Our mission as stated in the Articles of Incorporation for The Masquers reads as follows... "The purpose of The Masquers shall be to establish a community theater in the Manitowoc/Two Rivers area to provide education and culture in the form of dramatic productions presented for the benefit of the citizens of the lakeshore area; to provide an outlet for the members of the corporation and citizens of the area to learn the theater arts and express their dramatic abilities; to provide a means by which amateur dramatic talent can be developed; and to do whatever properly may be incidental to such purposes.
More simply, our reason for existing is to create wonderfully entertaining shows for the people on the lakeshore, and to pass on what we have learned about the theater arts to anyone who expresses an interest. We've done that since 1931, and we hope to continue for many years to come.
One of our long-standing members (60 years) was fond of saying, "we may be doctors, nurses, lawyers, teachers, professionals, housewives or students, but when we walk through those doors we are all Masquers." That's what being a member of The Masquers is really about. A community of people who have one thing in common - the love of theater.
... "we may be doctors, nurses, lawyers, teachers, professionals, housewives or students, but when we walk through those doors we are all Masquers."
Within our ranks are people who not only love to perform, but also love every aspect of theater; building and designing sets; creating costumes; gathering props; handling spotlights; playing in the orchestra pit; working backstage; creating make-up and hair pertinent to the production. We also have members who are happy performing the day-to-day tasks like committee work and maintaining our facilities; writing reports and organizing inventory.
For over eighty years valuable people have been coming through our doors at just the right time. To solve a problem for which we had no answer, or to fill a roll that was recently vacated. It's been almost as magical as the shows we produce. I can't wait to see who comes through the door next.
by Gary Retzak
In 2000, Tom Winter and I co-directed the James Sherman play Beau Jest. Three weeks before opening night, the actor who was cast as the Jewish father, Abe, had to leave the cast for medical reasons. Someone told us about a new Masquers member who could fill the role perfectly--Tom DeLain. When asked, Tom eagerly stepped in. At his first rehearsal, Tom’s theatrical experience and sense of comedic timing were immediately apparent to the directors. Tom was off book within a week and the show went on to be a big success.
Beau Jest was Tom’s second appearance in a Masquers production. Though his first Masquers appearance was in Gypsy in 1999, Tom was not new to community theater. He came to Masquers with a long list of previous appearances in the Fox Valley. Before Tom and his wife (and The Masquers’ president), Cathy, moved to Manitowoc, he was active in several community theater groups in Appleton. Tom said he got his start in theater when a fellow member of the church choir encouraged him to audition for the Riverside Players production of Mikado in 1975. At 44 years of age, Tom won his first role. Since then, Tom’s rich baritone voice, expressive face, superb acting ability, and sense of timing helped him to land roles in a total of 55 musicals and comedies. Nearly half of these were with The Masquers.
Tom and Cathy were awarded The Masquers’ Jimmy Award in 2012 for their commitment and support of The Masquers.