Dear Friends, Patrons, and Loyal Supporters,

In the months since you’ve heard from the Masquers Playhouse, we have been hard at work searching for solutions to the structural problems that shut the theater. Our hundred-year-old building betrayed its age through a cracked support beam. The more we looked at the damage, the more obvious it became that a quick fix wasn’t going to make the theater safe and comfortable for our audience and performers.

Working with a local architectural firm we now have a set of plans for bringing the theater up to current standards. Our goal is to re-open the theater in January 2018. Between now and then, we expect to:

  • Complete a substantial seismic reinforcement of our brick building and repair the cracked beam
  • Comply with all ADA mandated requirements
  • Create a gender neutral wheelchair accessible restroom
  • Add wheelchair and designated companion seating
  • Improve fire exits and upgrade our electrical systems

We will soon have contractor bids in hand. At that point we will launch a capital campaign to pay for the critical repairs and upgrades.

In the mean time, we have already received some significant donations from members. Some of our sister theaters are dedicating fundraising performances while local businesses are providing in-kind services worth tens of thousands of dollars. In addition, local foundations have pledged to support our efforts through grants.

These positive steps fill us with the confidence that we can get the job done. As we make progress we will stay in close touch. Everyone is familiar with the fundraising thermometer, and we will surely have one of our own that we will share with you.

Until we know the actual cost of the construction ahead of us, we would simply like to ask you to include the Masquers in your regular donations. Though the theater is closed, we continue to have monthly expenses—taxes, insurance, phone, utilities—and we want to save every penny we can for the big expense coming up soon.

Please help us with your tax-deductible donation today. There’s a button on this page. It’s your chance to help keep live theater alive in the Bay Area.


David Cole, Board President

Robert Love, Managing Director

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Retains Interactive Resources to Design Critical Seismic and ADA Accessibility Upgrades

Richmond, CA—
The Masquers Playhouse is making progress toward its goal of reopening for its 2017 season, retaining noted architectural and engineering firm Interactive Resources to provide critical seismic and ADA accessibility upgrades. The historic theater in Point Richmond closed in March 2016 following the discovery of major damage to the playhouse’s primary interior support structure. For the first time since its founding in 1955, all productions for the remainder of the season were cancelled.
“We’re an all-volunteer community theater that operates on a small budget,” said Masquers Board President David Cole. “So, we needed help from a firm that could give us an appropriate scale fix at a reasonable price. Interactive Resources and its professionals understood what we were after, listened to our wishes, and worked within our budget. With their design in hand, we can now confidently go out to the community and solicit donations to get the theater reopened on schedule.”

The seismic upgrade will include reinforcing the front of the building and ceiling joists, and anchoring the perimeter walls. The work will also include ADA accessibility upgrades to bring the front entry and restrooms into compliance. The original structure was built circa 1903.
“We are excited to get to work with this beloved theater and to help reopen its doors,” said Andrew Butt, AIA, LEED AP and Principal at Interactive Resources. “Our expertise in both structural and historic projects, as well as our close community ties to the Masquers Playhouse, makes this partnership a natural and gratifying fit.” Interactive Resources has a long track-record of preservation projects in the Bay Area broadly and in Richmond in particular, including the Hotel Mac, The Bank of Richmond, Mechanics Bank Trainmasters Building, East Brothers Lighthouse, and many more.

About Masquers Playhouse

The Masquers was established in 1955 to produce affordable plays and educational programs for the entertainment and cultural enhancement of the greater Bay Area. For its entire history, the group has been staffed and run completely on a volunteer basis.
In 1959, the Masquers moved into the Village Playhouse at 105 Park Place in Point Richmond, and in 1961, the theater was officially renamed Masquers Playhouse. In the ensuing 57 years, Masquers has tackled nearly 400 productions, large and tiny, musical and nonmusical, dramatic and light. The group has been recognized by the U.S. Congress, and has garnered accolades and awards for the quality of its work and for the longevity of the organization.
As Masquers mounts its rebuilding effort, tax-deductible donations are welcomed, and benefactors are encouraged to email rebuild@masquers.org or call (510) 232-3888. For more information, please visit www.masquers.org.

About Interactive Resources

Founded in 1973, Interactive Resources is a multi-disciplined architectural and engineering firm committed to the design of high-quality, state-of-the-art and sustainable developments. The firm provides architectural design, structural engineering, and historical preservation services to a wide range of clients, including educational, federal, municipal, private sector, winery, solar and multi-family residential sectors. Offering design, contract documents, and construction administration for both new facilities and rehabilitations, the firm has extensive experience in: roof repair and design; façade evaluation and repair of building envelope and exterior wall systems; waterproofing and weatherization; energy-efficient and sustainable design; mechanical system upgrades; seismic upgrades; historic rehabilitations; and accessibility upgrades. For more information please visit www.intres.com.

David Cole, Board President
Masquers Playhouse
105 Park Place | Richmond, California 94801
V: 510.619.6338
Email: dcole@baypublish.com

Andrew Butt, AIA LEED AP BD+C
Interactive Resources
117 Park Place | Richmond, California 94801
O: 510.236.7435 | D: 510.231.7520 | F: 510.232.5325
Email: andrew.butt@intres.com| www.intres.com

For high-resolution photo requests, please contact:
Christina Zirker, Administrative Assistant
Interactive Resources
117 Park Place | Richmond, California 94801
O: 510.236.7435 | D: 510.231.7501 | F: 510.232.5325
Email: christina.zirker@intres.com | www.intres.com


Click on the icon to the left to see some of the most frequently-asked questions we’ve received about our theater’s closure.

Dear Friend of the Masquers Playhouse,


In early March, our facilities supervisors discovered major damage to the Playhouse’s primary interior support structure. An immediate investigation told us that the theater should not be reopened to the general public until its structural integrity is restored. By all current indications, this process will take months on end.


With the safety of our audiences in mind, a tandem meeting of the theater’s Board of Directors and Administrative Staff determined that the best course of action was to cancel all productions for the remainder of our 2016 season and shutter the theater until repairs are complete. That means that neither mainstage shows nor Envision productions nor Songbook concerts will run for the rest of the year. (We are currently looking into alternative venues for Stage One, our summer children’s program.)


We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our subscribers, our patrons, and our theatrical community both on and off stage.


We will keep you in the loop about current conditions at Masquers. A preliminary report from structural engineers is in the works right now. We should know the extent of the damage within a month, and what measures — monetary or otherwise — will be required to fix it. This will be no small task.


In the meantime, thank you for your patience and understanding, and please consider making a tax-deductible donation. Your donation will be the start of our next great endeavor: getting the Masquers back on its feet!

For further information, or if you have questions, please email rebuild@masquers.org or phone 510.232.3888 and leave a message. We’ll try to answer all questions in the FAQ below, in addition to a personal response.


David Cole, Board President

Robert Love, Managing Director