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Redding To Honor Mark Twain At Conference Saturday

REDDING, Conn. – Redding Twainiacs will have their day Saturday when the first annual Mark Twain conference takes place at the Mark Twain Library.

It will be followed with a dinner at the Roadhouse, featuring a performance by Alan Kitty, the noted Twain impersonator.

“Mark Twain, Author, Humorist and Neighbor,” the first scholarly conference devoted to Twain in Redding, takes place from 1-5 p.m.

Twain lived the last 18 months of his life in Redding, from 1908-10.

“Redding was his final residence,” said Brent Colley, a Sharon resident originally from Redding who organized the event for the Unicorn Writers Conference.

“He lived here for a short but very significant time of his life,” Colley said. “He wanted to establish the Mark Twain Library and it was the only one he founded. He funded it and filled it with books. The onus was passed on to the people of Redding, who took it on and made it happen. It was dedicated in 1911 and since then people have kept his vision alive.”

The free conference features Steve Courtney from the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, who wrote “The Loveliest Home That Ever Was,” about Twain’s home in Hartford. Also on the bill is James Nicoloro, a Redding documentary filmmaker working on a program on Twain. Susan Durkee, a portrait artist who lives on Mark Twain’s original property, also will take part in the program.

A dinner at the Redding Roadhouse takes place from 6:30-10 p.m. with tickets priced at $125.

Kitty, who has performed as Twain for 31 years, said, “I’ll give what Mark Twain would have called one of his lectures. It’s a combination of anecdotes, stand-up comedy and a little bit of Twain’s life history meshed together.”

If you’d like to attend the dinner, tickets are available at the door but send an email first to Jan Kardys at the Unicorn Writers Conference at Jan.kardys@gmail.com.

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