Please note that The Mark Twain House & Museum will be closed on July 4th. Please visit us on the 3rd or the 5th when we'll be open for our normal hours. Thanks!
With the belief that more heads are better than one, freelance writer Theresa Sullivan Barger will lead monthly gatherings of writers to share the latest tips on freelancing, have all attendees share their progress on writing goals, discuss challenges and suggestions for how to approach a story or where to pitch a particular idea. The goal is for everyone to benefit from the wisdom of others. The group will be open to freelance nonfiction writers interesting in moving forward professionally from wherever they are. The hope is that we will be accountable to each other and report back on how we’ve done with our goals. The goal of the group is to serve as each other’s sounding boards, cheerleaders, coaches and mentors.
Tuesday, July 14, 7:00 p.m.
In 1971 Paulette Cooper wrote a scathing book about the Church of Scientology. Desperate to shut the book down, Scientology unleashed on her one of the most sinister personal campaigns the free world has ever known. The onslaught, which lasted years, ruined her life, and drove her to the brink of suicide. The story of Paulette’s terrifying ordeal is told in full for the first time inThe Unbreakable Miss Lovely. It reveals the shocking details of the darkest chapter in Scientology’s checkered history, which ended with senior members in prison, and the organization’s reputation permanently damaged.
‘A brilliant exposition of how a child who escaped the Nazis grew up to be hunted by the Church of Scientology' - John Sweeney
'A page-turner packed with barely believable facts. The details are worthy of John le Carre' - Jon Atack
This program will be moderated by Dan Perkins (a.k.a. Tom Tomorrow whose weekly comic strip This Modern World, which comments on current events, appears regularly in over 90 newspapers across the U.S. and Canada.)
Followed by a book sale and signing. This is a free event, but reservations are recommended. Please call (860)280-3130 or click here.
Thursday, July 16, 7:30 p.m.
The creative minds of Sea Tea Improv get professional in this night of improvised comedy. Without knowing any information in advance, these comedians will deliver Powerpoint Presentations, TED Talks, and other staples of business communication. The improv team will take both suggestions from the audience and from Twain axioms to piece together a night of comedy. Just don’t take their business advice too seriously—or Twain’s.
Sea Tea Improv (seateaimprov.com) is an improv comedy company professionally trained by Hartford Stage Company, ImprovBoston, and the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York that dazzles Hartford and beyond on a regular basis with their witty interpretations of audience suggestions. They perform short improvised games and long improvised plays at public & private functions, teach classes to students of all ages, and train professionals in the art of communication. They've performed all over Connecticut, New England, and up and down the Eastern Seaboard.
Tickets are $15 / $10 for MTH&M members. Please call (860) 280-3130 or clickhere.
Monday, July 6, 7:00 p.m.
July 6, 2015 marks the 71st anniversary of the Hartford Circus Fire. Continuing The Mark Twain House & Museum's tradition of remembering this anniversary, this year the museum presents the new young adult book Big Top Burning (by Laura A. Wollett)which investigates the 1944 Hartford circus fire and invites readers to take part in a critical evaluation of the evidence.
The fire broke out at 2:40 p.m. Thousands of men, women, and children were crowded under Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey’s big top watching the Flying Wallendas begin their death-defying high-wire act. Suddenly someone screamed “Fire!” and the panic began. By 2:50 the tent had burned to the ground. Not everyone had made it out alive.
With primary source documents and survivor interviews, Big Top Burningrecounts the true story of the 1944 Hartford circus fire—one of the worst fire disasters in U.S. history. Its remarkable characters include Robert Segee, a 15-year-old circus roustabout and known pyromaniac, and the Cook children, Donald, Eleanor, and Edward, who were in the audience when the circus tent caught fire. Guiding readers through the investigations of the mysteries that make this moment in history so fascinating, this book asks: Was the unidentified body of a little girl nicknamed “Little Miss 1565” Eleanor Cook? Was the fire itself an act of arson—and did Robert Segee set it? Big Top Burning combines a gripping disaster story, an ongoing detective and forensics saga, and World War II–era American history, inviting middle-grades readers to take part in a critical evaluation of the evidence and draw their own conclusions.
This is a free event, but reservations are required. Please call (860) 280-3130 or click here.
Wednesday, July 1, 7:00 p.m.
A remarkable history with elements of both In the President’s Secret Service and The Butler, The Residence offers an intimate account of the service staff of the White House, from the Kennedys to the Obamas.
America’s First Families are unknowable in many ways. No one has insight into their true character like the people who serve their meals and make their beds every day. Full of stories and details by turns dramatic, humorous, and heartwarming, The Residence reveals daily life in the White House as it is really lived through the voices of the maids, butlers, cooks, florists, doormen, engineers, and others who tend to the needs of the President and First Family.
These dedicated professionals maintain the six-floor mansion’s 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, 28 fireplaces, three elevators, and eight staircases, and prepare everything from hors d’oeuvres for intimate gatherings to meals served at elaborate state dinners. Over the course of the day, they gather in the lower level’s basement kitchen to share stories, trade secrets, forge lifelong friendships, and sometimes even fall in love.
Combining incredible first-person anecdotes from extensive interviews with scores of White House staff members—many speaking for the first time—with archival research, Kate Andersen Brower tells their story. She reveals the intimacy between the First Family and the people who serve them, as well as tension that has shaken the staff over the decades. From the housekeeper and engineer who fell in love while serving President Reagan to Jackie Kennedy’s private moment of grief with a beloved staffer after her husband’s assassination to the tumultuous days surrounding President Nixon’s resignation and President Clinton’s impeachment battle, The Residence is full of surprising and moving details that illuminate day-to-day life at the White House.
Followed by a book sale and signing. This is a free event but reservations are recommended. Please call (860) 280-3130 or click here.