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.

Jan

January


# BOOK/MARK--“I Blame Dennis Hopper: And Other Stories from a Life Lived In and Out of the Movies” with author and actress Illeana Douglas

Wednesday, January 13, 7:00 p.m.

Presented in partnership with Hartford Stage, where Douglas was a member of their theater for young audiences.  

From award-winning actress Illeana Douglas comes a memoir about learning to survive in Hollywood while staying true to her quirky vision of the world.

In 1969 Illeana Douglas' parents saw the film Easy Rider and were transformed. Taking Dennis Hopper's words, "That's what it's all about man" to heart, they abandoned their comfortable upper middle class life and gave Illeana a childhood filled with hippies, goats, free spirits, and free love. Illeana writes, "Since it was all out of my control, I began to think of my life as a movie, with a Dennis Hopper-like father at the center of it."

I Blame Dennis Hopper is a testament to the power of art and the tenacity of passion. It is a rollicking, funny, at times tender exploration of the way movies can change our lives. With crackling humor and a full heart, Douglas describes how a good Liza Minnelli impression helped her land her first gig and how Rudy Valley taught her the meaning of being a show biz trouper. From her first experience being on set with her grandfather and mentor-two-time Academy Award-winning actor Melvyn Douglas-to the moment she was discovered by Martin Scorsese for her blood-curdling scream and cast in her first film, to starring in movies alongside Robert DeNiro, Nicole Kidman, and Ethan Hawke, to becoming an award winning writer, director and producer in her own right, I Blame Dennis Hopper is an irresistible love letter to movies and filmmaking. Writing from the perspective of the ultimate show business fan, Douglas packs each page with hilarious anecdotes, bizarre coincidences, and fateful meetings that seem, well, right out of a plot of a movie.

I Blame Dennis Hopper is the story of one woman's experience in show business, but it is also a genuine reminder of why we all love the movies: for the glitz, the glamor, the sweat, passion, humor, and escape they offer us all.

The Book/Mark Series is supported by a generous grant from the George A. & Grace L. Long Foundation, Bank of America, N.A. and Alan S. Parker, Trustees.  

This is a free BOOK/MARK event and is followed by a book sale and signing. Reservations are recommended. Please call (860) 247-0998 or click here.

# Hartford Stage, The Mark Twain House & Museum and the World Affairs Council of Connecticut present AFTER WAR: WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? Featuring David Finkel, Dan O’Brien and Emma Sky; Moderated by WNPR’s Lucy Nalpathanchil

Thursday, January 14, 7:00 p.m.

In a first-time collaboration, three of Hartford’s cultural institutions are joining together to present a conversation on a subject that affects us all:  WAR.  Writers will discuss the aftermath of US entanglements from Iraq to Afghanistan to Somalia, and the consequences that reverberate both abroad and at home, in the political landscapes of recovering countries, and in the psyches of returning soldiers.  

The panelists include Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post journalist DAVID FINKLE, author of The Good Soldiers and Thank You For Your Service; acclaimed poet and playwright DAN O’BRIEN, author of War Reporter and Hartford Stage’s production of Body of an American, winner of the Horton Foote Prize for Outstanding New American Play; and U.K. author Emma Sky, who wrote The Unraveling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq and has been named an Officer of the British Empire.

WNPR reporter Lucy Nalpathanchil will moderate an engaging and incisive conversation on the impact war has had on these writers, their work, our nation, and our world.

Dan O'Brien

Dan O’Brien is an American playwright, poet, and librettist whose work includes the inaugural Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama-winning play The Body of an American. O'Brien's debut poetry collection entitled War Reporter was published in 2013 and received the 2013 Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize, and was shortlisted for the 2013 Forward Prize for Best First Collection.

The poems in War Reporter are based on the extraordinary career and personal struggles of Pulitzer Prize-winning war reporter Paul Watson. The play The Body of an American will be playing concurrently at Hartford Stage. For more information on this production, please click here.

Emma Sky

When Emma Sky volunteered to help rebuild Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003, she had little idea what she was getting in to. Her assignment was only supposed to last three months. She went on to serve there longer than any other senior military or diplomatic figure, giving her an unrivaled perspective of the entire conflict.

As the representative of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Kirkuk in 2003 and then the political advisor to US General Odierno from 2007–2010, Sky was valued for her knowledge of the region and her outspoken voice. She became a tireless witness to American efforts to transform a country traumatized by decades of war, sanctions, and brutal dictatorship; to insurgencies and civil war; to the planning and implementation of the surge and the subsequent drawdown of US troops; to the corrupt political elites who used sectarianism to mobilize support; and to the takeover of a third of the country by the Islamic State.

With sharp detail and tremendous empathy, Sky provides unique insights into the US military as well as the complexities, diversity, and evolution of Iraqi society. The Unraveling is an intimate insider’s portrait of how and why the Iraq adventure failed and contains a unique analysis of the course of the war. Highlighting how nothing that happened in Iraq after 2003 was inevitable, Sky exposes the failures of the policies of both Republicans and Democrats, and the lessons that must be learned about the limitations of power.

David Finkel 

David Finkel is the author of The Good Soldiers, listed a best book of 2009 by the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Slate.com and The Boston Globe, and winner of the Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism. He is a staff writer for The Washington Post, and is also the leader of the Post’s national reporting team. He won the Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting in 2006 for a series of stories about U.S.-funded democracy efforts in Yemen, and the MacArthur "Genius" Grant in 2012. Finkel lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with his wife and two daughters.

This series is supported by a generous grant from the George A. & Grace L. Long Foundation, Bank of America, N.A. and Alan S. Parker, Trustees.  

 

 

This is a free event and is followed by a book sale and signing. Reservations are recommended. Please call (860) 247-0998 or click here.

# The Mark Twain House & Museum Offers Free Admission to Hartford Residents, Sponsored by The Hartford

Monday, January 18, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Thanks to The Hartford, we are offering free tours to our valued neighbors -- the residents of the city of Hartford -- on Monday, January 18 (the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday).

Bring along proof of residency, and take that long-planned tour of Mark Twain's House! The House and museum are open 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; the last tour is at 4:30 p.m..

Free for Hartford residents!

# BOOK/MARK -- “Fighting God: An Atheist Manifesto for a Religious World” with author David Silverman, current President of American Atheists

Thursday, January 21, 7:00 p.m.

Fighting God is a firebrand manifesto from one of the most recognizable faces of atheism. In his book, David Silverman--a walking, talking atheist billboard known for his appearances on Fox News--discusses the effectiveness, ethics and impact of the in-your-face-atheist who refuses to be silent.

Silverman argues that religion is more than just wrong: it is malevolent and does not deserve our respect. It is our duty to be outspoken and do what we can to bring religion down. Examining the mentality, methods and issues facing the firebrand atheist, Silverman presents an argument for firebrand atheism and reveals his theory that:

- All religion is cafeteria religion and almost all agnostics are atheists.

- American society grants religion a privileged status, despite the intentions of the Founding Fathers.

- Christian politicians have adversely (and un-Constitutionally) affected our society with regard to science, health, women's rights, and gay rights.

- It is not "Islamophobia" to observe dangerous teachings and disproportionate violence in Islam.

- Atheists are slowly but surely winning the battle.

Fighting God is a provocative, unapologetic book that takes religion to task and will give inspiration to non-believers and serve as the ultimate answer to apologists.

The Book/Mark Series is supported by a generous grant from the George A. & Grace L. Long Foundation, Bank of America, N.A. and Alan S. Parker, Trustees.  

This is a free BOOK/MARK event, and is followed by a book sale and signing. Reservations are suggested. Please call (860) 247-0998 or click here.

# BOOK/MARK--"The Art of the Con: The Most Notorious Fakes, Frauds, and Forgeries in the Art World” with author Anthony M. Amore

Wednesday, January 27, 7:00 p.m.

