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April 3, 2014

Actor to perform one-man show about famous poet Robert Frost

NORTH ANDOVER — Robert Frost, one of America’s most famous poets, will soon visit North Andover.

Frost himself won’t be making the trip, of course — he died in 1963 — but an actor portraying the poet will offer his one-man show April 12 at 7 p.m. at Trinitarian Congregational Church, 72 Elm St.

J.T. Turner has many years of experience in impersonating literary figures. He has portrayed C.S. Lewis, William Shakespeare, Benjamin Franklin and Charles Dickens among others.

He has also played the part of Aesop, the guy who wrote all those fables, for younger audiences.

This will be Turner’s second public performance as Frost. He has been working on the act for a couple of years, he said.

Turner said he will depict Frost as he was in the 1940s, entertaining some of his friends and reading his poetry in his cabin in Vermont. He will be reading some of Frost’s better-known work, including “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening” and “The Road Not Taken.”

Glendon Ayer, a member of Trinitarian Congregational Church and one of the organizers of the show, said Turner’s performance will be the kickoff event for the church’s Community Art Series. Paul Prue is scheduled to present a coffeehouse-type of show May 31 and Turner will be back in December to act out Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” in which he portrays all the characters in the story.

Turner has already given the church a brief sampling of the show he will present April 12, Ayer said. He came to a worship service and asked, “May I turn into Robert Frost for a moment?”

The congregation was pleased, Ayer said.

Tickets for the April 12 show will cost $10 at the door.

“It should be a great night,” Ayer said.

Although he was born in San Francisco, Frost was really a New Englander who had a very strong connection to the Merrimack Valley. He graduated from Lawrence High School, where he and his wife, Elinor White, were the co-valedictorians.

The Derry farm he owned, where he wrote much of his poetry, has been preserved as a historic site. Frost won four Pulitzer Prizes during his long career.

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