What's New

Closed Tuesdays in Jan & Feb

The Mark Twain House & Musuem is open Wednesday through Monday from 9:30am to 5:30pm. The last tour departs at 4:30pm. However, please note that we will be closed on Tuesdays in January and February. Hope to see you soon for a tour!

Reading of "Elementary, My Dear Fellow" - A New Play about William Gillette by Shera Cohen

Thursday, February 11, 7:00 p.m.

A Reading of “Elementary, My Dear Fellow,” a play in one-act by Shera Cohen

“Elementary, My Dear Fellow” tells the story of William Gillette, renowned actor/playwright/inventor, Hartford born and bred, and most importantly, the original Sherlock Holmes. In 1896, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle literally handed his celebrated books to this constantly employed yet rarely satisfied American actor, telling Gillette to do whatever he pleased with Sherlock as he was tired and bored with the detective. This was the impetus to Gillette’s famous and long career. Gillette not only molded the Holmes’ stories into plays and wrote many of his own creation, it was Gillette who dressed Holmes in what has now become the character’s instantly recognizable image.

However, William Gillette was far more than Sherlock Holmes. Admittedly, even Gillette often entangled the two – man and character – through much of his later career and life. The play is William Gillette’s journey onto the stage, the people who helped him, his joys and tragedies. It may not be surprising that Gillette was a rather quirky, sometimes naďve, and enigmatic man…certainly, a man worthy of meeting.

Cast List &  Readers

William Gillette read by Martin Shell

Charles Frohman read by Frank Aronson

Helen Nichols read by Jarice Hanson

Yukitaka Osaki read by Luis Manzi

Arthur Conan Doyle read by Tim O’Brien

Woman read by Kristen Anne Ferraro

Man read by Keith Purcell

Narrator/Stage Manager -- Julie Waggoner          

There will be a free will offering taken. Reservations are recommended. Please call (860) 247-0998 or click here.

An Evening with Karen Finley: "Shock Treatment"

Wednesday, February 17, 7:00 p.m.

Co-presented with Real Art Ways.

No other artist captures the drama and fragility of the AIDS era as Karen Finley does in her 1990 classic book Shock Treatment. "The Black Sheep," "We Keep Our Victims Ready," "I Was Never Expected to Be Talented,"--these are some of the seminal works which excoriated homophobia and misogyny at a time when artists and writers were under attack for challenging the status quo. This twenty-fifth anniversary expanded edition features a new introduction in which Finley reflects on publishing her first book as she became internationally known for being denied an NEA grant because of perceived obscenity in her work. She traces her journey from art school to burlesque gigs to the San Francisco North Beach literary scene. A new poem reminds us of Finley's disarming ability to respond to the era's most challenging issues with grace and humor.

KAREN FINLEY's raw and transgressive performances have long provoked controversy and debate. She has appeared and exhibited her visual art, performances, and plays internationally. The author of many books including A Different Kind of IntimacyGeorge & Martha, and The Reality Shows, she is a professor at the Tisch School of Art and Public Policy at NYU.

Tickets are $20, and $15 for MTH&M members. Please call (860) 247-0998 or clickhere.

Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra -- "Voices of Connecticut Poets: Wallace Stevens and Elizabeth Hamilton"

Saturday, February 20, 7:30 p.m.

The Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra (HICO) is presenting a celebration of local poets with its new concert at the Mark Twain House & Museum.

The program features the poetry of Wallace Stevens and Elizabeth Hamilton on a concert of contemporary chamber orchestra music. Hailed as “an invaluable addition to the Hartford musical scene” by composer-critic Robert Carl, HICO is presenting the music of Thomas Albert (Thirteen Ways) and premiering a commission by Jessica Rudman with support from the City of Hartford Arts & Heritage Jobs Grant Program. They are joined by mezzo-soprano Charity Clark. For more information on HICO, visit www.HICOrchestra.com

Please be advised the program includes adult themes & language.

Comprised of a roster of premier Hartford-based musicians HICO is devoted to enrichment through superb artistry and engaging audiences across Greater Hartford. Now entering its eighth concert season, HICO has appeared as guests with the Women Composers Festival of Hartford, Central Connecticut State University, Charter Oak Jewish Arts & Culture Festival, and The Hartt School of the University of Hartford, among others. Their 2015 - 2016 concert season includes a residency at Eastern Connecticut State University and five commissioned premieres.

Tickets are $20 for adults / $15 for Seniors, Mark Twain House & Museum Members & Let's Go Members / $10 for students. Please call (860) 247-0998 or click here.

Hartford Opera Theater and The Mark Twain House & Museum present the American Premier of Mark Twain’s MYSTERIOUS 44

Friday, February 26, and Saturday, February 27, both evenings at 7:30 p.m. (A snow date of Sunday, Feb. 28 is planned if needed.)

An ultra-modern take on a fiendishly old tale!

