Tom(boy) Sawyer

Tom(boy) Sawyer, an original play by Connor Kerns:  ran from June 17-July 8, 2017

  Photo: Gary Norman

A girl with “mean, mean pride” named Tom, a river (the Columbia), and a murder: Mark Twain’s classic story got a modern Pacific Northwest rock and roll treatment.

“…The play is entertaining…. The intimate scenes are well-scaled to the tiny Shoe Box Theater, and Neufeld’s Jenny in particular rocks a series of fantastically ‘80s costumes (designed by Emily Horton). The encounters with a very creepy Bill Barry as Drinkin’ Joe, who commits the murder Tom and Hector witness, are all masterfully tense. Debbie Hunter as Dr. Robinson, his victim, is the most comfortable with Kerns’ not-quite-naturalistic language, and has a warm and deeply compelling stage presence. Her scenes, direct address from the dead doctor who then gets reluctantly pressed into double-duty playing a cop, are some of the richest and strangest.”  (OregonArtsWatch)

“…inimitable and excitingly twisted prose…”  (Jim Butterfield)


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Having grown up in a small town in the Pacific Northwest, the playwright has moved Tom’s adventures to the turn of the 21st Century in Southwest Washington along the Columbia River. Tomasina and her friend Hector witness Drinkin’ Joe murdering Dr. Robinson in the cemetery. The dead doctor rises to act as a sort of chorus, and is pressed into duty as the cowardly deputy sent out to find the bad man. Tom is adored by stout Aunt Patty, and her friend Jen Thatcher, who has aspirations to escape small town life to be an astronomer. Tom, however, is dreaming of fronting a rock band. Is Tom’s swagger enough to save her friends from the bad man, and win her dream of being famous?


Taylor Grady is Tomasina Sawyer, our naughty heroine.

Murren Kennedy is Hector Finn, Tom’s friend who is perpetually bewildered by most everything.

Sasha Belle is Jen Thatcher, their star-gazing genius friend.

Debbie Hunter is Dr. Robinson, the dead cigar-loving doctor who turns deputy-narrator.

Sharon Mann is Tom’s Aunt Pat, the good woman who can’t resist temptation.

Bill Barry is Drinkin’ Joe Miller, the bad man with bad intentions.


Bill Barry as Benedick and Debbie Hunter as Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing – photo by Roger Nelson.  (Ms. Hunter is sassy but dies and Mr. Barry is not so nice in Tom(boy) Sawyer...)

Tom(boy) Sawyer is generously supported by our donors and a grant from The Kinsman Foundation!