Masquers Playhouse Giving Tuesday Virtual Festival
First started in 2012, Giving Tuesday is a special day each year meant to unofficially “open the giving season.” This time of year had previously been linked to spending and shopping – some of the more materialistic endeavors that, for many, conflicts with the intended spirit of the holiday. Giving Tuesday started as a movement to fundamentally shift the sentiment around this time of year, from buying to giving – from selfish to selfless – from focusing on the economy to focusing on the community.
This Giving Tuesday, Masquers invites you to tune-in to a day-long virtual festival with special guests and performances! As you watch and enjoy, please consider making a donation to Masquers Playhouse or another worthy community organization or group featured during the festival. You can watch on YouTube, Facebook, or just below.
Check out the Virtual Festival schedule to take note of the features and guests you don’t want to miss.
Music from Who’s Feeling Young Now
Who’s Feeling Young Now is a bluegrass band from the Bay Area. The band features Niko Quale on fiddle and vocals, Lucy Khadder on bass and vocals, Silas Jude on banjo, and Teo Quale on guitar and vocals.
Chat with Santa / Story-time with Mrs. Claus
Most children will not be able to meet Santa in person this year. Don’t worry. He will be joining us live! And Mrs. Claus is joining too. She’ll be reading two of her favorite Christmas stories.
Music from Crying Uncle
Whether playing straight-up bluegrass or virtuosic Dawg Grisman tunes, Crying Uncle delivers amazing instrumentals and vocal leads and harmonies that catapult the band into an elite sphere of artistry. Winners of the 2018 Pickin’ in the Pines Band Contest in Flagstaff AZ, and selected by the International Bluegrass Music Association to perform at IBMA’s 2018 World of Bluegrass in North Carolina, CU is making waves in the bluegrass community. Brothers Miles and Teo Quale, National and State Champion fiddlers and pickers, are joined by award-winning bassist Andrew Osborn and former CBA Youth Ambassador guitarist John Gooding.
World Premiere Reading – 7pm
World Premiere Reading of Judith Offer’s newest play about the voting, arrest, and trial of America’s most famous Suffragette, Susan B. Anthony.
The famous suffragist, Susan B. Anthony, did actually vote once, fifty years before it was legal. Judith’s newest play, carefully researched, tells how and why she and 13 other women in Rochester, New York did it, what happened after, and what these events showed about women’s roles in America in 1872. Originally written to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in America, this story has new poignancy given the events of the recent presidential election.
This Giving Tuesday, Masquers invites you to tune-in to a day-long virtual festival with special guests and performances! As you watch and enjoy, please consider making a donation to Masquers Playhouse or another worthy community organization or group featured during the festival. You can watch on YouTube, Facebook, or by scrolling to the top of this page.
Judith Offer got involved with writing history plays during one of the earliest of her twenty-five years of volunteer teaching of drama in a number of Oakland schools. A fourth-grade teacher requested a California history play, and she found the process so fascinating, and fun, that she wrote a workbook
full, California History Plays for Young People, which sold throughout the state. This led to a full-length musical, A Shirtwaist Tale (Music by Arkadi Serper) about a garment strike in Lower East Side NY in 1909, and Compared to What?, the play about the Pullman Porters that Masquers has scheduled for next season. Judith has a number of non-history plays, too, including 15 others produced in the SF Bay Area, a one-act that has traveled to ten states, and a couple of libretti looking for a composer. Her oeuvre focuses on good parts for women and the different ethnic and national groups that populate the United States, especially African Americans. She is also a poet, with five poetry books and a long list of publications in various journals. She is the mother of two grown daughters and an 8-year-old grandson, Sam, and has lived in the same house in Oakland for 40 years with her husband, Stuart Offer.
