tours provide all the murder, mayhem, and merriment you expect in a whodunit. Our Clue Tours were featured on an episode of the Travel Channel show "Wackiest Tours!"

Sea Tea Improv is an improv comedy company, professionally trained by Hartford Stage Company, ImprovBoston, and the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York, that dazzles Hartford and beyond on a regular basis with its witty interpretations of audience suggestions.  The troupe performs short improvised games and long improvised plays at public & private functions, teach classes to students of all ages, and train professionals in the art of communication. They've performed all over Connecticut, New England, and up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

This event is supported by Webster Bank.

Reservations are required, and tours sell out, so please book early.

Tickets are $24; museum members are $17; children 6 to 17 are $15.  

Lets Go Arts program members are entitled to a discount; click the ticket-purchase link below to learn more.

To purchase tickets call 860- 247-0998 or click HERE!

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March


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