Library Showcase Past Events

Wednesday, October 26th, at 7:00pm at the SWOSU Fine Arts Center

Dave Ehlert Brings Mark Twain to Life

Dave Ehlert Brings Mark Twain to Life, Wed., Oct. 26 at 7:00pm at the SWOSU Fine Arts Center

On Wednesday, October 26th at 7:00pm at the SWOSU Fine Arts Center, Dave Ehlert will take the stage as Samuel Clemens to revisit "Mark Twain: 100 Years Later." Ehlert is a Branson, Missouri stage performer who travels the United States as part of a national, grant-funded program. This is a 90-minute performance (with intermission) and it will be open to the public.

Embracing the role of Mark Twain, Ehlert gives entertaining performances across the country with historical insight into this famous American literary author. Dave Ehlert began performing in 1967 as Elvis in what has become the longest running Elvis Tribute Show in the world. He has performed in 33 states, Mexico and Canada, as well as on a cruise ship in international waters. Since 1994 he has operated the first theatre ever built in Branson, the Owens Theater. There he widened his act to include tributes to many other characters including Tom Jones, Neil Diamond, Liberace, Willie Nelson, Conway Twitty, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Nat King Cole, Ray Charles, Hank Williams, and many more.

In 2004, he was "drafted" into the role of Mark Twain when the scheduled performer was unable to take stage. With a week's preparation, he took stage and remained silent for two minutes while looking at the audience and then, as Mark Twain himself said of his own first lecture, "I began to speak."

Performing six Twain programs a week for the first year in Branson and then taking the performance on the road, Ehlert's portrayal of Mark Twain has evolved into a richer, funnier, and more convincing performance. Professor Ben Click, who teaches Twain Studies at St. Mary's College in Maryland, made the following comments about his performance: "What I found most refreshing is that you clearly had absorbed the essence of Twain's words, and rather than just repeat them you found refreshing contexts in which to put them. It's obvious that you embrace your subject. One other comment I would make is that your audience were completely engaged in watching and listening to you." From Elvis impersonator to Mark Twain lecturer, the journey has been a long, wonderful and continuing quest for the complete Mark Twain story for Dave Ehlert.

To learn more about Dave Ehlert's performances, please visit "Breakfast with Mark Twain."

For more information about this evening event, please contact Jason Dupree, Head of Public Services, SWOSU Libraries, at (580)774-3031 or email