The Different CompaniesEdit
There are three distinct theatre companies in general Theatre at WPI, all overseen by the Humanities and Arts department (academics).
- The main, and largest, theatre organization. It encompasses all the others, as well as the Comedy groups.
- MW Repertory
- Smaller, more avant-garde productions.
- Sunburns Theatre Co.
- The summer theatre production.
For more details on each, please visit their respective articles above. Masque, however, is detailed below.
Masque is the student-run theatre group at WPI. They produce two productions a year including the C-Term President's show and New Voices (in cooperation with the Humanities and Arts Department)
Masque holds weekly meetings every Friday at 5pm the Green Room located just behind the stage in the Great Hall of Alden Memorial. These meetings are open to the entire campus community. Announces from each theatre/performance group and current and upcoming productions are made along with trivia, words of wisdom from Susan, and some humorous something from the Masquot.
The membership of Masque is loosely defined as anyone who is present at the weekly meetings. Contrary to some student body assumptions, you don't have to be involved with the current Masque production to be in Masque. Simply come to the meeting and you're in!
Masque also an email list is uses to send news to the club's members.
As mentioned, Masque endeavors to produce two shows every year. The C-Term president's show, which is either directed or produced by the currently server Masque president and New Voices which is produced in partnership with the Humanities and Arts department.
While this may seem like a small number of shows, Masque members are typically always involved with the other theatre groups on campus including MW Rep which produces a show in A Term and also in C Term and the B Term Humanities and Arts Department show. The lines delineating which group is working on which show are often blurred or totally non-existent. So a more realistic view of the production schedule for a given year includes all five shows mentioned.
As of 2014, MW Rep no longer has an A Term show, which is now replaced by a low budget Masque show.
New Voices Edit
The super production named New Voices is a co-effort of Masque and the Humanities and Arts Department. Its claimed by some to be the oldest running college new works festival in the United States.
Each year submissions of original, previous unperformed plays authored by members of the WPI community are submitted to the New Voices staff who then anonymously forward them to a panel of dramaturgs. This panel meets to discuss and ultimately select a festival of plays from these submissions judging only on the merit of the scripts.
Once the plays have been announced, the play-writes select directors from the WPI community. These directors and their assistants hold a massive three day audition followed by an evening of callbacks and finally a session, known as bloodbath where they fight over who gets what actor. Each year roles are found for each actor who auditions.
During the process of play selection, a scenic designs are also (anonymously) considered and one is ultimately chosen to be the unit set for the New Voices production. Once the shows are selected and cast, rehearsal and set construction begin along with sound and lighting design.
The festival named each year as "New Voices" followed by an incremental number is performed over three of four days which each show performed at least twice.
Officers are elected by all members of Masque (including Alumni) at the end of C-term. Instead of having one vice-president, the vice-presidency is split among four different officers with separate responsibilities.
- President (Dominic DiGiovanni)
- The President of Masque makes administrative decisions, runs meetings, and chooses/directs the C-term show.
- VP Master Electrician (Andrew Wilkins)
- In charge of sound and lighting process and equipment, also serves as a liason to Lens & Lights.
- VP Publicity (Lauren Ferrechio)
- In charge of Masque's publicity (advertising, flyers, posters) and mentoring publicists for individual shows.
- VP Master Carpenter (Cara Marcy)
- In charge of the Scene Shop (set/prop building basement) and tools.
- VP Props (Aubrey Scarborough)
- In charge of opening, organizing, and making aquisitions for the Props Closet.
- Secretary (Joel Sutherland)
- Takes and sends out meeting minutes and manages weekly Trivia contests.
- Treasurer (Corey Randall)
- In charge of budget proposals and reimbursement.
- Updates and changes the website as needed.
- Masquot (Rick Desilets)
- For a few minutes at the end of each meeting, has the task of entertaining the Masque members with a funny story, anecdote, or other short act.
Academic Credit Edit
Theatre has been a prolific venue for completing Humanities and Arts MQPs, IQPs, sufficiencies, and ISP (Independent Study) hours. Each show will have a designated Theatre TA, who will have Hours sheets and registration forms. The possibilities for projects are endless. Examples of the more common projects are as follows: Acting, Directing, Producing, Designing (set, lighting, costumes), and Writing (see New Voices below).
To be put on the mailing list, email firstname.lastname@example.org. For specific questions, email Masque president Jamo Hanlan at email@example.com.