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New Hampshire Theatre Project’s Youth Repertory Company will present Is He Dead?, a hilarious farce by Mark Twin and David Ives, on March 17-26, 2017 at West End Studio Theatre in Portsmouth NH.
Is He Dead? was written by Mark Twain in 1898 but remained undiscovered until 2003. Modern comedic playwright David Ives’ sharp 2007 adaptation is incredibly funny. Disappointed that artists don’t seem to get rich until after they die, painter Jean-Francois Millet (with the help of a couple close friends) decides to skip the dying part and go straight to the fame and fortune. He fakes his own death and begins living as his sister, the Widow Tillou. Of course nothing goes exactly to plan and farce ensues.
Director Robin Fowler says: “ I chose Is He Dead? because it is a wonderful blend of classic farcical comedy with a surprisingly modern and fresh feel. The style is challenging but student actors can easily connect to the comedy. Youth Repertory Company members are quickly stepping up to the challenges of this show, including a parade of dialects (Irish, English, French, and Dutch), cross-dressing, tightly-timed comedy, factual historical context, fake moustaches, and an endless parade of bad puns.”
A cast of 11 teens will bring this delicious farce to life. Is He Dead? features Joshua Goldberg, Sebastian Logue, Ella McGrail, Anthony Megliola, Corrie Owens-Beauchesne, Annika Strand, Van Wile, and Abi Wool – all of Portsmouth – along with Connor Adams of Eliot, Eliza Klein of North Hampton, and Liev Manck of Durham.
The production team for Is He Dead? includes director Robin Fowler, a Youth Repertory Company alumni; stage management by Rachel Vilandre; set and lighting design by Meghann Beauchamp; prop design by Shari Lockhart; and costume design by Marie Aichele and Rachel Vilandre. Is He Dead? is sponsored by Diverse Networks, LLC.
Established in 1999, the NHTP Youth Repertory Company is the only auditioned youth company in New Hampshire that offers intense acting training, master classes with guest artists, and the opportunity to perform in a professionally produced performance of classical dramatic literature. As preparation for Is He Dead?, Youth Repertory Company actors spent a full semester studying acting techniques related to comedy and farce with Crystal Gould and Emily Karel.