Art scams are today so numerous that the specter of a lawsuit arising from a mistaken attribution has scared a number of experts away from the business of authentication and forgery, and with good reason. Art scams are increasingly convincing and involve incredible sums of money. The cons perpetrated by unscrupulous art dealers and their accomplices are proportionately elaborate.

Anthony M. Amore's The Art of the Con tells the stories of some of history's most notorious yet untold cons. They involve stolen art hidden for decades; elaborate ruses that involve the Nazis and allegedly plundered art; the theft of a conceptual prototype from a well-known artist by his assistant to be used later to create copies; the use of online and television auction sites to scam buyers out of millions; and other confidence scams incredible not only for their boldness but more so because they actually worked. Using interviews and newly released court documents, The Art of the Con will also take the reader into the investigations that led to the capture of the con men, who oftentimes return back to the world of crime. For some, it's an irresistible urge because their innocent dupes all share something in common: they want to believe.

This program will be moderated by Hartford Courant reporter Edmund Mahony.

This is a free BOOK/MARK event and is followed by a book sale and signing. Reservations are recommended. Please call (860) 247-0998 or click here.

# Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours

Friday, January 29, and Saturday, January 30, 6:00, 7:00, 8:00 and 9:00 p.m.

We reprise our popular Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours for some winter fun. The Mark Twain House has been featured on Syfy Channel's Ghost Hunters and the Biography Channel's My Ghost Story.

On these tours participants will hear all these creepy tales -- and learn about Mark Twain's own interest in the supernatural.

Filled with haunted history, dark tales and Victorian traditions surrounding seances and spiritualism, these nighttime tours are as educational as they are goosebump-inducing.

Prior to the tour, we'll be showing the short film Ghost Tour, which was filmed in The Mark Twain House.

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

The tours are tsponsored by Tsunami Tsolutions.

Tickets are $22 for adults; $17 for members; and $15 for children 16 and under (recommended ages 10 and up.)

Call: (860) 247-0998 for more information & ticketing. Or, click here for tickets.

# Trans, Beyond the Tipping Point: An Evening with Kate Bornstein

Saturday, January 30, 7:30 p.m. at Real Art Ways, 56 Arbor Street, Hartford

The Mark Twain House & Museum and Real Art Ways present an evening with author, activist, performance artist, and gender theorist Kate Bornstein in a talk entitled Trans: Beyond the Tipping Point.

Bornstein will speak on the changing language of transgender identity in a new social landscape of trans awareness. She will address the clear division that runs through almost every trans community, and discuss strategies for unifying the many new and disparate trans identities without "invisibilizing" anyone.

Bornstein, a self-proclaimed gender outlaw, focuses on identity outside the bounds of the male/female gender binary. Her work encourages people to experiment with constructing their own gender and sexual identity, and has become foundational to modern gender and sexuality theory.

She has created performance pieces and theater works, led workshops, and written several award-winning books in the field of Women and Gender Studies which are taught in over 120 colleges and universities around the world.

The 1994 book Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us, co-authored by Bornstein and artist S. Bear Bergman, collects and contextualizes the essays, commentary, comic art, and conversations of trans-spectrum people. Kirkus Reviews called Gender Outlaw a "thoughtful challenge to gender ideology that continually asks difficult questions about identity, orientation, and desire."

Her 2006 book, Hello, Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks and Other Outlaws is a bestseller and has propelled Bornstein into an international position of advocacy for marginalized youth.

Bornstein's most recent book is her memoir, A Queer and Pleasant Danger, published in May 2013. She is also the subject of a documentary by Sam Feder, currently screening at festivals and colleges around the country.

 

This event will be followed by a book sale and signing. Ticket prices are $12, and $7 for members of Real Art Ways and The Mark Twain House & Museum. Tickets will be sold by Real Art Ways. For more information, please click here. For ticketing, please click here.

Feb

February


# This program will take place this evening since it is anticipated that the winter storm will end by early afternoon--The MOuTH: "Thanks, But No Thanks: Stories of Rejection"

Friday, February 5, 7:30 p.m.

The Mark Twain House & Museum continues "The MOuTH," a storytelling series with WNPR personality Chion Wolf.

The event is in no way a competition, just storytelling in front of friends in a museum dedicated to Mark Twain, one of our country's best storytellers.

Submissions are now open. Here's how it works: Email HartfordMouth@gmail.com with your name, approximate story length of LESS 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!), and a short description of what your story is about.

Wolf will look over the submissions and assemble a lineup. "If you don't get on the list, don't take it personally!" says Wolf. "It's our loss, and hopefully we can hear from you at a future 'Mouth' event."

There will also be a "Wild Card": Those wanting to tell a short story can put their names in a hat when they arrive, and at some point, a name will be picked.

Chion Wolf, technical producer, announcer, and photographer for WNPR, can be heard on the Colin McEnroe Show Monday through Friday at 1 and 8pm, and during breaks throughout the week!

$5.00 (Storytellers chosen for the lineup get in free.) Call (860) 247-0998 or click here.

# Connecticut Horticultural Society Spring Symposium: Gardening with a Purpose

Saturday, February 6, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Enjoy a full day symposium of four presentations, lunchtime workshop, silent auction, and more than a dozen vendors of garden-related products to get ready for Spring! Includes continental breakfast and gourmet boxed lunch from the Kitchen at Billings Forge.

Featuring - Ken Druse, well known garden writer and designer, Nancy Dubrule-Clemente, landscape designer and owner of Natureworks Organic Garden Center, Northford, CT, and Dan Furman, new guiding spirit of famed peony source: Cricket Hill Nursery, Thomaston, CT.

As the world warms and cools, it may seem as if our plants won't know what to do... but what about us gardeners?  How can we best create gardens to survive in a time of 'climate change'? Our panel of experts will help us develop a new skill set for the challenges ahead.

Connecticut Horticultural Society Members: $79 before January 10, 2016; $89 thereafter.

Non-members: $89 before January 10, 2016; $99 thereafter.

Students: $30.

Fee includes all programs and demonstrations, box lunch from the Kitchen at Billings Forge, coffee breaks, access to vendors, silent auction, and tours of the Mark Twain House. You will receive confirmation by email.

Pre-registration required.

RSVP

Pre-Registration Required

Return form available at cthort.org by January 10th for early discount.

or  Contact CHS Office at (860) 529-8713

                                               connhort@gmail.com 

or Joan Stubenrauch at (860) 633-6076

                                            jstuben@hotmail.com

# Reading of "Elementary, My Dear Fellow" - A New Play about William Gillette by Shera Cohen

Thursday, February 11, 7:00 p.m.

A Reading of “Elementary, My Dear Fellow,” a play in one-act by Shera Cohen

“Elementary, My Dear Fellow” tells the story of William Gillette, renowned actor/playwright/inventor, Hartford born and bred, and most importantly, the original Sherlock Holmes. In 1896, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle literally handed his celebrated books to this constantly employed yet rarely satisfied American actor, telling Gillette to do whatever he pleased with Sherlock as he was tired and bored with the detective. This was the impetus to Gillette’s famous and long career. Gillette not only molded the Holmes’ stories into plays and wrote many of his own creation, it was Gillette who dressed Holmes in what has now become the character’s instantly recognizable image.

However, William Gillette was far more than Sherlock Holmes. Admittedly, even Gillette often entangled the two – man and character – through much of his later career and life. The play is William Gillette’s journey onto the stage, the people who helped him, his joys and tragedies. It may not be surprising that Gillette was a rather quirky, sometimes naïve, and enigmatic man…certainly, a man worthy of meeting.

Cast List &  Readers

William Gillette read by Martin Shell

Charles Frohman read by Frank Aronson

Helen Nichols read by Jarice Hanson

Yukitaka Osaki read by Luis Manzi

Arthur Conan Doyle read by Tim O’Brien

Woman read by Kristen Anne Ferraro

Man read by Keith Purcell

Narrator/Stage Manager -- Julie Waggoner          

 

There will be a free will offering taken. Reservations are recommended. Please call (860) 247-0998 or click here.