For endless other details, check www.JudithOffer.com.
as Susan B. Anthony
Shay has been performing in the Bay Area for over 25 years. She’s appeared at her beloved Masquers Playhouse multiple times and considers it her “home theater”. Other theaters she’s worked in include: Contra Costa Civic Theatre, The Campbell Theater, Altarena Playhouse, and New Conservatory Theatre Center. Just a few of her favorite roles are: Sylvie in The Nance, Bev/Kathy in Clybourne Park, Sonia in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Amanda in The Glass Menagerie, and Rosalind in Photograph 51. Shay looks forward to the day we can all enjoy live theatre again. Until that time, stay safe, wash your hands, and please wear a mask.
as Mary Anthony
Heather is very grateful for the opportunity to perform again after a brief quarantine hiatus. She has longed to perform with Masquers Playhouse, and she is thrilled her introduction is with this new work! Heather was last seen as Ilona Ritter in She Loves Me (Pinole Community Players) with her dear friend Carl Smith, and she is dreaming of the day when she can share the stage with her fellow performers again. In her unprecedented amount of free time, Heather has been teaching herself piano, spending time outdoors, choreographing for kids camp, and enjoying potatoes in their many forms.
as Gula McLean
Michele Delattre is a longtime Masquers member happily acting, directing, and wielding the occasional broom or paintbrush. Elsewhere she is the Curtain Theatre’s artistic director, producing free Shakespeare in Old Mill Park, Mill Valley. Her California acting credits include many East Bay community theaters, ShotzSF, Pacific Rep in Carmel, and San Francisco Shakespeare Festival. When she is not wearing a theater hat, she plays Celtic traditional music with her husband Don Clark.
as Rhoda Degarma
An artist and active member of GearBox Gallery in Oakland, Linda first appeared in Masquers Most Happy Fella in 1985 and has been a stalwart member since then. She was Lobby Manager for six years and has acted, costumed, built and designed sets, stage managed and directed. Favorite roles: Dr. Livingstone in Agnes of God and Hedy LaRue in How to Succeed… Directing favorite: City Of Angels.
She is excited to be part of bringing Just Vote to life.
as Edwin Marsh
Logan Schluntz is thrilled to be in his first production at Masquers Playhouse. Before Covid, he was in Urinetown (Officer Barrell) at Landmark Musical Theatre and Evil Dead, the Musical (ensemble) at Las Positas College, and Matilda the Musical (Ensemble/Mafia Goon) at Contra Costa Musical Theatre. He’s currently in the inaugural class of the Las Positas College Actor’s Conservatory. He would like to thank family and friends for their support and really hopes to be on stage in person again soon.
as Beverly Jones
Vaughn Mayer is excited to perform his first Zoom script reading and his first time working with Masquers! Before the Pandemic he was in Drinking Habits at Santa Clara Players, going to school, and working as a food server. During these hard times, Vaughn keeps busy by holding down a steady job and staying connected to and supporting his friends. This being his first performance since the Covid-19 outbreak, he was elated and grateful for the opportunity to perform again and hopefully help make the holidays a little brighter.
as William Hall
Greg, a San Francisco native, has performed in largely musical theater around the Bay since the mid-1980s with companies ranging from Diablo Light Opera Company, Contra Costa Musical Theater, Contra Costa Civic Theater, Pinole Community Players, Douglass Morrisson, and Stage 1 Theatre in the East Bay, and Hillbarn Theatre, Pacifica Spindrift and Foothill Music Theatre to the South. Cherished dramatic roles include Bruce Niles in The Normal Heart at Pittsburg Community Theatre and Miss Tracy Mills last fall in Town Hall Theatre’s The Legend of Georgia McBride. Thank you Carl Smith for luring me out of my pandemic doldrums for my first Masquers (and Zoom) gig!
as Sylvester Lewis
Jason Berner previously appeared at Masquers as Hector in The Gamester. He has performed at theaters across the East Bay, including Pinole Community Players (Death Trap, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Harvey), Contra Costa Community Theatre (All the Way, You Can’t Take It with You), Chanticleers (Rumors, Born Yesterday), and Vallejo Shakespeare (Taming of the Shrew, Titus Andronicus, Measure for Measure). During the day, Jason works at Contra Costa College. Go Comets!
as Elisha Keeney
George has been a stage actor since 1987 and a Masquers member since 1996. He has performed in numerous theatres primarily in the East Bay including Pinole Players, Pittsburg Community Theatre, Chanticleers, and Altarena in addition to the Masquers. Favorite roles include Felix Ungar in The Odd Couple and Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls. Just Vote will be George’s first Zoom performance.
as Judge Henry Seldon
Mark has performed in comedy, commedia dell’arte, musicals, modern and classical drama, and Shakespeare all over the Bay Area. In addition to his work as a graphic designer, Mark enjoys genealogy, jewelry design, camping, photography, and being a grandfather. He couldn’t do this without the love and encouragement of his wife Laurel.
as Frederick Douglass
Norman has enjoyed working in Bay Area Theater for years, with companies including SF-Shakes, Word for Word, Lorraine Hansberry Theater, TheatreWorks, Shotgun Players, Central Works, Perspective Theater, Ubuntu (now Oakland Theater Project), SF-PlayGround.
