SteppingStone Theatre Presents ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER World Premiere, 10/19-11/4


Adventures of Tom Sawyer plays Oct. 19-Nov. 4, 2012 at SteppingStone Theatre. Written by Mark Jensen and based on the book by Mark Twain, this world premiere features music by Gary Rue.

Tom Sawyer is just ³full of the Old Mischief!² Growing up in a little Mississippi river town in the 1800s means you need all your wits to get through the day, and Tom¹s certainly got Œem. But to win the heart of Becky Thatcher, solve a murder, and find a pirate¹s treasure in the middle of Missouri, it takes more than wits. It takes great imagination and the best friends a boy could have. SteppingStone presents a World Premiere production that brings the charm of Mark Twain¹s classic story to the stage.

SteppingStone Theatre has always made it part of their mission to foster the best local talent through commissioning new plays and music for their productions, many of which go on to be published and/or produced around the country. For this 25th Anniversary Season, SteppingStone continues that long history with three World Premiere productions. Tom Sawyer is part of that tradition, and engages two long-time SteppingStone collaborators, playwright Mark Jensen & composer Gary Rue.

Playwright Mark Jensen. An accomplished and award-winning playwright, Mark is an expert at crafting plays that speak to the entire family. SteppingStone Theatre has previously commissioned Mark to write three youth musicals, History Detectives: Landmark Center, Young Lindy, and The Finger Dance: A Deaf Girl¹s Journey Through Music. He is a consummate adapter of classic literature for the stage. In addition to the work for SteppingStone, Mark¹s other adaptations include Sherlock Holmes: Murder at the Abbey Grange, Jack London¹s The Sea Wolf, and the London After Midnight Play Series (Co-author) for Hardcover Theater. Mark¹s other plays include On-Line (Finalist 2006 STAGE International Script Competition; 2008 Ensemble Studio Theatre/Sloan Foundation Development Grant); The Benevolent Women¹s Craft Society (2003 Grindstone Award for New Comedy); and locally with Runestone (2004 Raw Stages Festival, History Theatre). He is the co-author of Scripting Our Lives: Oral History Theatre, a theatre textbook distributed by ArtAge Publications. He has a MFA in Playwriting from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and a BA in Theatre from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN.

Composer Gary Rue. Gary has been involved in many original SteppingStone productions, including The Stinky Cheese Man, Pinocchio, The Story of Hope, and Rainbow Crow. Gary has been composer and songwriter for many artists, including The Honeydogs, Helen Reddy, Nick Lowe, Butch Thompson, Laura MacKenzie, Maria Jette, The Rose Ensemble, Leslie Ball, Dan Chouinard, Bradley Greenwald, Christina Baldwin, Rio Nido, Jennifer Baldwin Peden, Debbie Duncan, Pat Donohue, Arne Fogel and many others. He is the founder of the internationally acclaimed pop quartet RUE NOUVEAU, and has created and co-created more than 70 theater musicals with over 2000 performances worldwide. Gary is also the composer (and vocalist) for many local and national commercials. His credits also include Music Director for Gene Pitney (Town Without Pity), 1986-2006, band leader for The Coasters, The Platters, The Marvelettes, The Shirelles, and others. He is a local songwriting clinician and lecturer and is the Composition and Music Theater Faculty Member at McNally Smith College of Music, St Paul, MN.

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