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Dear Friend of the Masquers:

 

We wanted to update you on the progress we have made in our effort to repair and ultimately re-open Masquers Playhouse.

 

First of all, we wish to thank all those who have donated already, including those patrons who have graciously donated their individual tickets or the remainder of their 2016 season tickets. It has helped us get a solid start to our rebuild preparations. Additional donations can be made using the buttons in the sidebar to the right.

 

We very much appreciate those who’ve asked us about our major fundraising efforts. It may seem odd that we haven’t actively solicited major donations thus far. Here’s what’s been going on over the last two months.

 

The initial problem that caused our closure—a crack in the support beam that holds up the roof—turned out to be a rock under which we found an entire colony of structural issues that need to be addressed before the theater reopens to the public. After careful inspection of the theater by contractors, architects and structural engineers, the following major issues have been identified:

  • The building is a freestanding masonry structure. Neither its walls, floor, nor roof are earthquake-ready. To make it safe for our patrons, it requires a complete seismic retrofit, which includes reinforcing the walls with steel beams, and replacing the floor and the roof.
  • The theater is not ADA-accessible on numerous counts, and needs remodeling to correct that (e.g., compliant ramps, bathrooms, etc).
  • In order to get the building up to fire code, more emergency exit routes must be created to modern standards.

In other words, a great deal more work needs to be done than at first we thought.

 

Masquers has received initial drawings from Todd Jersey Architecture, Inc. of Berkeley, the firm that oversaw restoration of the Richmond Plunge. Other proposals are currently being sought in order to determine the best course of action with the most efficient cost and least time closed.

 

Once we’ve decided on a course of action, Masquers will hire a veteran fundraiser to helm what will be a large and lengthy campaign. At that point, our avenues of fundraising will be much clearer.

 

We promise to continue updating you as things proceed. We wish to thank you again for your continued support during this challenging time.

YOUR QUESTIONS

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.

Sincerely,

David Cole, Board President

Robert Love, Managing Director