Friday, June 17, 2011

Mark Twain Stamp to be Unveiled in Hartford

Gov. Dannel Malloy will unveil a new commemorative 44-cent "Forever" stamp, issued by the US Postal Service to honor Mark Twain, on Saturday, June 25, at 11 am -- the first day of issue and first day of sale.

The free event, to be held at The Mark Twain House & Museum at 351 Farmington Ave., Hartford, also will include Hartford Postmaster Judith Martin and honored guests. A special hand cancellation of the stamp on specially designed envelopes commemorating the event -- also known as "first day covers" -- will be available for sale to the public and stamp collectors.

"We are delighted to be able to mark the release of this important national honor for America's great author here at the home that he loved, and where he created so many wise and funny works," said Jeffrey Nichols, Executive Director of The Mark Twain House & Museum.

The Postal Service has not issued a stamp honoring Mark Twain himself since 1940 -- when the issuing agency was still called the United States Post Office.

The official release of the stamp will be from the town where Samuel L. Clemens lived as a child: Hannibal, Missouri. But the Hartford ceremony will include the unique hand cancellation from "Mark Twain House &; Museum Station," a temporary, one-day-only designation courtesy of the USPS and the Hartford Post Office. Andy Doback, a member of The Connecticut Cover Club, designed the cancellation artwork for the USPS.

The cancellation will be done on a printed envelope portraying Twain and the Mark Twain House. Anthony Dewey, also a member of The Connecticut Cover Club, created the design. The Connecticut Cover Club, an affiliate of the American First Day Cover Society, has provided generous assistance for this event.

The "unofficial" first day covers thus produced will be available for purchase for $3 after the unveiling ceremony, and then at the Mark Twain Museum Store. The stamps themselves will also be available for sale in the store.

Postal Service art director and designer Phil Jordan collaborated with artist Gregory Manchess on the Mark Twain stamp. Manchess based his portrait of Twain on a photograph taken around 1907. The stamp's background evokes several of Twain's works set along the Mississippi River of his youth.

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Lauren Yarger with playwright Alfred Uhry at the Mark Twain House. Photo: Jacques Lamarre)

My Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced
numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont
Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.”

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway
League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway

She was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill
Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater (the only ones you can find in the US with an added Christian perspective) at She
is editor of The award-winning Connecticut Arts Connection (,

She is a theater reviewer for the Manchester Journal-Inquirer. She previously served as Contributing Editor for, Connecticut theater editor
for and as Connecticut and New York reviewer for American Theater Web. Yarger is a book reviewer and writer for Publishers Weekly and freelances for other sites. She is a member of the National Book Critics Circle.

She is a freelance writer and playwright and member of The Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association and The League of Professional Theatre Women. She served as a judge for the SDX Awards presented
by the Society of Professional Journalists. She also is a member of the Connecticut Critics Circle (awards committee).

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger also worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts,
the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and served for nine years as the Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. She lives with her husband in West Granby, CT. They have two adult children.

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