Mark Twain wrote his famous book, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, back in 1876. The book, which tells the story of twelve-year-old Tom Sawyer and his different adventures with his friends, is going to be made into a new play, and seventeen-year-old Noah Altshuler will be writing it! He has been chosen to adapt the classic story for today’s audience, and he will get to spend all summer working on it.
Being chosen to write the Tom Sawyer adaptation is a great honor, but it is not Altshuler’s first play! Just last year, his play Making the Move was performed at the famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He was the youngest playwright at the festival, and his play was the shortest—only twenty minutes long. It was also very popular (more than fifty different high schools perform it), and now Altshuler is working on a sequel named Last Call for Providence.
Now, instead of writing a play from scratch, Altshuler will adapt The Adventures of Tom Sawyer to be a play that will be performed live on the stage. He will re-tell the story of Tom Sawyer, who lives in the South in the 1840s. During the course of the novel, he hunts for pirate treasure, gets lost in a mine and even lives on an island for a while. Altshuler will also pull story parts from some of Mark Twain’s other novels, like Tom Sawyer Abroad and Tom Sawyer, Detective.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer has been made into movies, TV shows and plays, and even a ballet. As the Playwright-in-Residence for the Mark Twain House & Museum, Altshuler wants his version to stay true to the original story. He also hopes to bring Tom Sawyer to a whole new audience. “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,” he says.