Is He Dead?

by Mark Twain, Adapted by David Ives


Is He Dead? is a play by Mark Twain. It was first published in print in 2003,[1] after Mark Twain scholar Shelley Fisher Fishkin read the manuscript in the archives of the Mark Twain Papers at the University of California at Berkeley. The play was long known to scholars but never attracted much attention until Fishkin arranged to have it published in book form. She later played a primary role in getting the play produced on Broadway. Is He Dead? is now published and licensed for theatrical use by Playscripts, Inc.[2]

Written in 1898 in Vienna, the play focuses on a fictional version of the great French painter Jean-François Millet as an impoverished artist in Barbizon, France who, with the help of his colleagues, stages his death in order to increase the value of his paintings, and afterwards dresses as a woman to keep his secret safe. Combining elements of burlesque, farce, and social satire, the comedy relies on such devices as cross-dressing, mistaken identities, and romantic deceptions to tell its story, which raises questions about fame, greed, and the value of art.

Dates & Times

September 14 - October 13, 2012
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm

Directed by


Zach Adair as Chicago
Lisa Branham as Madame Bathilde
Brittany Cox as Marie
Brandon Felker as Millet
Julia Griffin as Cecile
Mike Jones as Reporter, Thorpe +
Thurman M. Kellogg as Phelim OShaunessy
Margaretta Lantz as Madame Caron
J.D. Lloyd as Andre
Buddy Mahoney as Papa Leroux
Lantz Wagner as Dutchy

Production Team

Al Angel - Scenic Designer
Skyler Burger - Sound Designer
Brittany Cox - Scenic Artist
Angela Flowers - Costume Designer
Dave Hastings - Lighting Designer
Sarah Ross - Stage Manager
Jodi Sauerbier - Property Master
Jaime Shure - Assistant Stage Manager
Kayla Walker - Dialect Coach