Founder of Oakland Public Theater, Norman creates ‘a different kind of Black Theater, expanding notions of culture to encompass often invisible roles of African Americans. He will be directing Judith Offer’s COMPARED TO WHAT? at Masquers Playhouse in the coming season
If only we had an oracle like Pythia or a fortune-telling crone like the Addams family’s grandma, or even a pretty good Magic 8-ball, we’d have more solid information on how 2021 will unfold in our new, safe, and exceedingly cool-looking updated theater. As it is for everybody in our country today, we don’t know what the next few months will bring. We do know that our community’s health is our first priority, and we won’t open until it’s safe for everyone.
So what happens next?
Well, we get creative. A special radio play will be performed live Halloween weekend, and you might want to have someone to hang on to while you watch – just sayin’. We’ll explore ways of bringing you good theater, in whatever form that might take. And we plan for the day we can open, no matter when that might be.
To that end, we’ve chosen a slate of plays that we can’t wait to see performed in our new space. We think these shows evoke a broad range of the human condition, as well as provide a showcase for the creativity and vision of the directors. What ties them all together is what we’re all holding on to right now; love in all its messy, unpredictable, shape-shifting forms.
As You Like It by William Shakespeare, directed by Rice Majors
Rosalind escapes the strict confines of the court to the unrestrained forest of Arden. There, she finds more than just refuge – and when “All the World’s a Stage,” anything can happen. You’ll love this fresh take on one of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies, set in San Francisco during the Summer of Love, with original music written by director Rice Majors.
Rocket Man by Steven Dietz, directed by Jacquie Duckworth
Rocket Man is a serious comedy about the road not taken. Donny Rowan has placed everything he owns on his front lawn, along with a sign that reads: “Here’s my life. Make an offer.” He has cut a skylight into his attic and placed his E-Z Boy recliner underneath—where he can sit, staring at the stars. Somewhere in the universe, Donny believes, is a place where all the roads we never chose converge. Rocket Man explores one man’s obsessive desire to find this “parallel world” —and the profound effect of his decision on his family and friends.
Sordid Lives by Del Shores, directed by Carl Smith
Hilarity ensues as two chaotic days unfold following the death of Peggy, a respectable Christian grandmother who died in a seedy motel room after tripping over the wooden legs of her lover. And yep. He’s married to Peggy’s sister’s neighbor who lives in the trailer out back. These two days shake loose many skeletons from the closet (ahem) as this unique menagerie of family and friends wallows in riotous feuds, resentments, remorses, and reconciliations. (Leave the kids at home for this one.)
Compared to What? by Oakland playwright Judith Offer, directed by Norman Gee
Set in West Oakland in 1926, this rich historically-accurate play tells the story of two Pullman Porters stopping over for rest at Mary Heany’s boarding house. They are caught between the need to form a union and the danger of belonging to one. Young Willie is curious to become a porter. Success, hopes, and dreams are only measured as such when compared to what?
Amélie, the musical by Craig Lucas, Nathan Tysen, Daniel Messé, Jean Pierre Jeunet, Guillaume Laurant, directed by Enrico Banson
Amélie is an extraordinary young woman who lives quietly in the world but loudly in her mind. She covertly improvises small but surprising acts of kindness that bring joy and mayhem. But when a chance at love comes her way, Amélie realizes that to find happiness she’ll have to risk everything and say what’s in her heart. Be inspired by this imaginative dreamer who finds her voice, discovers the power of connection, and sees possibility around every corner.
|When Covid is behind us, we’ll throw open our doors and show off our theater and make some magic together. |
Until then, keep updated on Facebook. And don’t be a stranger, you know? Drop us a line every now and then so we know you’re safe.
Thank you for supporting Masquers Playhouse and all community arts organizations.