Friday, June 14, 2013

Coming Up at the Mark Twain House: Storytelling, Persian Tea

Tom Lee
Tom Lee, Storyteller for Adults, Offers Five-Week Class 
A Good Tale WellTold, a five-week class taught by Mark Twain House Storyteller in Residence Tom Lee begins July 2.

Classes will be held on five successive Tuesdays, July 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30, from 6 to 8 pm. Participants will gain an understanding of the history of folktales from around the world and learn to tell stories in a compelling style with a unique voice.

On tap during the sessions:
  • considering how the structure of a story shapes its performance
  • Eploring improvisation in language and movement and discovering how the storyteller personally connects with the story and with listeners of all ages
  • Each participant will select a story to learn, develop, and perform
  • The final session will include a performance by participants in the museum's Lincoln Financial Auditorium for invited guests.
Lee is a professional storyteller with 20 years experience performing traditional stories, folktales and myths for adults and for children. Lee's repertoire is a rich trove of myths and stories from cultures around the world; some are centuries old, some originated thousands of years ago. He performs for adults in theaters and at festivals throughout the country. He is a frequent guest artist at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where he brings together his passion for research, art, story, and for connection with new audiences. In addition, he is a performing arts partner with the Yale Center for British Art.
The cost is $350 (5 weeks/10 hours total) Class size is 12. Call 860-280-3130 to register.
Book Launch/Presian Tea


The launch of "Harvest Of Gold," a new historical novel by Iranian-born novelist Tessa Afshar, will take place at The Mark Twain House and Museum on Monday, July 1, at 7 pm.

The free event will feature tea and Persian treats.

"Harvest of Gold" is set in biblical times: The scribe Sarah has married Darius and at times she feels as if she has married the Persian aristocracy, too. There is another point she did not count on in her marriage -- Sarah has grown to love her husband. Sarah has wealth, property, honor, and power, but her husband's love still seems unattainable.

Although his mother was an Israelite, Darius remains skeptical that his Jewish wife is the right choice for him, particularly when she conspires with her cousin Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Ordered to assist in the effort, the couple begins a journey to the homeland of his mother's people.

Will the road filled with danger, conflict, and surprising memories, help Darius to see the hand of God at work in his life and even in his marriage? A hidden message, treachery, opposition, and a God-given success, will lead to an unlikely bounty.

Afshar was voted "New Author of the Year" by the Family Fiction sponsored Reader's Choice Awards 2011 for her novel "Pearl in the Sand." Her book "Harvest of Rubies" was nominated for the 2013 ECPA Book Award (formerly known as the Gold Medallion) in the fiction category.

She was born in Iran to a nominally Muslim family, and lived there for the first 14 years of her life. She moved to England, where she survived boarding school for girls and fell in love with Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte before moving to the United States permanently.

Afshar holds an Masters of Divinity degree from Yale University where she served as co-chair of the Evangelical Fellowship at the Divinity School. She has spent the 14 years in full-time Christian service in New England.

A book sale and signing will follow the event. In addition, the museum will display its mosque lamp, which was damaged in a fall. The event will kick off a campaign to raise funds for its repair.

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

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