Vokes Theatre
Route 20, P.O. Box 283
Wayland, MA

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Is He Dead?
by Mark Twain, adapted by David Ives

directed by Laura Espy

Auditions will be held by appointment

Sunday, May 11th from 7-10pm
May 12th from 7–10pm

Please sign up for a 30 minute time slot

Auditions will consist of readings from the script which will be distributed when you make an audition appointment. Accents are only required where noted in the character descriptions.Please be prepared to attempt these accents in auditions. Some dancing will be used in this production; however, no dancing will be required at the audition.

To schedule an appointment, please send an email ihdvokes@gmail.com and leave your name, phone number, preferred audition times, and the roles you are interested in. You will then receive a confirmation of your audition time.

Please bring a headshot or any clear head and shoulders photo of yourself to your audition appointment. Audition forms will be provided when you sign up for a time slot or in person.

Rehearsals: First read-through will be the week of May 25. Rehearsals will be Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings 7-10pm.

Performances: July 17-19, July 24-26, 31 and August 1-2, 2014 at 8pm and July 26 and August 2 at 2pm

About the Show: Is He Dead? is a recently discovered comedy originally written by Mark Twain and adapted by David Ives. Set in Paris in the 1800s, the then unknown painter Jean Francois Millet realizes the only way to get rich as a painter is to be dead. He and his three enthusiastic pupils fake Millet’s death and the paintings start selling. Eager to remain part of the action, Millet returns to the scene as the Widow Tillou, Millet’s long-lost twin sister. Millet must keep the secret from his landladies and his sweetheart Marie, while holding off the advances of Marie’s father and an evil creditor. Add in Marie’s sister Cecile who disguises herself as an inspector to uncover the truth, a gaggle of zany characters including an English prig, a pesky Parisian reporter, a foppish manservant named Charlie, and even the King of France, and the play is a nonstop rollercoaster of mirth.

The script is available from playscripts.com. Please contact the production staff at the email above if you have difficulty obtaining a copy and would like to read it.

The Characters:

The Gentlemen

  • JEAN-FRANCOIS MILLET (M - 30s-40s) Struggling artist, charming, likeable, sincere, in love with Marie; disguised as the WIDOW DAISY TILLOU as a part of the scheme; role requires an actor with great comic timing and very adept at physical humor.

  • AGAMEMNON BUCKNER (known as “CHICAGO”) (M – 20s-40s) Fellow artist and best friend to Millet, schemer, can fast-talk his way out of any situation, always sees the silver lining, in love with Cecile.

  • HANS VON BISMARCK (known as “DUTCHY”) (M-20s-40s) Pupil of Millet’s, not really as dumb as he looks, kind hearted soul, German accent required.

  • PHELIM O’SHAUGHNESSY (M – 20s-40s) Pupil of Millet’s, eager, ladies man, full of Blarney, Irish accent required.

  • PAPA LEROUX (M – 50s+) Father of Marie and Cecile, friend to Millet, honest, good natured, in debt to Andre.

  • BASTIEN ANDRE (M- 40s-50s) Picture dealer, money lender, evil, scoundrel, in love with Marie.

  • One Actor (M – 20s-40s) to play multiple roles Must possess a chameleon like talent to become the following 5 roles with fast costume and accent changes: BASIL THORPE – English art buyer, but knows nothing about art. A bit of a fop. (English accent) CLAUDE RIVIERE – snobbish, French art reporter from “Le Figaro” (French accent) CHARLIE – English valet to The Widow (English accent) KING OF FRANCE – arrogant French royalty (French accent) INSPECTOR MONNET – Paris policeman (French accent)

The Ladies

  • MARIE LEROUX (F – 20s-30s) Sweet, innocent, in love with Millet, fending off the advances of Andre.

  • CECILE LEROUX (F – 20s-30s) Sister of Marie, in love with Chicago, suspicious of The Widow, uses a French accent with a disguise as Inspector Gerard LeFaux in Act II.

  • MADAME BATHILDE – (F – 40s+) Sweet, gentile, slightly ditzy patron of the arts and landlady to Millet. Doubles as SULTAN OF TURKEY.

  • MADAME CARON – (F – 40s+) Sweet, gentile, slightly ditzy patron of the arts and landlady to Millet. Doubles as EMPEROR OF RUSSIA.


All Auditions are held at
Beatrice Herford's Vokes Theatre, 97 Boston Post Road (Route 20) Wayland, MA

 CLICK HERE for directions.

For your convenience, notification of callbacks and casting is always posted on a voice answering machine.

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