Focus on Community/Arts
Kennedy Center Tour Comes to TPAC

Posted on Tuesday, April 05, 2005


WYE MILLS – The national tour of the Kennedy Center-commissioned production of Mark Twain’s classic American tale The Adventures of Tom Sawyer comes to the Rufus and Loraine Hall Todd Performing Arts Center (TPAC) at Chesapeake College on Friday, April 22 at 7 p.m. This show, part of TPAC’s Theatre for Young People Series, is suitable for age 7 and older.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, a musical adaptation conceived and written by Ken Ludwig with music and lyrics by Don Schlitz, chronicles the zany escapades of Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Becky Thatcher and all of their friends. This spirited version stays true to Twain’s original masterpiece by capturing the essence of youth and the American rural experience through its quick and clever song and dance numbers.

Playwright Ken Ludwig has authored several Broadway, Off-Broadway and West End plays and musicals including Lend Me A Tenor, Crazy For You and Moon Over Buffalo. He has recently completed a new play, Shakespeare in Hollywood, which was commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company. His latest work is an adaptation of the comedy Twentieth Century. His film credits include All Shook Up and Lend Me A Tenor. He is a founding member of the Shakespeare Theatre of Washington and has served on the New Play Committees of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.

Composer/lyricist Don Schlitz, a 1993 inductee into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, has authored numerous chart-topping hits including Kenny Rogers’ "The Gambler", Randy Travis’ "On the Other Hand" and "Forever and Ever Amen, " which he co-authored with Paul Overstreet. A native of Durham, N.C., he moved to Nashville in the ’70s to hone his songwriting skills. Schlitz got his big break in 1978 when Kenny Rogers hit number one with "The Gambler," which became one of Rogers’ signature songs and spawned a series of TV movies. During the ’80s, many other prominent artists recorded his songs, including John Conlee, Alabama, Tanya Tucker and Keith Whitley. One of his song commissions included composing the theme song for President George Bush’s "Points of Light" campaign.

Nick Olcott directs frequently for the Kennedy Center, including the world premieres and national tours of Judith Viorst’s popular Alexander plays (Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day and Alexander, Who’s Not Not Not Not Not Not Going to Move). This season he is directing Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the People’s Light and Theatre Company in Philadelphia and Jules Feiffer’s A Bad Friend for Theatre J in Washington, D.C. Recent credits include The Miracle Worker (Arena Stage), The Impresario/Viva la Mamma (Wolf Trap Opera Company), Heartbreak House (Round House Theatre), The Daughter of the Regiment (Boston Lyric Opera) and The Mad Dancers (co-directed with Liz Lerman at Theatre J). For the Voice of America, he has directed numerous plays for radio broadcast, including All My Sons (starring Julie Harris), Seven Days in May (starring Ed Asner), The Heiress (starring Amy Irving and Chris Noth) and The Best Man (starring Marsha Mason).

This event has been sponsored in part by the Queen Anne’s County Arts Council, the Talbot County Arts Council and the Maryland State Arts Council. Tickets for the show are $8. For more information or to reserve tickets, please call 410-827-5867.


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