# An Evening with Karen Finley: "Shock Treatment"

Wednesday, February 17, 7:00 p.m.

Co-presented with Real Art Ways.

No other artist captures the drama and fragility of the AIDS era as Karen Finley does in her 1990 classic book Shock Treatment. "The Black Sheep," "We Keep Our Victims Ready," "I Was Never Expected to Be Talented,"--these are some of the seminal works which excoriated homophobia and misogyny at a time when artists and writers were under attack for challenging the status quo. This twenty-fifth anniversary expanded edition features a new introduction in which Finley reflects on publishing her first book as she became internationally known for being denied an NEA grant because of perceived obscenity in her work. She traces her journey from art school to burlesque gigs to the San Francisco North Beach literary scene. A new poem reminds us of Finley's disarming ability to respond to the era's most challenging issues with grace and humor.

KAREN FINLEY's raw and transgressive performances have long provoked controversy and debate. She has appeared and exhibited her visual art, performances, and plays internationally. The author of many books including A Different Kind of IntimacyGeorge & Martha, and The Reality Shows, she is a professor at the Tisch School of Art and Public Policy at NYU.

Tickets are $20, and $15 for MTH&M members. Please call (860) 247-0998 or click here.

# CLUE Tours of the Mark Twain House (Postponed from January 23)

Saturday, February 20, Tours step off every 15 minutes starting at 7:00 p.m.

The CLUE Tours originally scheduled for January 23 have been postponed until February 20. All tickets will be honored on that date for the same tour time. If you have an issue with the postponed date, please call (860) 247-0998. Thank you and sorry for any inconvenience.

CLUE Tours will be offered in a special, one-night-only edition at The Mark Twain House & Museum, using 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 (seateaimprov.com) 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 their witty interpretations of audience suggestions.  They perform 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 $22; museum members are $17; children 6 to 17 are $15.  To purchase tickets, please call (860) 247-0998 or click here.

# Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra -- "Voices of Connecticut Poets: Wallace Stevens and Elizabeth Hamilton"

Saturday, February 20, 7:30 p.m.

The Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra (HICO) is presenting a celebration of local poets with its new concert at the Mark Twain House & Museum.

The program features the poetry of Wallace Stevens and Elizabeth Hamilton on a concert of contemporary chamber orchestra music. Hailed as “an invaluable addition to the Hartford musical scene” by composer-critic Robert Carl, HICO is presenting the music of Thomas Albert (Thirteen Ways) and premiering a commission by Jessica Rudman with support from the City of Hartford Arts & Heritage Jobs Grant Program. They are joined by mezzo-soprano Charity Clark. For more information on HICO, visit www.HICOrchestra.com. Please be advised the program includes adult themes & language.

Comprised of a roster of premier Hartford-based musicians HICO is devoted to enrichment through superb artistry and engaging audiences across Greater Hartford. Now entering its eighth concert season, HICO has appeared as guests with the Women Composers Festival of Hartford, Central Connecticut State University, Charter Oak Jewish Arts & Culture Festival, and The Hartt School of the University of Hartford, among others. Their 2015 - 2016 concert season includes a residency at Eastern Connecticut State University and five commissioned premieres.

 

Tickets are $20 for adults / $15 for Seniors, Mark Twain House & Museum Members & Let's Go Members / $10 for students. Please call (860) 247-0998 or click here.

# Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours

Friday, February 26, and Saturday, February 27, 6:00, 7:00, 8:00 and 9:00 p.m.

We reprise our popular Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours for some winter fun. The Mark Twain House has been featured on Syfy Channel's Ghost Hunters and the Biography Channel's My Ghost Story.

On these tours participants will hear all these creepy tales -- and learn about Mark Twain's own interest in the supernatural.

Filled with haunted history, dark tales and Victorian traditions surrounding seances and spiritualism, these nighttime tours are as educational as they are goosebump-inducing.

Prior to the tour, we'll be showing the short film Ghost Tour, which was filmed in The Mark Twain House.

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

The tours are tsponsored by Tsunami Tsolutions.

Tickets are $22 for adults; $17 for members; and $15 for children 16 and under (recommended ages 10 and up.)

Call: (860) 247-0998 for more information & ticketing. Or, click here for tickets.

# Hartford Opera Theater and The Mark Twain House & Museum present the American Premier of Mark Twain’s MYSTERIOUS 44

Friday, February 26, and Saturday, February 27, both evenings at 7:30 p.m. (A snow date of Sunday, Feb. 28 is planned if needed.)

An ultra-modern take on a fiendishly old tale!

The Mysterious Stranger is the final novel attempted by the American author Mark Twain. He worked on it periodically from 1897 through 1908. The body of work is a serious social commentary by Twain addressing his ideas of the Moral Sense and the "damned human race". Twain wrote multiple versions of the story; each is unfinished and involves a supernatural character called "Satan" or "No. 44".

Now, a contemporary opera, presented in collaboration with the Hartford Opera Theater (HOT), has been based on The Mysterious Stranger.  Come see the U.S. premiere of "Mysterious 44" by British composer Kevin Malone.  The production is directed by Kristy Chambrelli, conducted by HOT's music director Joe Hodge, and feature the HOT debut of interactive multimedia designer Jarrod Ratcliffe. 

This production is generously supported by The Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation.

 

Tickets are $25, and $20 for MTH&M members. Please call (860) 247-0998or click here.

Mar

March


# BOOK/MARK - "From the Mouth of Dogs: What Our Pets Teach Us About Life, Death, and Being Human" with author B.J. Hollars

Thursday, March 3, 7:00 p.m.

What is it that dogs have done to earn the title of “man’s best friend”? And more broadly, how have all of our furry, feathered, and four-legged brethren managed to enrich our lives? Why do we love them? What can we learn from them? And why is it so difficult to say good-bye? Join B.J. Hollars as he attempts to find out—beginning with an ancient dog cemetery in Ashkelon, Israel, and moving to the present day.

Hollars’s firsthand reports recount a range of stories: the arduous existence of a shelter officer, a woman’s relentless attempt to found a senior-dog adoption facility, a family’s struggle to create a one-of-a-kind orthotic for its bulldog, and the particular bond between a blind woman and her Seeing Eye dog. The book culminates with Hollars’s own cross-country journey to Hartsdale Pet Cemetery—the country’s largest and oldest pet cemetery—to begin the long-overdue process of laying his own childhood dog to rest.

Through these stories, Hollars reveals much about our pets but even more about the humans who share their lives, providing a much-needed reminder that the world would be a better place if we took a few cues from man’s best friends.

This free BOOK/MARK event is followed by a book sale and signing. Reservations are recommended. Please call (860) 247-0998 or click here.

# The First Annual Bark Twain Bash! It's the Cats Meow! To benefit The Mark Twain House & Kenway's Cause, Inc. Animal Rescue

Friday, March 4, 6:00 - 9:30 p.m.

An evening of celebrating our four-legged friends! 

Includes cocktails, food, puppies from Fidelco, the Hartford’s Animal Control and Hartford’s K9 Officers, a band and dancing.

Special guest B.J. Hollars, author of From The Mouth of Dogs (see March 3 event).

Tickets are $30. Please call (860) 247-0998 or click here.

# THE TROUBLE BEGINS AT 5:30 -- "Mark Twain's Hartford" Book Launch

Wednesday, March 9, 5:00 p.m. reception; 5:30 p.m. talk

We launch our new pictorial book, Mark Twain’s Hartford, published by Arcadia Books -- an exploration of the author's relationship to the city where they lived for two productive decades. The book draws on the Mark Twain House & Museum archives, with many rarely seen images presented for the first time in print. The author and picture editor for the book, our own Steve Courtney, will present the tale.

