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40 local actors to premiere 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer' Friday
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The local production of 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer' features Nick Flott, left, as Tom Sawyer and Cal Bookhoop as Huckleberry Finn. - photo by Tony Phillips/Special

  Although Mark Twain has no living direct descendants, his legacy lives on in the children of his imagination, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.
      You can watch Twain’s imagination come to life this weekend at performances of “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.” Shows inside the Emma Kelly Theater are set for 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. General admission tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for youth. Call 212-2787 for ticket information.
      Statesboro’s Tony Phillips is producing and directing the stage adaptation that features a cast of more than 40 local actors who depict life in small town America in the 1850’s.
      Samuel Langhorne Clemens first used the pen name Mark Twain in 1863, two years before the end of the Civil War.  The play depicts life in Hannibal, Missouri, much as it was when Twain was a child. Tom Sawyer is a boy in love with the girl next door, Becky Thatcher. His romance problems are soon eclipsed, however, as he and his friends, Huck Finn and Joe Harper, witness a murder while playing pirates. 
      Twain died 100 years ago, on April 21, 1910, but his Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is still cited today as one of the classics of satiric social commentary. Many of his other works are still well-known, including The Prince and the Pauper, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, and, of course The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
     While childhood today might be less about fishing and more about texting, children--and anyone who was ever a child--can still appreciate this classic tale of the indomitable optimism of youth in the face of the most daunting realities.