About the Masque Theatre
The Masque Theatre community venue, seating 174, that is able to host live shows (musicals, dramas, dancing, etc.), seminars, presentations and film shows.
The Masque Theatre Auditorium and Foyer is easily accessible.
The Masque Theatre is fully licensed.
Facilities and Equipment
Our facilities and equipment include: dressing rooms, excellent lighting and sound equipment and large foyer area where smaller performances are hosted in a dinner theatre environment.
Masque Theatre History
In 1957 local attorney, Bertie Stern, Chairman of the South Peninsula Dramatic Society purchased the land that now houses the Masque Theatre. Not by any means as it now stands, but rather as a totally derelict building with no roof and four walls that was previously a bowling alley! With the help of friends, the hard grind of do-it-yourself construction began, and finally when the building was finished, the struggle with the powers-that-be for permission to operate a theatre in a residential area , especially as Bertie insisted it was multi-racial in what was then a non-multi-racial society, would take another two years! Every possible obstacle was used to stop Bertie opening a theatre in which all races were welcome …persistence, however, eventually won the day, and the 10th January 1959 saw the grand opening of The Masque Theatre. Bertie made the inaugural speech and emphasized that the Masque Theatre Club, as it was called, intended to combine the best players of all races from both amateur and professional theatre who were interested in the creation of a group with a permanent repertoire.
And so finally, the show was on the road! The Masque Theatre players staged many and varied productions until, in 1976, Pam Ross approached Bertie and asked if the Bergvleit Dramatic Society (now Constantiaberg Theatre Players) could use the Masque for their productions. This was the beginning of other societies using the Masque Theatre as their home. Some well known performers of the early days were, among others, Alec Bell, Zoe Randall, Yvonne Bryceland, Percy Sieff, Frank Lazarus and the most recent success, David Kramer’s Kat and the Kings in 1997.
Then in October 1997 disaster struck and the Masque Theatre was gutted by fire! On the day of the fire a TV crew, a radio station and media reporters interviewed Celia Musikanth, acting Chairperson of the Masque Management Board, as to the future of the Masque – whether in fact there was one?! With tears running down her cheeks Celia said “The Masque Theatre will NOT die.” The task ahead was onerous but the community soon rallied, sub-committees were formed and worked long and hard to ensure that the Masque” remained alive. Many donations were regularly made…
small, medium and large but the most phenomenal and generous donation came from the late Joan St. Leger Lindbergh who simply said “I am in for a million! And so what Bertie started in 1959 as a community theatre continues thanks to the overwhelming generosity of Joan and the incredible support (both financial and other) of so many wonderful people!
The tradition goes on. Bertie personally ran the theatre until his death in 1993. Subsequently, his estate created the Masque Theatre Trust to own the property, but responsibility of administration and operating was to be undertaken by the Stern Masque Theatre Association. The members of the dramatic societies currently represented on the committee elect this non-profit, voluntary body to office.
It is now a first-class venue, seating 174, able to host live shows (musicals, dramas, dancing, etc.), seminars, presentations, film shows, and so on. Facilities and equipment include dressing rooms, excellent lighting and sound equipment.