February 19, 20, & 21 - no school for students

Is he dead? The middle school play

The middle school performed their spring play today in two performances. This year’s play was Is he dead? by Mark Twain. The play was recently discovered by a scholar in 2003. The students did a wonderful job – the play was very funny and had a beautiful set and costumes. There were great lines, such as: “Oh. and have my horses polished. They’re looking a little dingy”and (Chicago referring to Millet’s feminine clothes) “You’re going to need more practice in those duds. You’re walking like a busted mare.” Millet was a real artist; the students created several versions of his paintings for use in the play. Congratulations to everyone involved!

Here is Ben Brantley’s plot summary from The New York Times review:

“Set in and near Paris in 1846, “Is He Dead?” presents a lineup of cultural and farcical stereotypes, seen with the wide-eyed-with-a-wink gaze that Twain brought to “The Innocents Abroad,” the travel memoir that made him solvent. At the show’s center is Jean-François Millet (no, the name is not a coincidence), a brilliant but unrecognized painter…Since Jean-François can’t sell a landscape to save his life (literally), his inner circle of bohemian friends — an ethnic stew made up of an American…a German…and an Irishman…convince him that faking his death is just the ticket for raising his stock. So Jean-François disappears from life and re-emerges as his imaginary twin sister, a widow both mad and madcap. The expected complications ensue.”

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