Joey Tran, theatre sophomore, holds out an engagement ring for Justin Tinker, theatre junior, during rehearsal of Mark Twain’s “Is He Dead?” Wednesday night in the Richardson Performing Arts Center. The play will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18, 19, and 20. (Clinton Dick/Collegian photographer)

By Amber Hart
Staff reporter

“Is He Dead?” is written by Mark Twain. After written, this play was never preformed and the script was lost and later found in the University of California library by David Ives.

“David Ives was a brilliant contemporary playwright. Ives was great at dramatic structure and satire,” said Roger Moon, professor of theatre and speech. “He took a 30 character role play and made it into 11 and made the three acts into two acts. He kept the best and adapted.”

The play is about a young artist who is frustrated with not being able to pay his bills. The people cherish old, dead artists as opposed to young, new artists like Jean-François Millet. Millet sends word that he has died in order for him to sell his paintings. Once word gets out everyone rushes out to buy his work. Millet wants to stay dead for all the money and so in order for that to happen and Millet to come back. He makes up a sister in order to mourn for himself. With all of his success he finds that the girl he is attracted to is in love with him. He is caught between love and success.

The main characters of the production are Justin Tinker, who plays the part of Millet, Ronan McStravick, Lisa Prater, and Zenas Lopez who play the three friends that help Millet pull off his death and his return to life.

“The characters all have the same level of importance other than the lead Justin Tinker,” said Julia Foust, musical theatre sophomore.

Foust’s character is Madam Bathilde. Shane Clark, music education and theatre freshman, plays three different roles in the play.

“I play Basil Thorpe, Charlie, King of France, and Inspector Gaston Monet. I have several roles in this play,” said Clark.

The roles are believed to be cast appropriately with what the students wanted and what was believed to be the best role for them.

“Everyone is doing a great job developing their characters and rehearsals have been the smoothest that I have ever had at SC,” said Faust.

This show will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18, 19, and 20 in Richardson Auditorium. “We hope that people will come and enjoy it so much that they would tell others to come watch the show as well,” said Moon. “We are hoping that the crowd builds more as the shows progresses.”

Amber Hart is a freshman majoring in communication. You may e-mail her at