Is He Dead?

Directed by Sean Dudley

Auditions

Tuesday, January 10, 7:00–8:30 pm
Wednesday, January 11, 7:00–8:30 pm

Auditions are open call, no advance registration required. A link to the audition form is provided to the left.

We will provide hard copies of excerpts from the play for audition scenes. If you would like to familiarize yourself with them before the auditions, click the links to the left for PDF versions.

All auditions will be held at Chickasaw Civic Theatre, 801 Iroquois Street, Chickasaw, AL. Call-backs, if necessary, will take place on Thursday, January 12, 7:00 pm.

Rehearsals/Performances

Rehearsals: Begin Monday, January 23, 2023
Performances: Friday-Sunday, March 24–April 2, 2023

The Show

Paintings are always more valuable after the artist dies, right? So impoverished painter Jean-Francois Millet stages his own death—and then poses as his widowed twin sister to reap the financial rewards. Mistaken identities and romantic deceptions abound in this laugh-out-loud look at fame, greed, and the value of art.

Mark Twain wrote Is He Dead? in 1898, and soon after it was slated to be produced simultaneously in London and New York. But the show never went up . . . until scholar Shelley Fisher Fishkin brought it back to light a century later, and playwright David Ives adapted it for the modern stage. Directed by Michael Blakemore, the play premiered in 2007 and had a critically acclaimed run on Broadway, starring Tony Award winner Norbert Leo Butz.

From the New York Theater Guide: “With the fast-paced exits and entrances, similar to those used in Noises Off, characters hide, escape, and jump out at precarious moments, leaving one breathless.”

Per the Los Angeles Times: “Twain’s comedy moves so fast that many jokes are liable to fly past the audience. Luckily, there seems to be a joke every five seconds.”

Character Descriptions

Jean-François Millet (pronounced “Mee-yay”)/Widow Daisy Tillou (prounounced “Tee-you”)
A master painter, unrecognized in life but celebrated in death (even if faked). As an heiress, maybe a poor excuse for a refined widow, but certainly rich enough.
Gender: Male
Age: 20s–40s

Agamemnon “Chicago” Buckner
Millet’s best friend and a painter in his own right. An expat full of ideas and American chutzpah, willing to do what it takes to land a sale and drive up the prices.
Gender: Male
Age: 20s–40s

Marie Leroux
Millet’s sweetheart, sorrowed by his passing, but strong enough to comfort (and to let herself be comforted by) his uncannily identical twin sister.
Gender: Female
Age: 20s–40s

Cecile Leroux
Marie’s sister, cunning, bold, and resourceful. In love with Chicago and jealous of the other ladies in his life, especially the overly familiar Widow Tillou.
Gender: Female
Age: 20s–40s

Papa Leroux
Father to Cecile and Marie, a friend and would-be benefactor of Millet. And a would-be suitor of Millet’s beautiful alter ego sister.
Gender: Male
Age: 50+

Bastien Andre
Slumlord or worse, and everyone owes him money. But even more than filthy lucre, he wants Marie, or maybe a rich widow for a wife . . .
Gender: Male
Age: 50+

Madame Bathilde
With Madame Caron, Millet’s kindly landlord and busybody.
Gender: Female
Age: 50+

Madame Caron
With Madame Bathilde, Millet’s kindly landlord and busybody.
Gender: Female
Age: 50+

Hans “Dutchy” Von Bismark
An aspiring painter and student of Millet. Wants the best for everyone and, as a German, a piece of stinky cheese for himself.
Gender: Male
Age: 20s–40s

Phelim O’Shaughnessy
Another aspiring painter and student of Millet. An Irishman and (purportedly) a lady’s man, but entirely too melancholy to truly mind the ladies.
Gender: Male
Age: 20s–40s

Basil Thorpe
A rich British merchant, interested in good art but uncertain what qualifies. Presumes that the deader an artist, the better the art.
Gender: Male/Female
Age: 20+

Claude(tte) Riviere
A reporter from “Le Figaro,” friendly and unscrupulous.
Gender: Male/Female
Age: 20+

Charlie
A gorgeous flunkey of a house-servant, with a secret or two.
Gender: Male/Female
Age: 20+

Questions?

For more information, please email Sean Dudley at seanpatrickdudley@gmail.com.


 

George M!

  • Sunday, February 26, 6:30 pm
  • Tuesday, February 28, 6:30 pm

Watch this space for more information.

All auditions are held at Chickasaw Civic Theatre, 801 Iroquois Street, Chickasaw, AL.