by Mark Twain
Part of "The Big Read"
April 24, 25, 26 and May 1, 2, 3
Fridays and Saturdays - 8pm
Sunday Matinees - 2pm
Foothills Performing Arts Center
24 Market Street
No reservations required
seating first come
Foothills Performing Arts Center has been awarded, for the second year in a row, a grant to conduct a National Endowment for the Arts initiative called THE BIG READ. At a time when reading for pleasure and enlightenment, as opposed to literacy per se, is at a disturbing historic low (less than 50% of the adult population reads), this program is an urgently needed remedy.
Briefly, communities engage in The Big Read focus for one month on one specific book chosen from a list compiled by the NEA. All levels of the population are urged to read the book while participating in numerous activities organized around it: theater productions, films, contests, panel discussions, spelling bees, art exhibitions, concerts, etc. The hope is that the pleasure of reading one book will lead to an exploration of the world of literature for similar experiences with many other books.
This year Foothills Performing Arts Center has chosen Mark Twain's "THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER." Between April 18 and May 16, residents of Chenango, Delaware and Otsego Counties will have the opportunity to steep themselves in the text and related themes of this American classic.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is not merely a literary classic. It is part of the American imagination. More than any other work in our culture it established America's vision of childhood. Mark Twain created two fictional boys, Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, who still seem more real than most of the people we know. In a still puritanical nation, Twain reminded adults that children were not angels, but fellow human beings, and perhaps all the more lovable for their imperfections and bad grooming. Neither American literature nor America has ever been the same.
The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to revitalize the role of literary reading in American popular culture. Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America, a 2004 NEA report, identified a critical decline in reading for pleasure among American adults. The Big Read addresses this issue by bringing communities together to read, discuss, and celebrate books and writers from American and world literature.
A great book combines enlightenment with enchantment. It awakens our imagination and enlarges our humanity. It can even offer harrowing insights that somehow console and comfort us. Whether you're a regular reader already or making up for lost time, thank you for joining The Big Read.