America’s Favorite Humorist, Mark Twain, at South County October 23 Storyteller David Ehlert has Performed in Theaters and Libraries in 38 States
There’s hardly a person in America who hasn’t heard or used a Mark Twain (1835-1910) quote or quip. On Tuesday, October 23, people in the Roanoke Valley have the opportunity to hear a live portrayal of Mark Twain by Branson, MO-based storyteller, David Ehlert.
In 2004, Dave was drafted into the role of Mark Twain when the scheduled performer was unable to make it. He had one week to gather all the Twain background he could find and then walked on stage in full character, cigar in hand. For the first time in over 30 years, Dave felt something different on stage – nervous! He looked out at the audience and remained silent for two solid minutes, then, as Mr. Twain himself said of his own first lecture, “I began to speak.”
And speak he did. Performing six Twain programs a week for the first year in Branson and then taking Twain on the road to theatres and libraries across the country in 38 states. He has become absorbed in everything Twain. This is indicated in comments on Dave’s performance made by Professor Ben Click, who teaches Twain studies at St. Mary’s College in Maryland: “What I found most refreshing is that you clearly had absorbed the essence of Twain’s words, and rather than just repeat them you found refreshing contexts in which to put them. It’s obvious that you embrace your subject. One other comment I would make is that your audience were completely engaged in watching and listening to you.” Everywhere Dave has performed as Mark Twain, the consensus seems to be the same.
The performance is at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 23 at South County Library auditorium (6303 Merriman Road, Roanoke) and is free and open to the public. Seating is on a first-come basis with limited overflow seating available. Refreshments provided by The Friends of the Roanoke County Public Library will be served. Doors open at 6:00 p.m.
A Visit with Mark Twain is the second in a series of 19th century author performances hosted by the Roanoke County and Salem public libraries during Dead Authors Month. Jane Austen is this Saturday, October 20, and Edgar Allan Poe Comes Alive! is scheduled, appropriately, on Halloween.
Submitted by Penny Lloyd, Marketing and Information Manager, Roanoke County Library