Mark Twain scholar reenacts famous author at the TCA on December 8

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.” — Mark TwainOn Dec. 8, 2012, in honor of the Southern Michigan Railroad Society’s 30th anniversary, Mark Twain returns to Tecumseh to ride the rails and give a performance at the Tecumseh Center for the Arts. The visit is timed to coincide with the Dec. 26, 1868, visit Twain made to Tecumseh on his “American Vandal Abroad” tour across the United States.During his visit, Twain stayed in a downtown Tecumseh hotel and entertained residents with his witty commentary about his trip through Europe. Twain was well received by the community as he shared his memories of travel through Europe in 1867. After writing Innocents Abroad about his European travels, Twain went on the 1868 equivalent of a book tour across the U.S.Twain scholar Michael Bateson brings the author to life by sharing insights and thoughts from the speeches and writing of Mark Twain. He has spent 15 years studying this well-loved American author. Using stories and information, Twain comes to life onstage."As a student of the man, his life and his works, to be able to portray Mark Twain in the actual location in which he appeared is like a dream come true," said Bateson. "I look forward to bringing Mark Twain to the descendants of people he actually presented to. I would hope that we could establish a new Twain tradition."As a special holiday treat, the Southern Michigan Railroad Society is bringing Mark Twain back to ride the rails on Friday, Dec. 7, and spend time at different businesses in downtown Tecumseh and wander around the Candlelight Home Tour. Then on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 1 p.m., Michael Bateson presents “An Evening with Mark Twain” at the Tecumseh Center for the Arts. During the interactive two-hour performance at TCA, Bateson presents stories about Twain as well as Twain’s material. Following the afternoon presentation, Twain will travel to Clinton to participate in the Clinton Holiday Home Tour during the evening on Dec. 8. Tickets for “A Visit with Mark Twain” on the SMRS are $15 for adults and $9 for children two through 12, and available by calling the SMRS offices at 517.456.7677. Contact the TCA at 423.6617 for tickets to “’The American Vandal Abroad’ with Mark Twain,” which are $15 for admission. The profits from the Saturday TCA performance support the SMRS. Twain’s visit was made possible from a grant from the Elizabeth Ruthruff Wilson Foundation and a generous donation from Midwest Energy.

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