This is a free event, but a $5.00 donation is requested and reservations are recommended. Please call (860) 247-0998 or click here.

# An Evening with Azar Nafisi

Thursday, March 10, 7:00 p.m. There will be a VIP reception from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the Museum Café.

Azar Nafisi is the critically acclaimed author of Reading Lolita in Tehran, a long-running number one New York Times bestseller published in thirty-two languages, and Things I’ve Been Silent About, also a New York Times bestseller. A fellow at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, she has taught at Oxford University and several universities in Tehran.

She will also be talking about her newest book The Republic of Imagination: A Life in Books, in which she cites Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as a major influence on her life.

This program will be recorded for broadcast on NPR's Person Place Thing, an interview show based on this idea: people are particularly engaging when they speak not directly about themselves but about something they care about. Guests talk about one person, one place, and one thing that are important to them. The result?  Surprising stories from great talkers.

The program will be followed by a book sale and signing.

The Mark Twain House & Museum Author Series is generously supported by The Hartford.

Tickets are $30 for the general public, $25 for MTH&M members. The VIP ticket which includes the meet and greet reception preceeding the event is $65. Please call (860) 247-0998 or click here.

# Writing Children's Books with Pegi Deitz Shea

Monday, March 14, 21, 28; April 4, 11,18; 6:30-8:30 p.m

Want to write for children and teens? Do you have ideas but don't know where to start and how to get published? Pegi Deitz Shea will show you the range of children's fiction, nonfiction and poetry, help you write your book, and teach you how to use constructive critique to improve your skills. Come away from the course with at least one manuscript ready to submit to an agent or editor.

$300. Please call (860) 247-0998 or click here.

# An Evening with D. Watkins

Tuesday, March 15, 6:30 p.m., preceded by a light supper at 5:30 p.m.

Presented in collaboration with the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center and Community Partners in Action

D. Watkins is an award-winning writer, educator, and speaker.

Watkins is a columnist for Salon magazine and his work has been published in The New York Times, The Guardian, NPR, The Rolling Stone, The Huffington Post, Aeon, AlterNet, The City Paper and other magazines. Watkins has been featured on Meet the Press and has been a reoccurring guest on CNN, NPR’s Monday Morning, Tell Me More, The Real News Network, Huff Post Live and The Marc Steiner Show who described Watkins as being “A brilliant phenomenon that needs to be heard.” Johns Hopkins Magazine writes, “Watkins storytelling is filling a void that mainstream journalism has left behind.” He has lectured at countless events and programs around the country. Watkins was the winner of Baltimore Magazine’s “Best Writer,” award for 2015 and featured in the Baltimore Business Journal as being one of the top 40 under 40 to watch. Watkins currently holds a Master’s in Education from Johns Hopkins University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Baltimore. He is a professor at Goucher University and runs a creative writing workshop at the Baltimore Free School. Watkins’ lives in east Baltimore. His debut essay collection The Beast Side, is available wherever books are sold. His memoir Cook Up, will be published by Grand Central in 2016.

$20 includes light supper before performance.  $15 for MTH&M and Stowe Center members. Please call (860) 247-0998 or click here.

# An Evening of Celtic Magic with Daniel GreenWolf

Wednesday, March 16, 7:00 p.m.

Just in time for St. Patrick's Day, we are delighted to have the comedic storytelling of Daniel GreenWolf back at the Mark Twain House, to perform for both young and old!

Daniel GreenWolf is an Award-Winning Magician, Writer, Creator, and Slightly Mad Irishman. Daniel has been voted as one of the Top Five Solo Variety Acts in the United States by the Renaissance Festival Podcast & Renaissance Magazine for five years in a row. 

Daniel has been featured in Two Independent Film Documentaries:

MAGIC CAMP and RENAISSANCE FAIRE: ONE YEAR OF BUILDING THE PAST The Magic of Daniel GreenWolf is a show that takes Highly Visual Magic, Theatrical Storytelling, Exhilarating Irish Music, Interactive Comedy, & Thrilling Danger and wraps it in a Celtic Theme that has been described as "A Witty, Modern-Day Celtic Viking. Like James Joyce with a Broad Sword."

To view a sample of this unique man of mystery, visit www.danielgreenwolf.com.

Tickets are $15/ $10 for Mark Twain House & Museum members. Please call (860) 247-0998 or click here.

# Writing in Mark Twain's Library

Thursday, March 17, 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

"To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement. To condense the diffused light of a page of thought into the luminous flash of a single sentence, is worthy to rank as a prize composition just by itself...Anybody can have ideas--the difficulty is to express them without squandering a quire of paper on an idea that ought to be reduced to one glittering paragraph." – Mark Twain

Sometimes, what we need to write our great novel, or even just a good page, is just a little peace and quiet. Throw in some inspiration from Hartford’s favorite author and we’d call that a successful morning. That’s why we’re host “Writing in Mark Twain's Library.” Sign up for a writing session in the Clemens family home: participants will have the house to yourselves. Feel inspired by the beautiful sounds of the fountain in the family conservatory; rest your eyes upon Twain’s bookshelves as you ponder your next word. You’ll spend three hours of quiet in the historic library of our very own Sam Clemens. No doubt you'll begin your own masterpiece.

This is NOT a writing course-- by popular demand, this program is uninterrupted writing time in the Twain House. A mini-residency of sorts.

ALL FUNDS FROM THIS PROGRAM go towards preserving and restoring the house.

Tickets for three quiet hours in Mark Twain's Library are $50. Please call (860) 247-0998 or click here.

# Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours

Saturday, March 19, 6:00, 7:00, 8:00 and 9:00 p.m.

We reprise our popular Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours for some winter fun. The Mark Twain House has been featured on Syfy Channel's Ghost Hunters and the Biography Channel's My Ghost Story.

On these tours participants will hear all these creepy tales -- and learn about Mark Twain's own interest in the supernatural.

Filled with haunted history, dark tales and Victorian traditions surrounding seances and spiritualism, these nighttime tours are as educational as they are goosebump-inducing.

Prior to the tour, we'll be showing the short film Ghost Tour, which was filmed in The Mark Twain House.

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

The tours are tsponsored by Tsunami Tsolutions.

 

Tickets are $22 for adults; $17 for members; and $15 for children 16 and under (recommended ages 10 and up.)

Call: (860) 247-0998 for more information & ticketing. Or, click here for tickets.

# SOLD OUT: Tom Tomorrow Mega-Book Launch!

Saturday, March 19, 7:00 p.m. preceded by a reception at 6:00 p.m.

Co-presented with Real Art Ways.

Tom Tomorrow will discuss his life and career in the world of political comics.

The moderator will be Gil Roth, podcaster of “Virtual Memories."

Tom Tomorrow (Dan Perkins) lives outside New Haven, Connecticut with his wife (a professor of modern political history at Yale University) and their twelve year old son.  His weekly cartoon, This Modern World,  appears online at The Nation, and Daily Kos, and in approximately 80 papers across the country.   His cartoons have also been featured in New York Times, The New Yorker,  The Nation, U.S. News & World Report, Esquire, The Economist,  and numerous other publications. 

He was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2015, and was the 2013 recipient of the Herblock Prize. He was also awarded the first place Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for Cartooning in 1998 and again in 2003.  Other honors include the first place Media Alliance Meritorious Achievement Award for Excellence in Journalism, the first place Society of Professional Journalists' James Madison Freedom of Information Award, the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism, and the Association for Education in Journalism Professional Freedom and Responsiblity Award.  He is the author of ten cartoon anthologies and one children's book, and in 2009 collaborated with the band Pearl Jam to create the artwork for their latest release, Backspacer.

In the summer of 2015 he raised $310,000 on Kickstarter to publish a comprehensive, thousand page, two-volume career compilation. Copies of this book will be available for sale at the event.

Followed by a book sale & signing.

This event is sold out!

