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September 11, 2006

Ken Richters to perform as Mark Twain Oct. 10

Ninety-six years after his death, Mark Twain is making an exclusive appearance in Monroe. Actor Ken Richters brings America’s beloved author and humorist back to life through his internationally touring one-man show, “Mark Twain on Tour – America’s First Stand-Up Comedian!” The performance will be presented at the Brown Theatre at ULM on Tuesday, Oct. 10 at 7 p.m.

Since 1981, Richters has delivered Twain’s monologues and thoughts on life, politics, and culture throughout the United States, Canada, and abroad. Richters uses a variety of materials from Twain’s writings, so that every production takes on a new direction each time the curtain goes up.

Richters spent two years researching, studying and preparing to emulate the personality and mannerisms of Mark Twain. For each performance, he undertakes more than two hours of makeup application to transform himself from a middle-aged, dark-haired actor to the crusty, gray-haired Twain in his seventies. When makeup is complete and Richters puts on Twain’s trademark white linen suit, he convincingly strides on stage as the beloved Mark Twain.

The actor first portrayed Mark Twain while a student in Connecticut. He went on to work in community theater, Broadway plays, soap operas, and television. Well known for his considerable vocal range, Richters has become a favorite in the field of commercial and industrial performing. He recently provided the voice of Twain for the controversial PBS Television documentary series “Culture Shock, Challenging Art.”

His television and radio commercial credits include Coca Cola, Sears, Sony Television, McDonalds, and Post-Newsweek. He has appeared as Mark Twain in print and television campaigns for AT&T, United Technologies, and Lloyds of London, and was the national commercial voice for A.J. Wright stores. His acting credits include featured performances on a number of network television series, and the starring role on the award-winning independent film Jean, which was filmed entirely on location at the historic Eugene O’Neill Center. Between motion picture and television engagements, Richters performs extensively in the legitimate end of show business, starring in such live stage productions as "Big River," "Promises, Promises," "George M," and "The Man Who Came To Dinner."

Ken Richters as Mark Twain was brought to acclaim in 1981, following a performance in Washington, D.C., where television newscasters from across the country had great fun covering Mr. Twain's salty comments to Members of the U.S. Congress. Since then, the production has traveled one-million tour miles, and been presented more than 1,000 times over the past 25 years - in all 50 states, Canada, and abroad.

Ken’s brother, Stephen Richters, is the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at ULM.

Tickets for the performance, which is sponsored by Campus Activities Board and the School of Visual and Performing Arts, are on sale now. Reserve your ticket by calling (318) 342-1414.

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