If you go

Tom Sawyer show dates and times:

2:30 p.m. April 18, 19, 25, 26, May 2, May 3

6:30 p.m. April 17, 18, 24, 25, May 1, May 2

9 a.m. May 2 is a Playlet and breakfast.

April 23 is a touch tour and audio-described performance. A reservation is required. April 26 is a sensory friendly performance.

General admission tickets are available for $10 and reserved seating tickets are available for $14. To order, visit or call 717-848-8623.

Twenty-four teens and children play in a simpler time, where they have outdoor adventures and let imaginations run wild. These youth are part of a modernized production of Mark Twain's classic "Tom Sawyer."

"Tom Sawyer Sings" is about a young boy growing up along the Mississippi River finding himself in the middle of exploration with his friends.

The show's writer Diane Crews said she hopes her rewrite of the Twain novel will unleash a childlike spirit. She said she thinks that spirit often lies dormant due to today's busy demands.

This will be the second time the full version of Crews' rewrite will be performed, she said. Crews wrote her version of Tom Sawyer in 2003. Included in the contemporary version is a girl main character named Bobby, a "tom boy."

"Tom is an everyboy," Crews said. "And, he is that for girls too. (Girls) can do more today than before."

The shows will be performed at DreamWrights Youth and Family Theatre in York. The unit set, according to the theater, is designed with several parts that change from Aunt Polly's kitchen, to outside, to the schoolhouse, to the island, to the church, and ultimately the cave, just as the storyline plays out in the novel. Beatboxing is not part of the show's original score, but in this performance, there is an 1876 rap song about how to get rid of warts, and an alphabet song, a ballad, a gospel piece and few traditional numbers.

Crews said she is excited to spice up the show by offering attendees an opportunity to stir up their creativity. They will get to envelope part of Tom Sawyer's personality into their own by having an adventure prior to the curtain rising.

"We will have stations set up for people to dig for worms, and to go fishing in a fish bowl that will have a clip to pull out a paper fish," Crews said. "It's something for parents and their children, and grandparents, to do."

There will also be a treasure hunt. Once found, then those who found the goods can hide them again for another group to find.

While performance-goers get warmed up, they will be prepared to enter an 1876 world, in which Crews said she thinks is slowly fading.

DreamWrights double casts its show each season. There will be two different casts made up of 31 community actors, of which 24 are youth. There are an additional 28 youth comprising two crews for management, lights, sound, props, costumes and set.

Tom Sawyer is not nearly as popular as books that are currently on the market. That does not deter Crews from wanting to share the pace of life in Twain's novel.

"The hope is that after you see the book, you are more inclined to go read it," Crews said.

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