Ron Jewell Stars as Mark Twain in 4/21 Performance at Cumberland County Playhouse

April 18
11:34 AM 2012


Ron Jewell first assumed the likeness of writer Samuel Clemens in 1974, soon after finding himself on the road touring full-time as his alter ego, Mark Twain. That tour lasted over 30 weeks and included 300-some performances throughout the Midwest.

Since then, Jewell has completed some 2,000 appearances in over half the states of the United States, and on April 21 at 8 p.m. in the Adventure Theater at the Cumberland County Playhouse, he once again dons the famous white suit of America's most beloved humorist in Mark Twain At Large.

Mark Twain At Large is a one-man theatrical tour de force that introduces audiences to the 70-plus-year-old Twain on a stormy night in his Connecticut home. Racing in from thunderous rains, he invites the audience into his study for an intimate conversation filled with stories and anecdotes taken directly from Twain's writings. Jewell's performance has been hailed across the country as "personable and touching," as critics and audience members alike have delighted in his retelling of Twain's tall tales.

Jewell is a graduate of Nashville's Belmont University and has worked in dinner theatre, summer stock and film. He regularly performs in trade and industrial shows both in and out of his Mark Twain persona. In 1994, he opened the new Performing Arts and Conference Center in Bartlett, Tennesse, as its director. In 2003 and again in 2004, Jewell was named to Memphis Magazine's "Top 100 Who's Who in Memphis" for his work at the arts center.

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Jeffrey Ellis Jeffrey Ellis is a Nashville-based writer, editor and critic, who's been covering the performing arts in Tennessee for more than 25 years. He is the recipient of the Tennessee Theatre Association's Distinguished Service Award for his coverage of theatre in the Volunteer State and was the founding editor/publisher of Stages, the Tennessee Onstage Monthly. He is a past fellow of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center and is the founder/executive producer of The First Night Honors - the history of which can be traced to 1989 and the first presentation of The First Night Awards - which honor outstanding theater artisans from Tennessee in recognition of their lifetime achievements and also includes The First Night Star Awards and the Most Promising Actors recognition. Midwinter's First Night honors outstanding productions and performances throughout the state. An accomplished director, Ellis helmed productions of La Cage Aux Folles, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and An American Daughter, all in their Nashville premieres, as well as award-winning productions of Damn Yankees, Company, Gypsy and The Rocky Horror Show. Ellis was recognized by The Tennessean as best director of a musical for both Company and Rocky Horror. In 2015, he directed William Inge's Picnic for Circle Players and Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years for VWA Theatricals, with The Larry Keeton Theatre's production of Beth Henley's The Miss Firecracker Contest set for spring 2016.

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