Set in St. Petersburg (Hannibal), Missouri, along the Mississippi River, Tom Sawyer tells the coming-of-age story of the community's most mischievous boy. Tom fights a bully, gets his friends to help him whitewash a fence, falls in love with Becky Thatcher, loses her to Alfred Temple, puts together a pirate gang with Huck Finn and the other town boys, runs away from home and comes back to witness his own funeral, wins a Bible scripture contest, and witnesses a murder. Tom initially recoils from telling the truth about Injun Joe's framing of drunk Muff Potter for the murder but ultimately steps forward to "do the right thing" and saves Muff's life in the final courtroom scene. The play is about learning to be a "stand-up" person even in the face of tremendous danger. Tom finally wins the confidence of the community and Becky's love by his behavior in the courtroom, which is where the play ends (a little earlier than the book). The play draws some of its material from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, including the founding of the pirate gang, to enhance the telling of the story from the point of view of young people. Performers will feel they are in a historical (and hysterical) true slice of life. The satire of Mark Twain comes through and makes the theater experience equally wonderful for adults. The play can be shaped to the size of your performing group. Some roles can be doubled, chorus roles can be added, and some of the smaller town boys' roles can be performed by girls. Both theatergoers and participants will enjoy this true-to-Mark Twain adventure into the world of these delightful classic American characters.
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