Celebrated Author, Mark Twain, Set to Visit CenterStage

CenterStage at the Jewish Community Center welcomes J.R. Stuart in “The Gospel According to Mark” for two performances, August 20 and 21. Adapted from the words of Mark Twain by Stuart, this one-man tour-de-force shows the celebrated author at the peak of his literary career and as he looks back and while putting together his autobiography.


Stuart is a Theatre Performance graduate of Ball State University and has more than two-hundred stage productions to his credit including national tours of “Chicago”, “Brigadoon”, and “Gigi.” “The Gospel According to Mark” is not Stuart’s first one-man show. He toured the United States portraying President Truman in Samuel Gallu’s “Give ‘em Hell Harry!”

Stuart has been the resident character actor at Derby Dinner Playhouse in Clarksville, Indiana since 1990. “The Gospel According to Mark” began as a senior thesis project at Ball State and grew into a full-length literary portrait that explores both sides of the Sam Clemens/Mark Twain coin.

The two act play explores Twain’s writings on truth, conscience, meaning, freedom, equality, and man’s relationship with God. Act One begins with Twain providing his humorous takes on the joys of traveling by rail and even portraying all the characters in “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” himself.

Act Two shows Twain, a decade older, reminiscing about the carefree days of his childhood, his mother and early family life. He tries to reconcile his literary success with his multiple personal losses. This “Lincoln of American Literature” is as candid and relevant today as he was a century ago – a true original to be celebrated.

CenterStage will present “The Gospel According to Mark” for 2 performances only, Saturday, August 20 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, August 21 at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $15 per person. For information or ticket reservations, call 502-459-0660.

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