McAvoy Layne


For more than twenty five years, in over four thousand performances from Leningrad University in Russia to Piper’s Opera House in Virginia City, Chautauquan McAvoy Layne has been dedicated to preserving the wit and wisdom of “The Wild Humorist of the Pacific Slope,” Mark Twain. As Layne puts it: “It’s like being a Monday through Friday preacher, whose sermon, though not reverently pious, is fervently American.”

McAvoy is a winner of the Nevada award for Excellence in School and Library Service, and the author of a soon-to-be published memoir, Becoming Mark Twain. He played the ghost of Samuel Clemens (AKA Mark Twain) in A&E’s biography of Mark Twain, and in the Discovery Channel’s Cronkite Award-winning documentary, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

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How did Sam Clemens get from the Mississippi River to Nevada? Why did he come to the Silver State?  What did he see when he got here in 1861? Did he really take his pen name "Mark Twain" whilst in Nevada? These are some of the questions answered in this lighthearted, humorous, yet rigorously researched Chautauqua presentation which examines Nevada through the eyes of one of America’s greatest literary figures, Mark Twain. Aside from offering fresh insight into the much loved writer, this presentation – which has been time-tested over 25 years - is intended to motivate the reading of good books and inspire the pursuit of creative writing.

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Appropriate Audience: Can be tailored for all ages.

Duration: C. 1 hour

Presenter Requirements: N/A

Categories: Nevada, literature, Chautauqua