Press

PRESS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Publicity release

 

RE: Masquers Playhouse Suspends Operations to Make Major Repairs

 

For more info, contact:

 

Publicist: Peter Budinger (510) 712-0291 or peter@tremendo.org

 

On Tuesday, March 8, facilities supervisors at historic Masquers Playhouse in Point Richmond, CA, discovered major damage to the theater’s primary interior support structure. An immediate investigation determined 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 audience safety in mind, a tandem meeting of the Masquers Playhouse Board of Directors and Administrative Staff decided that the best course of action was to cancel all productions for the remainder of the 2016 season and shutter the theater until repairs are complete.

 

The extent of the damage should be known within a month, once structural engineers have had a chance to inspect and report on it, as well as what measures — monetary and otherwise — will be required to fix it. It will be no small task.

 

The Masquers was established in 1955 to produce affordable plays and other live theatrical events 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. Their first production went up there in 1960, 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. They’ve been recognized by Congress, and they’ve won accolades and awards for the quality of their work and for the longevity of the organization.

 

In recent years, the work produced by the Masquers has continued to garner praise and awards. Like many small theaters throughout the Bay Area, it has weathered financial challenges. “We’re not a facility with a lot of wealthy backers or an endowment, like some of the larger theaters in this area,” said Masquers Managing Director Robert Love. “We’re an 88-seat community theater and an all-volunteer organization. Our total annual operating budget is equal to one tenth of a single show budget at the Berkeley Rep.”

 

This highlights the seriousness of the current situation. As Masquers mounts its rebuilding effort, any and all help is sought and appreciated. Tax-deductible donations are being accepted at www.masquers.org, and benefactors who wish to do more are encouraged to email rebuild@masquers.org.

 

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Click on the thumbnails below for hi-res press photos.

 

 

The theater at 105 Park Place in Point Richmond, 1965 — four years after becoming Masquers Playhouse.

The theater at 105 Park Place in Point Richmond, 1965 — four years after becoming Masquers Playhouse.

 

First Masquers show in residence at the Village Playhouse (now Masquers Playhouse), 1960

First Masquers show in residence at the Village Playhouse (now Masquers Playhouse), 1960

 

Program for the first show at the newly rechristened Masquers Playhouse, 1962

Program for the first show at the newly rechristened Masquers Playhouse, 1962

 

Before it was a playhouse, 105 Park Place, Point Richmond, was a supermarket.

Before it was a playhouse, 105 Park Place, Point Richmond, was a supermarket.

 

 

ON PRESS PHOTO USE

High res press photos may be used in any editorial setting, properly captioned and credited. You may not alter these photos in any way except to proportionally scale, crop and color convert them for publication. Copyright 2014 Masquers Playhouse, all rights reserved. Requests by the media for publicity or press materials, including press releases and high-resolution photos can be made by email to our Publicity Officers.