Mark Dawidziak and his wife, actress Sara Showman, founded the Largely Literary Theater Company in 2002:
Largely Literary Theater Company
Dedicated to promoting literacy and literature, the touring company has staged his three-person version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and several plays based on sketches by Mark Twain, including The Reports of My Death Are Greatly Exaggerated (for five actors), Twain By Three (for three actors) and Twain By Two (performed as a one-act and two-act show by Dawidziak and Showman). He also performs one-man shows as Twain and Dickens. He has been playing Twain on stage for more than 35 years.
To coincide with the publication of Mark Twain’s Guide to Diet, Exercise, Beauty, Fashion, Investment, Romance, Health and Happiness, Dawidziak and Showman have put together a one-act play drawn from material in the book.
Dawidziak and Showman met when both were cast in a Tennessee production of Neil Simon’s The Good Doctor (he played the Anton Chekhov role, later appearing with her as the H.L. Mencken character in Inherit the Wind). As a performer, he has been a member of two comedy teams (using the stage name Mark Daniels). In 1993, he reunited with one of his former partners to win the routine contest at the first-ever Abbott & Costello Convention.
October is a busy month for the Largely Literary Theater Company, which offers such eerie seasonal shows as The Tell-Tale Play (stories and poems by Edgar Allan Poe), Ghosts by the Tale, Shades of Blue and Gray: Ghosts of the Civil War, Dawidziak’s The Vampire Talk and Showman’s The Devil You Say! (stories about deals with the Devil).
Dawidziak played Dashiell Hammett in the troupe’s The Mystery of Dashiell Hammett, a play he wrote for the National Endowment’s Big Read program. Showman 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.