St. Louis

Is He Dead?

by Mark Twain and adapted by David Ives

Directed by Edward Coffield

Aug 4th - 13th, 2017

(nominated for numerous 2017 circle awards including Best Comedy, Best Director and Best Ensemble in a Comedy)

When you’re a brilliant young artist like Jean-Francois Millet and villainous debt collectors are on your tail, there’s only one way out: death. Or faking it. Threatened with debtor’s prison, Millet decides his best option is to die and return as the “sister” of the dead painter, much to the confusion of the town and the consternation of his beloved Marie.


A wacky performance by an inspired St. Louis Shakespeare cast enlivens this free- wheeling adaptation by David Ives of an original play written by Mark Twain, filled with the satirist’s signature humor. The current presentation by St. Louis Shakespeare is expertly guided by director Edward Coffield, who keeps the shenanigans moving at a brisk pace. He also allows his performers to utilize hyperbole without being too exaggerated, a delicate but important balance. Mark Bretz, Ladue News
The new St. Louis Shakespeare production, is what I like to call a snowball comedy. Such a play starts off slowly; it even may threaten to melt in the actors’ hands. But as it gradually picks up volume, its potential increases until it sails off at astonishing speed, big and beautiful and full of fun. When it hits, it leaves the audience rolling — in the aisles. Judy Newmark, St. Louis Post Dispatch


Edward Coffield