Like many Wake County towns and cities, Holly Springs has witnessed explosive growth in the last decade. It was a much smaller town in 2008. About that time, and in conjunction with Wake County, the Town of Holly Springs opened a library and cultural center that included a stage and theater. Keith Macksey (pronounced "maxi") has been a performer, in one form or another, his entire career. So, his company, LFM Enterprises, sponsored and helped launch the "Holly Springs Reader's Theatre Troupe" to both show support for the new Cultural Center in his hometown and take advantage of the new, nearby stage.
Other performing arts activities began to take the stage in Holly Springs about this same time. One group, the Holly Springs Arts Council began holding an annual Arts Festival and, in 2016, asked the Reader's Theatre Troupe to participate. That is when Keith first devised and presented this one-man performance of Mark Twain, inspired and shaped by the decades long showmanship of the late, great Mr. Hal Holbrook.
The pandemic year, 2020, spawned a lot of creations by otherwise bored or sidelined professionals who suddenly found their livelihoods much reduced. Keith was one of them. So, last year, he wrote a book together with his wife . . . and then decided to revive his Twain persona and began planning to take it on the road in hopes the vaccines against Covid-19 would begin to work -- and live audiences would return to theaters. The passing of Mr. Holbrook in January of 2021 sealed the deal. Mark Twain would rise again, this time appearing in as many North Carolina (and surrounding) venues as would host him!