Apr

April


# The MOuTH: April Fools - Stories About Getting Duped

Friday, April 1, 7:30 p.m.

The Mark Twain House & Museum continues "The MOuTH," a storytelling series with WNPR personality Chion Wolf.

The event is in no way a competition, just storytelling in front of friends in a museum dedicated to Mark Twain, one of our country's best storytellers.

Submissions are now open. Here's how it works: Email HartfordMouth@gmail.com with your name, approximate story length of LESS 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!), and a short description of what your story is about.

Wolf will look over the submissions and assemble a lineup. "If you don't get on the list, don't take it personally!" says Wolf. "It's our loss, and hopefully we can hear from you at a future 'Mouth' event."

There will also be a "Wild Card": Those wanting to tell a short story can put their names in a hat when they arrive, and at some point, a name will be picked.

Chion Wolf, technical producer, announcer, and photographer for WNPR, can be heard on the Colin McEnroe Show Monday through Friday at 1 and 8pm, and during breaks throughout the week!

$5.00 (Storytellers chosen for the lineup get in free.) Call (860) 247-0998 or click here.

# Film screening presented by the Jewish Community Center: "Are You Joking?"

Monday, April 4, 7:00 p.m. in the Lincoln Financial Services Auditorium at The Mark Twain House & Museum

Twenty-something New Yorker Barb Schwartz (Sas Goldberg) somehow ended up in a life that kinda... sucks. She has a paralegal job she hates, a drab studio apartment on Roosevelt Island, and an overbearing family who never lets her forget she's still single. When she is reunited with her childhood BFF, ballet dancer Billy (Jake Wilson), she is inspired to turn her life around by revisiting her first love: comedy.

Following the screeing, there will be a Q&A with the star of the film, Sas Goldberg. Julia Pistell will moderate. A reception will be held afterwards.

 

Ticketing information can be found here.

# An Evening with Ute Wartenberg Kagan, Executive Director of the American Numismatic Society

Tuesday, April 5, 7:00 p.m.

To celebrate the 2016 release of the Mark Twain Commerative Gold and Silver coins, we are pleased to present Ute Wartenberg Kagan, Executive Director of the American Numismatic Society, who will discuss all things coins and coin collecting.

Ute Wartenberg Kagan, whose research interest focus on ancient Greek coinage, has spent most of her academic career in the museum world. Since 1999 she has been the Executive Director of the American Numismatic Society and from 1991 to 1998 she worked as Curator of Greek Coins in the British Museum in London. She has organized many exhibitions in the British Museum and the ANS, including Drachmas, Doubloons and Dollars, The History of Money, which was opened at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in January 2002 by Alan Greenspan and attracted around 30,000 visitors. Dr. Wartenberg Kagan also co-organized with the Athens Numismatic Museum one of the earliest on-line numismatic exhibitions (Presveis: One currency for Europe), which was sponsored by funding from the European Union.

Dr. Wartenberg Kagan takes an active interest in current US coinage. In 2000 she testified in a hearing on coin design organized by the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. In 2002, she was appointed by the Secretary of the Treasury to the Citizens Commemorative Coin Advisory Committee and subsequently to the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, of which she was Chairman from 2003-2004. Since 2008 she has served as a Trustee of the Saint-Gaudens Memorial, which promotes the work of the sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens.

Her research interests focus on the early archaic coins and economy of Greece and the Achaemenid Empire, and in particular on the role of the earliest coins in electrum and silver in the 6th century BCE. She is also preparing a book on the coinage of the Thessalian city of Pherae, which examines the role of coinage in a region of Greece, which was primarily known for its agricultural richness. Since 1991, she has been working on Coin Hoards, a series dedicated to collecting all information on ancient Greek hoards, which she now edits with Andrew Meadows.

Educated in Saarbrücken, Germany, Dr. Wartenberg Kagan was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, where she got a doctorate in papyrology. Her publications include over 50 books and articles on papyrology and numismatics, including Coins Hoards VIII and Coin Hoards IX (with Andrew Meadows), After Marathon. War, Society and Money in Fifth-Century Greece;The Oxyrhynchus Papyri. Vol. LXIV. Dr. Wartenberg Kagan is frequently interviewed for newspapers, radio and television. In her spare time she works with her husband and daughter at her farm in upstate New York.

Ute Wartenberg Kagan, whose research interest focus on ancient Greek coinage, has spent most of her academic career in the museum world. Since 1999 she has been the Executive Director of the American Numismatic Society and from 1991 to 1998 she worked as Curator of Greek Coins in the British Museum in London. She has organized many exhibitions in the British Museum and the ANS, including Drachmas, Doubloons and Dollars, The History of Money, which was opened at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in January 2002 by Alan Greenspan and attracted around 30,000 visitors. Dr. Wartenberg Kagan also co-organized with the Athens Numismatic Museum one of the earliest on-line numismatic exhibitions (Presveis: One currency for Europe), which was sponsored by funding from the European Union.

Dr. Wartenberg Kagan takes an active interest in current US coinage. In 2000 she testified in a hearing on coin design organized by the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. In 2002, she was appointed by the Secretary of the Treasury to the Citizens Commemorative Coin Advisory Committee and subsequently to the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, of which she was Chairman from 2003-2004. Since 2008 she has served as a Trustee of the Saint-Gaudens Memorial, which promotes the work of the sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens.

Her research interests focus on the early archaic coins and economy of Greece and the Achaemenid Empire, and in particular on the role of the earliest coins in electrum and silver in the 6th century BCE. She is also preparing a book on the coinage of the Thessalian city of Pherae, which examines the role of coinage in a region of Greece, which was primarily known for its agricultural richness. Since 1991, she has been working on Coin Hoards, a series dedicated to collecting all information on ancient Greek hoards, which she now edits with Andrew Meadows.

Educated in Saarbrücken, Germany, Dr. Wartenberg Kagan was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, where she got a doctorate in papyrology. Her publications include over 50 books and articles on papyrology and numismatics, including Coins Hoards VIII and Coin Hoards IX (with Andrew Meadows), After Marathon. War, Society and Money in Fifth-Century Greece;The Oxyrhynchus Papyri. Vol. LXIV. Dr. Wartenberg Kagan is frequently interviewed for newspapers, radio and television. In her spare time she works with her husband and daughter at her farm in upstate New York.

This is a free event. Reservations are recommended. Please call (860) 247-0998.

# Humor Writing with Hank Herman

Wednesday, April 6, 13, 20, 27; May 11, 18 (skipping May 4); 6:00-8:00 p.m.

A sage once said, "There's a difference between humor writing and writing humorously." Humor writing - think Woody Allen, Tina Fey, Steve Martin - yes, that's hard. And probably can't be taught. But writing humorously - self-deprecating admissions about your own foibles; poking good-natured fun at irresistible targets in pop culture; exaggerating outrageously; etc.- these are all within every writer's reach. In this course students will take their best shot at funny-side up writing in essays, columns, blogs, memoir . . . or whatever genre tickles their fancy.

$300. Please call (860) 247-0998.

# THE TROUBLE BEGINS AT 5:30 -- Seema Sharma on Twain & India

Wednesday, April 6, 5:00 p.m. reception; 5:30 p.m. talk

Please note: this is the first, not second Wednesday of the month.

Fulbright scholar Seema Sharma, a professor of English Literature at Jai Hind College in Mumbai, India,  will speak on “Mark Twain and India.” During his round-the-world trip in the 1890s, whioch led to his final great travel work Following the Equator, Twain traversed the country, which he called “ the cradle for human race, birthplace of human speech, mother of history, grandmother of legend and great grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable and instructive materials in the history are treasured here"

This is a free event, but a $5.00 donation is requested and reservations are recommended. Please call (860) 247-0998 or click here.

# Emerson Theater Collaborative & The Mark Twain House & Museum present A Staged Reading of KING ARTHUR IN CONTEMPORARY CONNECTICUT By James C. Ferguson

Saturday, April 9, 7:00 p.m., and Sunday, April 10 at 4:00 p.m.

