Wayne Clawson performs one man show at the Meroney

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 1, 2012

Wayne Clawson, former performing artist in residence at Appalachian State University, will present his rendition of the works of Scottish author Robert William Service in the Meroney Theater on March 15. The program is titled “The Shooting of Dan McGrew.”
The poet Service is best known for his dark humor and earthy writings regarding the Yukon gold rush — “The Cremation of Sam McGee,” “The Spell of the Yukon” and “The Ballad of Blasphemous Bill.”
Clawson, the performer, uses material ranging from the bawdy “Bessie’s Boil” to the tender and touching “Wallflower,” and from the haunting “Shooting of Dan McGrew” to the rollicking story of “The Three Bares,” which is not to be confused with the children’s story.
Clawson’s presentation is alternately touching, humorous, and thought provoking.
Rowan Rotary Club is hosting Clawson’s one-man one-night show at the Meroney Theater on Thursday, March 15. This will be Clawson’s fourth performance to benefit the local Rotary club.
Tickets are $12.50 for the one evening performance, and are available from any Rowan Rotary club member, or call Paul Brown at 704-642-4946.
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Wayne Clawson’s one-man adaptations and presentations of Mark Twain, Robert W. Service, and Sam Levenson have drawn rave reviews throughout the southeastern United States. He was a featured artist, along with singers Anna Maria Alberghetti and Gordon MacRae, at the inaugural event of the prestigious high-countryarts festival, “An Appalachian Summer.”
Clawson was selected by patrons of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as one of the most memorable performers of the first decade of the prestigious Performing Arts Program for the Humanities at the school. He shared the stage with academy award nominee and five-time Tony Award Winner Julie Harris at the milestone celebration of the program.
His command performance before the Board of Governors for the Greater University of North Carolina prompted the president of the university system to declare Clawson “a performing arts treasure of the Old North State!” Clawson was designated the first performing artist in residence at Appalachian State University shortly before his retirement as associate vice chancellor for university advancement.
Clawson resides in Boone with his wife, Joy, and his dog, Dixie.
Things you probably don’t know about Robert William Service:
• When Charles Lindbergh made the first solo transatlantic flight he took with him a thermos of coffee, several peanut butter sandwiches, and his copy of “Songs of a Sourdough” by Robert Service.
• Robert Service was a favorite poet of many “notables” including Theodore Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, and Margaret Thatcher.
• Service was the most commercially successful poet of the 20th Century. “The Shooting of Dan McGrew” sold over 500,000 copies. His first book of poetry sold over four million copies.
• When President Reagan was in the hospital with a bullet wound to his chest, he was asked by reporters to give some indication that he was in control of his faculties. He proceeded to quote “The Shooting of Dan McGrew” by Robert Service.

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