Middle schoolers

By Morganne Ramsey

“Is He Dead” opens on Nov. 18 in the Saperstein Theatre at the Middle School.

Taking place in the city of Barbizon, France in 1898, the play is about the destitute painter Jean-Francois Millet, played by Adam Hirschhorn ’16, who is indebted to a painting dealer, Bastien Andre, played by Teddy Leinbach ’15. To pay off his debts, Millet fakes his own death so that his paintings will be worth more and collects his commissions as his nonexistent twin sister.

The cast of 16 is directed by middle school drama teacher Jim Doughan. Rehearsals began in mid-September.

“You get a group of people from different grades that you get to know really well,” Hirschhorn said.

The set of “Dead,” a run-down artist’s studio, is transformed between acts one and two as Millet brings in money from his scam. In act two, the set is gaudier.

The cast has gone to multiple fittings, but they have not seen any actual costumes yet. Hirschhorn guesses that since the play takes place in 19th century France, the costumes will be reminiscent of Napoleon.

“The girls will be in skirts, corsets, and heels. The guys will be wearing suits, and a British painter is going to wear a monocle,” he said.