The Mysterious Stranger is the final novel attempted by the American author Mark Twain. He worked on it periodically from 1897 through 1908. The body of work is a serious social commentary by Twain addressing his ideas of the Moral Sense and the "damned human race". Twain wrote multiple versions of the story; each is unfinished and involves a supernatural character called "Satan" or "No. 44".

Now, a contemporary opera, presented in collaboration with the Hartford Opera Theater (HOT), has been based on The Mysterious Stranger.  Come see the U.S. premiere of "Mysterious 44" by British composer Kevin Malone.  The production is directed by Kristy Chambrelli, conducted by HOT's music director Joe Hodge, and feature the HOT debut of interactive multimedia designer Jarrod Ratcliffe. 

This production is generously supported by The Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation.

Tickets are $25, and $20 for MTH&M members. Please call (860) 247-0998or clickhere.

AN EVENING WITH LARRY KRAMER

This event has been rescheduled from February 6, to April 16 at 7:00 p.m. TIcket-holders have been contacted via email.

Larry Kramer is an American playwright, screenwriter, public health advocate, and gay rights activist whose confrontational style of advocacy, while divisive, was credited by many with catalyzing the response to the HIV/AIDS crisis in the United States. He’ll be in conversation about his life, his work, and his latest book The American People: Volume 1: Search for My Heart: A Novel a book he has been working on since 1981, and which was finally published as a novel in 2015. In the book, Kramer asserts that many iconic American historical figures, including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Mark Twain, were gay.

Kramer began his career rewriting scripts while working for Columbia Pictures, which led him to London where he worked with United Artists. There he wrote the screenplay for the 1969 film Women in Love, and earned an Academy Award nomination for his work. Kramer introduced a controversial and confrontational style in his 1978 novel Faggots. The book earned mixed reviews but emphatic denunciations from elements within the gay community for his one-sided portrayal of shallow, promiscuous gay relationships in the 1970s.

Kramer witnessed the spread of the disease AIDS in the early 1980s. He co-founded the Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC), which has become the world's largest private organization assisting people living with AIDS. Kramer grew frustrated with bureaucratic paralysis and the apathy of gay men to the AIDS crisis, and wished to engage in further action than the social services GMHC provided. He expressed his frustration by writing a play titled The Normal Heart, produced at The Public Theater in New York City in 1985. His political activism continued with the founding of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) in 1987, an influential direct action protest organization with the aim of gaining more public action to fight the AIDS crisis. ACT UP has been widely credited with changing public health policy and the perception of people living with AIDS, and raising awareness of HIV and AIDS-related diseases. Kramer has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his play The Destiny of Me, and has been a two-time recipient of the Obie Award.

The Mark Twain House & Museum Author Series is generously supported by The Hartford.

This event will be followed by a book sale and signing. Tickets are $25, and $20 for MTH&M members. Please call (860) 247-0998 or click here.

Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours

Friday, February 26, and Saturday, February 27, 6:00, 7:00, 8:00 and 9:00 p.m.

We reprise our popular Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours for some winter fun. The Mark Twain House has been featured on Syfy Channel's Ghost Hunters and the Biography Channel's My Ghost Story.

On these tours participants will hear all these creepy tales -- and learn about Mark Twain's own interest in the supernatural.

Filled with haunted history, dark tales and Victorian traditions surrounding seances and spiritualism, these nighttime tours are as educational as they are goosebump-inducing.

Prior to the tour, we'll be showing the short film Ghost Tour, which was filmed in The Mark Twain House.

The tours sell out fast, so be sure to call (860) 247-0998 soon to make your reservations!

The tours are tsponsored by Tsunami Tsolutions.

Tickets are $22 for adults; $17 for members; and $15 for children 16 and under (recommended ages 10 and up.)

Call: (860) 247-0998 for more information & ticketing. Or, click here for tickets.

CLUE Tours of the Mark Twain House

Saturday, February 20, Tours step off every 15 minutes starting at 7:00 p.m.

CLUE Tours will be offered in a special, one-night-only edition at The Mark Twain House & Museum, using the various rooms (secret passageway, conservatory, billiards room, and more) of the Twain house -- and some of the author's favorite literary characters -- as part of the game. 

Who killed that varmint Pap Finn? Was it Tom Sawyer in the Library with the Wrench? Merlin in the Billiard Room with the Knife? The Pauper in the Kitchen with the Rope?

Play our live-action version of the classic board game CLUE in an hour-long tour featuring the famed comedy troupe SEA TEA IMPROV as Twain's beloved characters/suspects. CLUE Tours provide all the murder, mayhem and merriment you expect in a whodunit. Our Clue Tours were featured on an episode of the Travel Channel show Wackiest Tours!

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.

This event is supported by Webster Bank.

Reservations are required, and tours sell out, so please book early. Tickets are $22; museum members are $17; children 6 to 17 are $15.  To purchase tickets, please call (860) 247-0998 or click here.

Become a Member

Check out our new $35 Twainiac membership category.

Download Brochure

Want a hard copy of our information for your trip? Download and print a PDF.