17-year-old picked to create new Tom Sawyer Noah Altshuler poses in Groton, Mass. Tom Sawyers author, Mark Twain, appears at left (AP Photos / Ellen Harasimowicz)
17-year-old picked to create new Tom Sawyer
Lexile

A new stage adaptation of "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" has been commissioned. It will be written by an up-and-coming playwright. The writer isn't much older than Sawyer was in the landmark book.

The Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, Connecticut has picked 17-year-old Noah Altshuler. The Twain group wants him to go back to the famous novel and build a play from it this summer. First, he will visit key Twain locations like Hannibal, Missouri and Elmira, New York.

"It's an effort, above all, to bring the quintessential American boy to a new generation. His importance is greater than it's ever been," said Altshuler. "I've found Twain to be so relatable and so important in my life."

Altshuler was born and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He admits to being a president James Garfield junkie. He already has had his play "Making the Move" featured at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It's been licensed by more than 50 schools across the country. He hopes to return to the festival this year with a sequel.

Altshuler's play will be adapted primarily from "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer." It will also include elements drawn from "Tom Sawyer Abroad" and "Tom Sawyer, Detective." Altshuler has been named a playwright-in-residence. He will have access to Twain's archives.

The tale of Sawyer has been made into films, TV movies, a ballet and stage musicals. In the story, he whitewashes a fence, escapes to an island and tries to live without adults, witnesses a murder, searches for treasure and gets lost in caves.

Altshuler said he would try to steer clear of other interpretations. He wants to create a direct and personal relationship with the original text. He hopes to capture the energy and excitement of someone living the life of Tom Sawyer.

Twain was born Samuel Clemens in Florida, Missouri in 1835. His family moved to Hannibal where he grew up. The Mississippi River town and its characters inspired many of his greatest works. They include "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer," ''The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" and "Life on the Mississippi."

Critical thinking challenge: Mark Twain's house is in Hartford, Connecticut. Noah Altshuler is from Massachsetts. So what inspired Twain to put Tom Sawyer on the Mississippi River, far from New England?

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COMMENTS (25)
  • jackieawc
    3/30/2015 - 08:33 a.m.

    I think that the kid/adult is making a great choice but I think that the person that created it, would the person be able to create it.Making the new book I think would cause things, but they wouldn't be able to I guess let it go in since it wasn't the book at first. The book that's already in the museum I think is unable to be taken away since it was the real book of it.Meaning the book itself won't be able to leave, since it really is important but it really isn't the real book.But I think that the person just loves history of famous people.

  • ImanB-1
    3/30/2015 - 10:32 a.m.

    17-year-old Noah Altshuler, was asked to to create a different version of Tom Sawyer and build a play for it. It will be written by an up-and-coming playwright. First he will visit the key spots such as Hannibal, Missouri and Elmira, New York. It will also include pieces from "Tom Sawyer Abroad" and "Tom Sawyer Detective." I think this might be a little bit more interesting, since it will be written by a man of this day and age.

  • Valorg
    3/30/2015 - 12:01 p.m.

    Tom sawer a story about a young boy growing up on the mississippi river will be adapted by a young man by the name Noah altrushare who will be doing a rewrite of the play "Tom Sawyer" this kid shall be making visits to landmarks from the books to help inspire him.

  • BrynnDani
    3/30/2015 - 01:25 p.m.

    I think it will be very interesting to see how the author decides to update this story. I am curious to know whether he will bring the whole story to a modern age or if he will just rewrite with more modern vocabulary and make it easier to understand.

  • makaylar-Che
    3/30/2015 - 01:47 p.m.

    because he wanted to go somewhere else for a change make something out of nothing he wanted to go somewhere where people couldn't make anything and make a change if he didn't then who else would? he has pride in what he does he loves to do things for his community and very helpful towards people.

  • Eric0221-YYCA
    3/30/2015 - 01:50 p.m.

    I think that it should be a good idea because somebody wanted Tom Sawyer to make a play over summertime all about him and nobody else in the play but sometimes with somebody doing a play with him. Well if somebody wanted Tom Sawyer to make a play over the summer break, I think that he shouldn't accepted it because he needs a break over summertime.

  • Miab1127
    3/30/2015 - 05:38 p.m.

    wow he was a very dapendable man and inspiring to learn about he really has a excellent child and grown up hood!. He really has a unique personallity

  • tylieg-And
    3/30/2015 - 06:01 p.m.

    I think that it is really cool that this kid is going to make a play out of this famous story. I really hope that lots of kids today are inspired from this story and are changed because of it. I also think that it is really interesting how a teenager is writing this play. I don't know that much about Mark Twain, but I bet that he would be glad to know about this upcoming play.

  • DominicP-Kut
    3/30/2015 - 06:46 p.m.

    I think its awesome they are making a new one and they hired a young mind. It means that his brain is chock full of ideas and hes been reading it for awhile. Now he gets to rewrite and reinvent the old book as anew.

  • APangaro-1
    3/30/2015 - 08:54 p.m.

    Noah Altshuler, seventeen years old, was chosen by the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, Connecticut to write a play from the famous novel, "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer." To help get his creative juices flowing he is going to visit a few key places like, Hannibal, Missouri and Elmira, New York. Altshuler has been named a "playwright-in-residence" and will have access to Twian's archives. I think that Noah will write a creative play that will really catch the audience's attention. He wants to "capture the energy and excitement of someone living the life of To Sawyer."

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