Emerson Theatre Collaborative and The Mark Twain House & Museum join to present a world premiere reading of KING ARTHUR IN CONTEMPORARY CONNECTICUT, a comedy by James C. Ferguson. 

A hilarious twist on Twain’s classic A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR’S COURT, this new play finds the legendary king magically transported forward in time to modern day Connecticut.  Can Arthur, Merlin, Lancelot and the nefarious Morgan Le Fay negotiate the complexities of life in the age of internet, smart phones, and casinos in the Nutmeg State? 

Directed by Theresa Broach, and Produced by Camilla Ross.

Performances will be at The Mark Twain House & Museum, the home where Twain worked on his version of the classic Arthurian legend, on Saturday, April 9th at 7pm and Sunday, April 10th at 4pm, and in the mystical land of Mystic at the United Methodist Church on Saturday, April 16th at 7pm and Sunday, April 17th at 4pm.

Tickets are $10.

For tickets for The Mark Twain House & Museum performances, please call (860) 247-0998 or click here.

For tickets for the Mystic performances, please visit www.emersontheatercollaborative.org

# The Art of Memoir with Bessy Reyna

Wednesday, April 13, 20, 27; May 4, 11; 5:30-8:30 p.m. (Limited to 12 participants)

Each of us has a story we can choose to tell or not tell, and Bessy Reyna's  workshop "Tell Me a Secret: Writing Your Memoir" has been enthusiastically received statewide. It is being expanded for this special class.

$300. Please call (860) 247-0998.

# Back for an Encore Performance: The Reformed Whores - Music & Comedy Duo

Thursday, April 14, 7:30 PM

MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY - They may be dressed in their Sunday best, but don't let their innocent smiles and southern charm fool you! If Tenacious D and Dolly Parton got drunk and had a baby it would be the musical comedy duo Reformed Whores! Southern bred, but NYC based, Marie Cecile Anderson and Katy Frame deliver hilariously dirty country tunes with a wink and a smile.

The Whores stay busy straddling both music venues and comedy clubs across the country and we are excited to welcome them to the Mark Twain House! To view these lovely sirens of sin in action, visit http://www.reformedwhores.com/#video

Tickets are $20/ $15 for Mark Twain House & Museum members. Please call (860) 247-0998.

# Volunteer Recruitment Open House

Thursday, April 14, 10:00 a.m.

Pitch In!

Join our sterling group of volunteers! The Mark Twain house is currently looking for volunteers to help in various capacities within the museum. If you are looking for a challenging and engaging volunteer opportunity, The Mark Twain House & Museum might be the perfect match for you.

We are always looking for volunteers and interns with the following skills:

• Graphic design
• Videography and editing
• Record-keeping/filing
• Customer service
• Organizational skills

We're having an open house for potential volunteers on April 14 at 10:00 a.m. Stop by and learn more.

Save the date! More details to follow.

# 5th Annual Writers' Weekend!

Friday, April 15, through Sunday, April 17

The 4th Annual Writers' Weekend at The Mark Twain House & Museum will run from April 15 to 17. The weekend will include lectures, workshops, panels, readings, receptions, and book signings featuring exemplary writers from all over the United States.  (Single day tickets are also available.)

The 2016 Keynote Speaker is Larry Kramer, an American playwright, screenwriter, public health advocate, and gay rights activist whose confrontational style of advocacy, while divisive, was credited by many with catalyzing the response to the HIV/AIDS crisis in the United States. He’ll be in conversation about his life, his work, and his latest book The American People: Volume 1: Search for My Heart: A Novel.

For all questions, please contact Jennifer LaRue, Director of Writing Programs, at jennifer.larue@marktwainhouse.org.

 

 

Mark your calendars now! Further information about Writers Weekend will be available shortly.

# AN EVENING WITH LARRY KRAMER

Saturday, April 16, 7:00 p.m. (Note: This has been rescheduled from February 6)

Larry Kramer is an American playwright, screenwriter, public health advocate, and gay rights activist whose confrontational style of advocacy, while divisive, was credited by many with catalyzing the response to the HIV/AIDS crisis in the United States. He’ll be in conversation about his life, his work, and his latest book The American People: Volume 1: Search for My Heart: A Novel a book he has been working on since 1981, and which was finally published as a novel in 2015. In the book, Kramer asserts that many iconic American historical figures, including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Mark Twain, were gay.

Kramer began his career rewriting scripts while working for Columbia Pictures, which led him to London where he worked with United Artists. There he wrote the screenplay for the 1969 film Women in Love, and earned an Academy Award nomination for his work. Kramer introduced a controversial and confrontational style in his 1978 novel Faggots. The book earned mixed reviews but emphatic denunciations from elements within the gay community for his one-sided portrayal of shallow, promiscuous gay relationships in the 1970s.

Kramer witnessed the spread of the disease AIDS in the early 1980s. He co-founded the Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC), which has become the world's largest private organization assisting people living with AIDS. Kramer grew frustrated with bureaucratic paralysis and the apathy of gay men to the AIDS crisis, and wished to engage in further action than the social services GMHC provided. He expressed his frustration by writing a play titled The Normal Heart, produced at The Public Theater in New York City in 1985. His political activism continued with the founding of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) in 1987, an influential direct action protest organization with the aim of gaining more public action to fight the AIDS crisis. ACT UP has been widely credited with changing public health policy and the perception of people living with AIDS, and raising awareness of HIV and AIDS-related diseases. Kramer has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his play The Destiny of Me, and has been a two-time recipient of the Obie Award.

This event is included as part of the Writer's Weekend package (April 15-17). Details on the Writers Weekend are available here.

The Mark Twain House & Museum Author Series is generously supported by The Hartford.

This event will be followed by a book sale and signing. Tickets are $25, and $20 for MTH&M members. The event is included in the package for participants in the Writers Weekend. Please call (860) 247-0998 or click here.

# BOOK/MARK--"Chasing the Last Laugh: Mark Twain's Raucous and Redemptive Round-the-World Comedy Tour" with author Richard Zacks

Thursday, April 21, 7:00 p.m.

In 1895, at age sixty, Mark Twain was dead broke and miserable--his recent novels had been critical and commercial failures, and he was bankrupted by his inexplicable decision to run a publishing company.   His wife made him promise to pay every debt back in full, so Twain embarked on an around-the-world comedy lecture tour that would take him from the dusty small towns of the American West to the faraway lands of India, South Africa, Australia, and beyond.

Richard Zacks’ rich and entertaining narrative provides a portrait of Twain as complicated, vibrant individual, and showcases the biting wit and skeptical observation that made him one of the greatest of all American writers.  Twain remained abroad for five years, a time of struggle and wild experiences -- and ultimately redemption, as he rediscovered his voice as a writer and humorist, and returned, wiser and celebrated. As he said in his famous reply to an article about his demise, "the report of my death is an exaggeration."

Weaving together a trove of sources, including newspaper accounts, correspondence, and unpublished material from Berkeley's ongoing Twain Project, Zacks chronicles  a chapter of Twain's life as complex as the author himself, full of foolishness and bad choices, but also humor, self-discovery, and triumph.

Moderated by Cindy Lovell, Executive Director of The Mark Twain House & Musuem.

The Book/Mark Series is supported by a generous grant from the George A. & Grace L. Long Foundation, Bank of America, N.A. and Alan S. Parker, Trustees. 

This is a free BOOK/MARK event and is followed by a book sale and signing. Reservations are recommended. Please call (860) 247-0998.

# Book/Mark: THE STATESMAN & THE STORYTELLER: JOHN HAY, MARK TWAIN & THE RISE OF AMERICAN IMPERIALISM with author Mark Zwonitzer

Tuesday, April 26, 7:00 p.m.

