Romantic deceptions, absurd situations, and corset-busting wit make IS HE DEAD? a hilarious romp that will catch modern audiences by surprise.

Mark Twain is returning to the Tri-States this May — and he’s returning to a chorus of laughter. Quincy Community Theatre’s Box Office opens April 9 for Twain’s new(ish) comedy, IS HE DEAD?.

Featuring an entirely local cast, Mark Twain's IS HE DEAD? is a wild farce that invents an irreverent, fast-paced story around the real painter Jean-François Millet. Millet can’t sell a single painting to save his life. Literally. Facing debtor's prison, Millet and his ragtag group of friends come up with an outrageous solution: fake Millet's death to increase the value of his paintings — and continue life disguised as his "sister," the Widow Tillou!

Romantic deceptions, absurd situations, and corset-busting wit make IS HE DEAD? a hilarious romp that will catch modern audiences by surprise.

“When I first read IS HE DEAD?, I was immediately pulled into Twain’s story by his use of puns and his satirical look at society and what we today would consider pop culture,” said Artistic Director Brandon Thomsen.

IS HE DEAD? was rediscovered in 2003 by scholar Shelley Fisher Fishkin who began reading the script while sifting through Twain’s papers. With a little help from American playwright David Ives, Twain’s work finally saw the bright lights of Broadway in 2007.

“With our area’s ties to Twain, it’s most-fitting that we produce this play,” said Thomsen. “I think he would be most amused to see his play performed here. The play feels like it was written today, and it’s a testament to Twain that his writing is so effective over one hundred years later. Good comedy can be timeless!”

IS HE DEAD? is under the direction of Thomsen, with scenic design by Lorne Kelley, and costume design by Valerie Hernandez. James Riley serves as the stage.

Tickets are $20-22, on sale now. Performances are May 3-6 and 11-13, 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. A “Meet the Cast” question and answer session will be held following the performance on Friday, May 11.

For tickets, to volunteer backstage, or to serve as an usher, visit 1qct.org or call the QCT Box Office, located in the Oakley-Lindsay Center, at (217) 222-3209.