The Duquesne University Red Masquers are the oldest amateur theatre company in the city of Pittsburgh. Known as the Red Masquers since 1914, the company can trace its roots back to the late 19th century when Duquesne first started to offer courses in drama. The name Red Masquers refers to Masques, a form of European court entertainment in the 17th century, and the "red" of course representing Duquesne's colors.
The group is constituted by a mixture of Duquesne students from all majors, including pharmacy, business, communications, English, and more. Membership is open to all students in good academic standing.
The Red Masquers encourages students to try their hand at everything the theater has to offer; no one is just an actor or just a technician. Since they are a part of an academic institution, they are open to providing anyone who would like the opportunity to know more about theater the chance to learn new skills and expand their appreciation for the Arts.
The Masquers put on a variety of plays throughout the year, annually performing three main-stage plays, generally consisting of one classical, one modern, and one contemporary. One of these main stage plays is an alumni show in which former members of the Red Masquers are invited to participate. Additionally, they perform two sets of One-act plays. In the winter, the company performs "Premieres," which are student-written plays, while in the spring, "One Acts for Charity," selected from professional playwrights, are performed. The group has also participated in the Pittsburgh Monologue Project. More recently, the group has started performing an annual cabaret performance. The cabarets have different themes, but always strive to recreate the atmosphere of a Supper club of the 20s and 30s.
The Red Masquers celebrated their 100th Season during the 2012-13 School Year. To commemorate this landmark occasion, all of their performances that year were world premieres.
Though the Red Masquers have had many homes over the years, they currently perform in Peter Mills Auditorium, a lecture hall/theater located in Rockwell Hall - a part of Duquesne University's campus. A brand new, state-of-the-art Black Box Theater is set to open in Fall 2015 for the use of the Red Masquers and other performing arts groups at Duquesne.
The Red Masquers won the "Outstanding Production" Award for "Moon Over Gomorrah" for the 2013 Pittsburgh New Works Festival.
- "Red Masquers". Duquesne University. Retrieved March 26, 2010.
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