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Ron Jewell
Mark Twain At-Large

It was in the spring and fall of 1974 that Ron Jewell first donned a white suit and tried on the likeness of America’s greatest humorist, Samuel Clemens. In those days the characterization lasted just a few minutes, but it wasn’t long before Jewell found himself on the road touring full-time as his alter ego, Mark Twain. That first stage tour lasted over 30 weeks and included some 300 performances throughout the Midwest. Since those days, the repertoire has expanded and Ron has completed over 2000 plus appearances in over half the states of the US. Today numerous groups call upon Jewell and the “Missouri Wit” for a variety of conventions and theatrical presentations.

“Mark Twain At-Large” channels the seventy-plus year old Clemens one stormy night from his home called Stormfield in Connecticut. Racing in from the thunderous rains Clemens (a.k.a. Twain) invites the audience, his imaginary captured guests, into his private study for an intimate face to face conversation filled with stories and anecdotes taken directly from the literary pages. Jewell’s performance is personable and touching, and delivered as if the humorist is telling the tall tales and yarns for the very first time. Then as quickly as they came, the rains stop, his guests are finally given an opportunity to escape, and the charismatic philosopher sends them out into the night. You’ll believe that you’ve actually spent the evening with the real McCoy. 

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Recent Responses

South Jackson Civic Center in Tullahoma hosted our Ron Jewell in Mark Twain At Large as a part of our Performing Arts Series.  This show was awesome.  Ron was fabulous as Twain and the audience felt that they were in the presence of the man himself.  I have had so many people call and ask for his address so that they could write him a note -- something that has never happened with us before. 
 
The show was affordable and the tech was simple, and Ron was accommodating in every way.   If you are looking for a great show at a good price, this is the show for you.
 
By the way, we also had him speak with several classes of high school students. One of the instructors at the high school has asked if he produced a DVD that they could use in the classroom.  And, believe me, when our high school teachers ask that, they are paying the highest compliment.

Coleen Saunders,
Tullahoma South Jackson Civic Center

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In our schools, we are looking for ways and means to provide our children with hope so they can rise out of poverty.  Mr. Jewell provided a unique introspect into the process of an actor’s performance and preparation.  He opened himself up to questioning to a mass of students, kept them focused and opened their eyes to the many aspects of acting, not just the character portrayal itself.  Since the time he spent teaching our students, students have been asking how they can learn more about the things he introduced to them. 

It is difficult to describe my epiphany from exposure to Ron’s performance and the HUGE implications it has for my students.  We are in a high poverty situation where 100% of our students eat free.   Most are not successful in athletics past high school so we are searching frantically for vehicles for success outside our academic efforts.  After Ron’s appearance in our schools, I have decided that Theatre, and the processes associated with it, will be pointedly developed in the Blytheville Schools.  I guess it just took his intimate discussions with the students about the process involved in bringing his character to life, rather than just seeing his performance.
 
Therein comes the glimmer of light in hope.  Thanks, Ron, for the newest vehicle to success for our children.

 
Richard Atwill,
Superintendent of Blytheville Public Schools

 

Ron Jewell brought his Mark Twain at Large show to Columbia State Community College on September 11.  It was an extraordinary show.  Our students are not an easy audience to engage, many are there because they get extra credit for it, not because it's something they want to do, and yet they were completely transfixed by Mr. Jewell's portrayal of Mark Twain.  At times, you could have heard a pin drop.  And the show was nearly 90 minutes, so that speaks even more to Mr. Jewell's connection with his audience.  Let me quote from the review of the event by one of our Humanities faculty,  "Audiences sat still and mesmerized reminding us that even in this age of over-scheduling, Apple-TV-custom programming, and iPhone-checking that a single human performer interacting with a group of deeply engaged individuals can compel, captivate, and hypnotize a willing audience.  There is still something magical and ineffable about human-to-human interaction."  Ron brought all that and more to his performance.

In addition, he spent over an hour and a half with students earlier in the day, sharing his story and talking about the creative process.  The students thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to have a one on one with him and we appreciate his willingness to give so generously of his time and talent.

Dr. Janis de la Mer
History Professor, Columbia State Community College

 

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