The Grauer School presents Twain farce ‘Is He Dead?’


The Grauer School’s High School Drama Department will be performing Mark Twain’s play, “Is He Dead?” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 19, Friday, Feb. 20, and Saturday, Feb. 21.

“Is He Dead?” recounts a fictional story of the non-fictional painter, Jean-Francois Millet, who succumbs to pressure from his friends to stage his own death in hopes of increasing the value of his paintings. The devious plot is fully realized with the aid of mistaken identities, cross-dressing, a funeral and a kind of madness that is almost surreal, yet is based on real premises.

Erin Langen, theatre arts program director for The Grauer School, explained why she chose this particular piece: “When I read ‘Is He Dead?,’ I knew that I had a group of actors that would not only have fun with this script, but would also be up for the challenge of performing a farce.”

Langen has a theater arts degree from the University of San Francisco and previously taught at Guajome Park Academy in Vista, where she created a Middle School Theatre Arts program before accepting a position at The Grauer School in 2011. During her time at Grauer, she has directed productions of “Much Ado About Nothing” and “He Who Gets Slapped.” This year’s cast is the largest to date with 15 cast members and support from the entire Visual and Performing Arts Department.

All showings of “Is He Dead?” are open to the public and appropriate for all ages. Tickets will be on sale at the door for $5. The Grauer School is at 1500 S. El Camino Real in Encinitas. Visit or by calling 760-274-2116.