Mark Twain returns to WTA’s Gateway

Meet Mark Twain Ryan ClemensActor Ryan Clemens, relative of Mark Twain (pen name of writer Samuel L. Clemens) brought his show Meet Mark Twain to WTA’s Gateway in March 2013 and wowed the audience. There was a constant refrain to bring the brilliant actor back for an encore. Thanks to the Virginian Commission for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge, Clemens will return to Waynesboro for two performances, one at the Waynesboro High School and one at WTA’s Gateway onFriday, September 13. The Gateway performance is at 7:30pm.

Meet Mark Twain brings to life the celebrated American author and demonstrates that Twain’s wit and wisdom remain poignant and laugh-out-loud funny today, more than a century after his passing. It is an ideal vehicle for Twain’s descendent Ryan Clemens. When asked how close a relative he is to Clemens, he says, “Pretty far removed, but pretty darn close for a guy who died 100 years ago and left no direct descendents.” He laughs and adds, “Actually, I tell people that he’s my great-great-great-great-grandfather’s brother’s son.” Ryan, a member of the Virginia Stage Company, has been doing his Mark Twain for more than a decade. He was inspired by his acting idol, Hal Holbrook, who presented Twain in his classic one-person show.

The tour of Meet Mark Twain is part of the outreach of the Virginia Stage Company. The company has earned a reputation as one of the country’s foremost regional theaters, attracting the nation’s leading artists to the Wells Theatre stage. The Tony Award-winning musical, The Secret Garden, began its life at VSC, and its award-winning directors, designers and actors work in other theaters across the country as well as on Broadway, Off-Broadway, in film and television. VSC also employs professional artisans, technicians and administrators who conceive, design, rehearse and build each production specifically for its audiences in Hampton Roads. These theater professionals come to VSC from all over the country and become vital members of the Hampton Roads community.

Advanced Tickets for the performance are $5 for children under 16 and $10 for adults. Tickets on the day of performance are $7 and $12. Tickets may be purchased online at www.wtagateway.com or by call the box office at 540-943-9999.