Mask and Bauble Dramatic Society

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Mask and Bauble Dramatic Society
Mask and Bauble logo.jpg
Abbreviation M&B
Formation 1852
Type Collegiate theatre troupe
Legal status Active
Purpose Student-run alternative
Headquarters Stage III, Poulton Hall
Region served
Washington, D.C., USA
Executive Producer
Michael Donnay

The Mask and Bauble Dramatic Society of Georgetown University is the oldest continuously running collegiate theatre troupe in the United States.[1] Today, the Society is one of five theatre groups on the Georgetown campus and is entirely student-run. In its 164th Season, the group continues to provide an opportunity for students to develop artistic, technical, and administrative skills, while performing high-quality theatre.

Mask and Bauble produces four main stage shows annually, including the Donn B. Murphy One Acts Festival which focuses on student-written work. All shows are directed, produced, designed, and performed by students.


Mask and Bauble was founded in 1852 as The Dramatic Association of Georgetown College, staging its first show, Pizarro, a play by Richard Brinsley Sheridan, on February 27, 1853.[2] World War I priorities caused a suspension of its performances, and after the war the group was revived with the new name of Mask and Bauble. The society was the first of its kind to use female actresses in 1922, as female roles were previously filled by male actors. It formally accepted female members in 1934.[3]

During this time the Society had a close relationship with the Roosevelt White House, with Eleanor Roosevelt as a society patron.[4] During the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations, student technicians from the group assisted with the technical aspects of some of the nation's first televised presidential press conferences.[3] This intimate relationship with the White House was nurtured by the society's faculty adviser, Donn B. Murphy, who also served as theatrical adviser to Kennedy and Johnson. Murphy served until 1976, although he remains involved with Georgetown theatre. The Society's annual playwright contest and one acts festival bears his name, and promotes student-written plays.[5]


Mask and Bauble performs in Poulton Hall's Stage Three, on the Georgetown campus.[6] This theater space, part of the university, was occupied by students from the group over spring break in 1975. Unsatisfied with university commitment to theater, they squatted in what was previously Room 57, and built a makeshift theater they named Stage Two.[3] The university forced this to be taken down, but built the group a small theater in Poulton Hall, which became Stage Three. Stage One was then converted into the scene and costume shop. While the club's alumni were very active in raising money to build Georgetown's new Davis Performing Arts Center, the society and other student groups have been restricted from using the Center's main theatre due to their insistence on maintaining student, rather than faculty, direction.[citation needed] In 2009, Mask & Bauble co-produced Caroline, or Change with the Black Theater Ensemble and the Department of Performing Arts on the main stage of the Davis center, making it the first student directed play on the Gonda Stage.[7]

Club membership currently stands over 100 students, making it the largest theatre group on Georgetown's campus.

Production History[edit]

2014-2015 (163)

2013-2014 (162)

2012-2013 (161)

  • The History Boys
  • DBMOAF: featuring Spiritual Ecstasies
  • Polk Street by T. Chase Meacham (in collaboration with Nomadic Theatre)
  • Spring Awakening

2011-2012 (160)

  • DBMOAF: featuring Peaches and Freon and #Courage
  • The Deep Blue Sea
  • The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
  • Macbeth

2010-2011 (159)

  • Arsenic and Old Lace
  • DBMOAF: featuring Typhoid Fever
  • Sweeney Todd
  • Rabbit Hole
  • Workshops: Trial of God, and Tennessee Williams Night of Scenes

2009-2010 (158)

  • No Exit
  • Caroline or Change
  • The Real Thing
  • DBMOAF: featuring The Hypothetical Detective
  • The Taming of the Shrew

2008-2009 (157)

  • 12 Angry Men
  • Raised in Captivity
  • The Foreigner
  • DBMOAF: featuring Witness
  • Jekyll and Hyde

2007-2008 (156)

  • Hamlet
  • All in the Timing
  • Black Comedy
  • DBMOAF: featuring In the Mind of a Great Man
  • Cabaret

2006-2007 (155)

  • The Importance of Being Earnest
  • The Glass Menagerie
  • Antigone
  • DBMOAF: featuring McSwiggen and the Ghost
  • A New Brain

2005-2006 (154)

  • Much Ado About Nothing
  • The Shape of Things
  • The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek
  • DBMOAF: featuring Chemistry
  • Urinetown

2004-2005 (153)

  • Aunt Dan and Lemon
  • The Love of the Nightingale
  • Cloud 9
  • DBMOAF: featuring Triptych and Diamonds are a Boy’s Best Friend
  • Assassins



  1. ^ Jarvis, Nicole (September 7, 2012). "Country’s Oldest Theater Troupe Shines". The Hoya. Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  2. ^ O'Neill, Paul R.; Williams, Paul K. (2003). Georgetown University. Arcadia Publishing. p. 24. ISBN 0738515094. 
  3. ^ a b c Anelli, Melissa (January 21, 2000). "Mask & Bauble Provide 148 Years of Theater, GU Tradition". The Hoya. Retrieved 2009-01-14. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Mask and Bauble Club Drama Nearly Ready at Georgetown". The Washington Post. February 2, 1936. Retrieved 2009-01-14. 
  5. ^ Sandler, Corey; Lawrence, Michael; Waldstein, Mark (2002). Mr. Cheap's Washington, D.C. Adams Media. p. 169. ISBN 1580626939. 
  6. ^ "Poulton Hall Stage 3". The Washington Post. 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-14. 
  7. ^ "D.C. Going Out Guide events: Nov. 19-25, 2009". The Washington Post. November 19, 2009. Retrieved September 4, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "Discovery Georgetown's Mask and Bauble". The Corp. November 9, 2011. Retrieved September 4, 2012. 

External links[edit]