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Cape high school on list of stops for Mark Twain impersonator
An 1860s riverboat is scheduled to make a stop at Cape Girardeau Central High School in April.
Students and staff will participate in a statewide event commemorating Missouri writer Mark Twain. Twain impersonator Dr. George Frein will make 14 stops at libraries, historic sites and universities throughout the state, including Central's library April 13.
Organizations submitted proposals to participate in the annual statewide ReadMOre program. Central's program will transform the library into the 1861 riverboat Nebraska, said librarian Julia Jorgensen. Students and staff, she said, will dress in period costume and weave historical lessons into the performance.
"We will have students do juggling acts and card tricks because it is a riverboat," she said. Other students will demonstrate the contemporary "en plein air" art movement by doing sketches, she said.
Jorgensen said Twain was a passenger on the riverboat Nebraska, which traveled from Memphis to St. Louis and made a stop in Cape Girardeau.
"Some places like Cape Girardeau chose to relate it to what their connection is to Mark Twain in their community," said Sara Nielsen, chair of the statewide event. Other sites proposed loosely tied themes.
Frein, a professor at Furman University in South Carolina, will spend two weeks traveling throughout the state. Sites he will visit include Twain's boyhood home in Hannibal, Mo., Columbia Public Library and the Old Courthouse rotunda in St. Louis.
It is the ninth year for the event, which features touring authors. Last year's program featured Jane Smiley, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning "A Thousand Acres."
At Central, Frein will give half-hour presentations at 9:15 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. Students and staff will participate in a two-hour riverboat performance with Frein at 11 a.m.
"He is going to talk a little bit about how difficult it was to be a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi," Jorgensen said. During a question-and-answer session, Frein will answer questions as Twain and as an expert on the author.
The three presentations are open to the community. People who want to attend the riverboat performance can reserve a spot by calling the library at 334-0644.
1000 S. Silver Springs Road, Cape Girardeau, MO