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Largely Literary Theater Company, L.L.C.
2683 13th Street
Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44223
e-mail as at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Largely Literary Theater Company, L.L.C.
The Largely Literary Theater Company, L.L.C., was founded in 2002 by husband-and-wife team Mark Dawidziak and Sara Showman. Our mission is to champion literacy, literature and live theater by bringing to life on stage great literary works, multi-cultural stories and authors such as Charles Dickens, Mark Twain and Francis Hodgson Burnett.
Largely Literary is a touring company. We perform in venues such as theaters, museums, libraries, parks, schools and historic sites -- anywhere that people are interested in exploring great stories.
For adults we perform faithful adaptations of works by Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe and Mark Twain, as well as multi-cultural folk tales and original stories for children.
Largely Literary Theater Company, L.L.C., also has partnered with the National Endowment for the Arts' Big Read initiative to celebrate the works of humorist and great American author Mark Twain and renowned mystery writer Dashiell Hammett. Mark Dawidziak and Sara Showman are members of the Akron Area Arts Alliance.
We are for-profit theater. This means that every penny we make goes toward paying actors and producing our shows. The work we produce comes from our minds and our hearts. We are keenly aware of tough economic times and so strive to keep our prices reasonable while keeping our work at a high level of quality.
Sara Showman (co-founder and managing director)
Sara has appeared in many productions in Ohio since moving to the Akron area in 1983. She has worked with professional companies, as well as college, children’s and community theaters. Sara, an Equity membership candidate, has appeared at Porthouse Theatre and Actors’ Summit. She also has appeared at Kent State, Weathervane Playhouse, Coach House Theatre, the Beck Center for the Performing Arts, the Canton Players Guild and the Working Theater. She earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in acting and directing from Kent State University. Favorite roles include Bella in Lost in Yonkers, Melissa in Love Letters, Clara in I’m Not Rappaport and Shirley in Shirley Valentine. She also has appeared in four Shakespeare productions at Stan Hywet. Before moving to Ohio, she appeared in several productions for theater companies in her native Tennessee, including Another Part of the Forest, A Little Night Music, A Streetcar Named Desire, Ten Little Indians and Inherit the Wind. She plays 15 roles in the Largely Literary Theater Company's A Christmas Carol and performs “Alone,” “The Bells” and “The Masque of the Red Death” in The Tell-Tale Play. She performs "Eve's Diary" and several other roles in Twain By Three. Sara also has developed several storytelling programs for pre-school and elementary school students, including Animal Tales, The Poetry Show, Earth Stories, All Kinds of Dreams, Mythology: Heroes, Beasts & Gods, Mother Goose and Stories With Mrs. Santa Claus.
Mark Dawidziak (co-founder and artistic director)
Mark plays Charles Dickens and Mark Twain in various Largely Literary productions, in addition to directing most of the company's shows. He also played Dashiell Hammett in the troupe's The Mystery of Dashiell Hammett, a play he wrote for the National Endowment's Big Read program. Mark has been a theater, film and television critic for more than thirty years. Since July of 1999, he has been the TV critic at the Cleveland Plain Dealer. During his fifteen years at the Akron Beacon Journal, he held such posts as TV columnist, movie critic and critic-at-large. His many published books include a novel, Grave Secrets (1994), and such non-fiction works as The Barter Theatre Story: Love Made Visible (1982), The Columbo Phile: A Casebook (1989), Mark My Words: Mark Twain on Writing (1996), The Night Stalker Companion: A 25th Anniversary Tribute (1997), Horton Foote’s The Shape of the River: The Lost Teleplay About Mark Twain (2003) and The Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Dracula (2008). Written with Paul J. Bauer, his most recent book, Jim Tully: American Writer, Irish Rover, Hollywood Brawler, is the first full-length biography of “hobo writer” Jim Tully. A journalism graduate of George Washington University, he has been an adjunct professor at Kent State University since 2009. His stage roles include E.K. Hornbeck in Inherit the Wind, the Writer in Neil Simon’s The Good Doctor and the Wizard in The Wizard of Oz. A recognized Twain scholar, he has lectured on the great American writer, as well as playing him, in several states.
The Largely Literary Theater Company has toured its productions to theaters, schools, libraries, museums and historic sites in more than 30 Ohio communities, including Cleveland, Akron, Columbus, Massillon, Hudson, Medina, Kent, Barberton, Shaker Heights, Kirtland, Wooster, Porstmouth, Hiram, Cuyahoga Falls, Cleveland Heights, Orrville, Brunswick, Pepper Pike, Stow, Twinsburg, Solon, Nordonia Hills, Mayfield Heights and North Canton.
In August 2009, the Largely Literary Theater company staged its three-person Mark Twain play, Twain By Three, to great acclaim at the 103rd International Dickens Fellowship Conference. "Brilliantly acted and hilarious," said The Dickensian, the English publication devoted to Dickens research and scholarship.
Praise for the three-person version of A Christmas Carol
“All three are excellent actors who make this staging of A Christmas Carol a most intimate experience . . . This adaptation of A Christmas Carol taps into Dickens’ heavy theme of darkness, which is often glossed over in other adaptations.”
-- Akron Beacon Journal
“this quiet, faithful take” . . . “is restrained, reserved, and charmingly quaint.”
-- Cleveland Scene
“The three performers are excellent as they bring to life Dickens’ characters and his themes of celebrating Christmas with good cheer and generosity.”
-- The West Side Leader
In 2009, the Largely Literary Theater Company presented the world premiere of its one-hour play, The Mystery of Dashiell Hammett, as part of a Big Read initiative at Hiram College. Staged in the manner of a vintage radio drama, it starred company co-founder Mark Dawidziak as Dashiell Hammett and Jim Fippin as the Private Detective (pictured here). Other company members in the production were Sara Showman, Tom Stephan, Alex J. Nine and Jason Davis.