In the tradition of the bestselling historical works of David McCullough, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Stephen Ambrose, and Walter Isaacson, award-winning documentarian Mark Zwonitzer brings two extraordinary American figures--and friends--into the spotlight at a time when their country was taking center stage in the world.

John Hay, famous as Lincoln’s private secretary and later as secretary of state under presidents McKinley and Roosevelt, and Samuel Langhorne Clemens, famous for being “Mark Twain,” grew up fifty miles apart, on the banks of the Mississippi River, in the same rural antebellum stew of race and class and want. This shared history helped draw them together when they first met as up-and-coming young men in the late 1860s, and their mutual admiration never waned in spite of sharp differences in personality, in worldview, and in public conduct.

In The Statesman and the Storyteller, the last decade of their lives plays out against the tumultuous events of the day, as the United States government begins to aggressively pursue a policy of imperialism, overthrowing the duly elected queen of Hawaii; violently wresting Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines away from Spain, and then from the islands’ inhabitants; and finally encouraging and supporting a revolution to clear a path for the building of the U.S.-controlled Panama Canal.

Rich in detail, The Statesman and the Storyteller provides indelible portraits of public figures such as Teddy Roosevelt and Henry Cabot Lodge. Stunning in its relevance, it explores the tactics of and attitudes behind America’s earliest global policies and their influence on U.S. actions for all the years to follow. But ultimately it is the very human rendering of Clemens and Hay that distinguishes Zwonitzer’s work, providing profound insights into the lives of two men who helped shape and define their era.

This program will be moderated by Craig Hotchkiss, former Director of Education at the Mark Twain House.

Mark Zwonitzer is the author of a previous biography, Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone?: The Carter Family and Their Legacy in American Music, written in conjunction with Charles Hirshberg. That book was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. In addition, he is an acclaimed documentary film producer, director, and writer.

The Book/Mark Series is supported by a generous grant from the George A. & Grace L. Long Foundation, Bank of America, N.A. and Alan S. Parker, Trustees. 

This is a free BOOK/MARK event and is followed by a book sale and signing. Reservations are recommended. Please call (860) 247-0998.

May

May


# THE TROUBLE BEGINS AT 5:30 – Kevin Mac Donnell on “Mark Twain Kills a Boy”

Monday, May 9, 5:00 p.m. reception; 5:30 p.m. talk

Note: this is a special Monday Trouble Begins

Kevin Mac Donnell on “Mark Twain Kills a Boy” -- A detailed investigation into the truths and half-truths surrounding a burglary in the 1890s that resulted in the death of a teenage boy, who, according to an outraged newspaper editor, had been inspired to organize a gang of robbers based on Tom Sawyer's Gang. Mac Donnell is a bookseller and collector from Austin, Texas, whose generosity and scholarship is well known in Twainian circles

This is a free event, but a $5.00 donation is requested and reservations are recommended. Please call (860) 247-0998.

# BOOK/MARK & BEARD CONTEST -- "Of Beards & Men: The Revealing History of Facial Hair" with author Chris Oldstone-Moore

Wednesday, May 25, 7:00 p.m.

Beards—they’re all the rage these days.

Take a look around: from hip urbanites to rustic outdoorsmen, well-groomed metrosexuals to post-season hockey players, facial hair is everywhere. The New York Times traces this hairy trend to Big Apple hipsters circa 2005 and reports that today some New Yorkers pay thousands of dollars for facial hair transplants to disguise patchy, juvenile beards. And in 2014, blogger Nicki Daniels excoriated bearded hipsters for turning a symbol of manliness and power into a flimsy fashion statement. The beard, she said, has turned into the padded bra of masculinity.

Of Beards and Men makes the case that today’s bearded renaissance is part of a centuries-long cycle in which facial hairstyles have varied in response to changing ideals of masculinity. Christopher Oldstone-Moore explains that the clean-shaven face has been the default style throughout Western history—see Alexander the Great’s beardless face, for example, as the Greek heroic ideal. But the primacy of razors has been challenged over the years by four great bearded movements, beginning with Hadrian in the second century and stretching to today’s bristled resurgence. The clean-shaven face today, Oldstone-Moore says, has come to signify a virtuous and sociable man, whereas the beard marks someone as self-reliant and unconventional. History, then, has established specific meanings for facial hair, which both inspire and constrain a man’s choices in how he presents himself to the world.

This fascinating and erudite history of facial hair cracks the masculine hair code, shedding light on the choices men make as they shape the hair on their faces. Oldstone-Moore adeptly lays to rest common misperceptions about beards and vividly illustrates the connection between grooming, identity, culture, and masculinity. To a surprising degree, we find, the history of men is written on their faces.

Details on the Beard Contest will be announced soon.

The Book/Mark Series is supported by a generous grant from the George A. & Grace L. Long Foundation, Bank of America, N.A. and Alan S. Parker, Trustees.  

 

This is a free BOOK/MARK event and is followed by a book sale and signing. Reservations are highly recommended. Please call (860) 247-0998.

Jun

June


# THE TROUBLE BEGINS AT 5:30 – K. Patrick Ober on his book "Any Mummery Will Cure"

Wednesday, June 8, 5:00 p.m. reception; 5:30 p.m. talk

K. Patrick Ober, whose book Any Mummery Will Cure on Mark Twain’s lifelong interactions with medicine is a classic, will focus on the health issues that plagued the daughters of the Clemens Family in childhood – and which led to the deaths of two of them as young women. Presented in conjunction with our exhibit opening March 24: In Their Father’s Image: Susy, Clara and Jean Clemens. Dr. Ober is a  professor of Internal Medicine-Endicrinolgy and Metabolism at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina.

This is a free event, but a $5.00 donation is requested and reservations are recommended. Please call (860) 247-0998.

# The MOuTH: What a Coinkydink! - Stories of Serendipity

Friday, June 10, 7:30 p.m.

The Mark Twain House & Museum continues "The MOuTH," a storytelling series with WNPR personality Chion Wolf.

The event is in no way a competition, just storytelling in front of friends in a museum dedicated to Mark Twain, one of our country's best storytellers.

Submissions are now open. Here's how it works: Email HartfordMouth@gmail.com with your name, approximate story length of LESS 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!), and a short description of what your story is about.

Wolf will look over the submissions and assemble a lineup. "If you don't get on the list, don't take it personally!" says Wolf. "It's our loss, and hopefully we can hear from you at a future 'Mouth' event."

There will also be a "Wild Card": Those wanting to tell a short story can put their names in a hat when they arrive, and at some point, a name will be picked.

Chion Wolf, technical producer, announcer, and photographer for WNPR, can be heard on the Colin McEnroe Show Monday through Friday at 1 and 8pm, and during breaks throughout the week!

$5.00 (Storytellers chosen for the lineup get in free.) Call (860) 247-0998.

# Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours

Friday, June 24, and Saturday, June 25; 6:00, 7:00, 8:00 and 9:00 p.m.

We reprise our popular Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours for some summer fun. The Mark Twain House has been featured on Syfy Channel's Ghost Hunters and the Biography Channel's My Ghost Story.

On these tours participants will hear all these creepy tales -- and learn about Mark Twain's own interest in the supernatural.

Filled with haunted history, dark tales and Victorian traditions surrounding seances and spiritualism, these nighttime tours are as educational as they are goosebump-inducing.

Prior to the tour, we'll be showing the short film Ghost Tour, which was filmed in The Mark Twain House.

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

The tours are tsponsored by Tsunami Tsolutions.

Tickets are $22 for adults; $17 for members; and $15 for children 16 and under (recommended ages 10 and up.)

Call: (860) 247-0998 for more information & ticketing. Or, click here for tickets.

Jul

July


# Our Ice Cream Social!

Thursday, July 28, 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.

I scream, you scream, did someone say FREE ice cream?  The Summer heat is on its way, but we’ve got you covered (in sprinkles,that is)! The Mark Twain House & Museum invites everyone in for its 8th annual free Ice Cream Social on the Nook Farm Nook patio. 

Come on down and enjoy delicious frozen treats, sundaes with your favorite toppings ,and maybe some old fashioned lemonade from ‘Huck’s Lem’nade Stand’ If that’s not enough, how about a scoop of entertainment? There will be music, arts and crafts, and a story time for the little ones, and you’ve got a cool, fun filled recipe fit for the whole family!

The music for this event is generously supported by the Evelyn W. Preston Memorial Trust Fund, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee.

In addition, there will be discounted tours of the first floor of the Mark Twain House ($5 for adults, seniors, and children; under age 6 free).

Come have a pleasant summer evening of free ice cream, music, and more on the grounds of the historic Mark Twain House!

This event is generously supported by the George A. & Grace L. Long Foundation, Bank of America, N.A. and Alan S. Parker, Trustees.

Stick around after, for a rousing game of real-life CLUE Tours hosted by Sea Tea Improv inside the Mark Twain House. Please see the calendar entry for that event for prices & more information.

 

This is a free event!

# CLUE Tours of the Mark Twain House

Thursday, July 28, Tours step off every 15 minutes starting at 7:00 p.m.

Come for our Ice Cream Social from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. that evening and stay for the CLUE Tours!

CLUE Tours will be offered in a special, one-night-only edition at The Mark Twain House & Museum, using 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 (seateaimprov.com) 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 their witty interpretations of audience suggestions.  They perform 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 $22; museum members are $17; children 6 to 17 are $15.  To purchase tickets, please call (860) 247-0998.

# Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours

Friday, July 29, and Saturday, July 30; 6:00, 7:00, 8:00 and 9:00 p.m.

We reprise our popular Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours for some summer fun. The Mark Twain House has been featured on Syfy Channel's Ghost Hunters and the Biography Channel's My Ghost Story.

On these tours participants will hear all these creepy tales -- and learn about Mark Twain's own interest in the supernatural.

Filled with haunted history, dark tales and Victorian traditions surrounding seances and spiritualism, these nighttime tours are as educational as they are goosebump-inducing.

Prior to the tour, we'll be showing the short film Ghost Tour, which was filmed in The Mark Twain House.

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

The tours are tsponsored by Tsunami Tsolutions.

Tickets are $22 for adults; $17 for members; and $15 for children 16 and under (recommended ages 10 and up.)

Call: (860) 247-0998 for more information & ticketing. Or, click herefor tickets.

Aug

August


# Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours

Friday, August 26, and Saturday, August 27, 6:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.

We reprise our popular Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours for some summer fun. The Mark Twain House has been featured on Syfy Channel's Ghost Hunters and the Biography Channel's My Ghost Story.

On these tours participants will hear all these creepy tales -- and learn about Mark Twain's own interest in the supernatural.

Filled with haunted history, dark tales and Victorian traditions surrounding seances and spiritualism, these nighttime tours are as educational as they are goosebump-inducing.

Prior to the tour, we'll be showing the short film Ghost Tour, which was filmed in The Mark Twain House.

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

The tours are tsponsored by Tsunami Tsolutions.

$22 with discounts available for members and children. Please call (860) 247-0998 for more information & ticketing or click here.

Sep

September


# The MOuTH: Marked for Life: Stories of How You Got That Scar

Friday, September 16, 7:30 p.m.

The Mark Twain House & Museum continues "The MOuTH," a storytelling series with WNPR personality Chion Wolf.

The event is in no way a competition, just storytelling in front of friends in a museum dedicated to Mark Twain, one of our country's best storytellers.

Submissions are now open. Here's how it works: Email HartfordMouth@gmail.com with your name, approximate story length of LESS 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!), and a short description of what your story is about.

Wolf will look over the submissions and assemble a lineup. "If you don't get on the list, don't take it personally!" says Wolf. "It's our loss, and hopefully we can hear from you at a future 'Mouth' event."

There will also be a "Wild Card": Those wanting to tell a short story can put their names in a hat when they arrive, and at some point, a name will be picked.

Chion Wolf, technical producer, announcer, and photographer for WNPR, can be heard on the Colin McEnroe Show Monday through Friday at 1 and 8pm, and during breaks throughout the week!

$5.00 (Storytellers chosen for the lineup get in free.) Call (860) 247-0998.

# The Mark Twain House & Museum presents TAPPING INTO TWAIN Oktoberfest!

Friday, September 30, 5:30-9:30 p.m.

The party of the year featuring over twenty regional breweries, micro-breweries and home brewers plus over a dozen local restaurants and music.

This is the event the Hartford Advocate has called "absolutely, positively, without any doubt whatever, one of the best charitable events Hartford has beheld in quite some time." It routinely draws more than 350 guests.

 

Prices include all food, beverage and a collectible pint glass!

Supported in part by the Greater Hartford Arts Council's United Arts Campaign, with the support of the Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts.

More details to follow.

Oct

October


# Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours

Friday, October 7, Also October 8, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29; 6:00, 7:00, 8:00, 9:00, and 10:00 p.m.

We reprise our popular Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours for Halloween month fun. The Mark Twain House has been featured on Syfy Channel's Ghost Hunters and the Biography Channel's My Ghost Story.

On these tours participants will hear all these creepy tales -- and learn about Mark Twain's own interest in the supernatural.

Filled with haunted history, dark tales and Victorian traditions surrounding seances and spiritualism, these nighttime tours are as educational as they are goosebump-inducing.

Prior to the tour, we'll be showing the short film Ghost Tour, which was filmed in The Mark Twain House.

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

The tours are tsponsored by Tsunami Tsolutions.

Please call (860) 247-0998 for more information & ticketing. Or, click here for tickets.

# Capital Classics presents THE WAR OF THE WORLDS - A Radio-Style Play

Friday, October 28, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, October 29 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, October 30 at 2:00 p.m.

Prepared to be scared with this radio theatre performance of H. G. Well's classic “The War of The Worlds”!  Watch as the Capital Classics performers and a sound effect specialist put on a show made for radio right in front of your eyes.

“The War of the Worlds” tells the story of an invasion of Earth by inhabitants of Mars. It was very famously done as a radio play for Halloween 1938, which caused widespread panic as many listeners thought the broadcast was relaying real events.  “The War of the Worlds” was also been made into a films in the 1950s and again by Steven Spielberg in 2005.

Capital Classics, a non-Equity professional theatre company, was founded in 1991 to enrich the cultural environment of Greater Hartford through the theatre arts. We are committed to providing classical entertainment that is affordable, accessible and engaging; serving the community with cultural and educational programming; and providing job opportunities and training to Connecticut's professional theatre artists.

Ticktets are $20 ($15 for Mark Twain House members and Let's Go Arts members). Please call (860) 247-0998.

Nov

November


# The MOuTH - Chew on This: Stories About Things You Put In Your Mouth

Friday, November 18, 7:30 p.m.

The Mark Twain House & Museum continues "The MOuTH," a storytelling series with WNPR personality Chion Wolf.

The event is in no way a competition, just storytelling in front of friends in a museum dedicated to Mark Twain, one of our country's best storytellers.

Submissions are now open. Here's how it works: Email HartfordMouth@gmail.com with your name, approximate story length of LESS 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!), and a short description of what your story is about.

Wolf will look over the submissions and assemble a lineup. "If you don't get on the list, don't take it personally!" says Wolf. "It's our loss, and hopefully we can hear from you at a future 'Mouth' event."

There will also be a "Wild Card": Those wanting to tell a short story can put their names in a hat when they arrive, and at some point, a name will be picked.

Chion Wolf, technical producer, announcer, and photographer for WNPR, can be heard on the Colin McEnroe Show Monday through Friday at 1 and 8pm, and during breaks throughout the week!

$5.00 (Storytellers chosen for the lineup get in free.) Call (860) 247-0998.

Dec

December


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