Isabella Abbott | Features Editor
Aug. 25, 2022
The Duquesne University Red Masquers have released a lineup filled with unique performances for the 2022-23 year.
From “SpongeBob SquarePants the Musical” to “Burlesque on The Bluff,” Duquesne students will have many different genres of performances to choose from.
The first performance on the calendar this fall is the Pittsburgh “New Works Play Festival,” which Duquesne began hosting at the Genesius Theater on Aug. 20. The performance will run through Sept. 17.
During these dates, viewers can watch the many plays put on by theatre companies in the Pittsburgh region, including The South Hills Players and McKeesport Little Theater.
Most of these new plays will also be available in-person or to stream on demand.
The Red Masquers’ first performance back on the Bluff will be their “Fall Play-In-A-Day.” This includes students writing, memorizing and rehearsing a number of plays in a 24-hour time period.
Some members, like Victoria Kapfer, describe that period as “chaotic fun.”
“It’s chaotic, for starters,” Kapfer said. “People are taking coffee shots all day, and it shows how fun we can be.”
Kapfer, a senior Secondary English Education major and the President of Red Masquers, said she is ecstatic for the upcoming shows this year like “SpongeBob SquarePants the Musical.”
“With auditions coming up, we’ve been getting so much interest, and we’re hoping to have a really strong presence this year,” Kapfer said. “We’ve already ordered pool noodles and seaweed cutouts.”
John Lane, Arts and Executive Director of the Red Masquers, knows that the SpongeBob SquarePants performance will be a hit because of its unique script and large cast size.
“It’s a really lovely show,” Lane said, “the score is really clever, the script is really cute and it’s got a big cast.”
Auditions will be held for “SpongeBob SquarePants the Musical” on Sept. 5-6 from 6 to 9 p.m.
The actual performance is scheduled to run from Nov. 3-19.
Roughly a month after the SpongeBob SquarePants performance, the Red Masquers will perform their “One Acts for Charity” event from Dec. 3-10.
This event has students putting on a number of plays, with proceeds going toward a charity of their choosing.
There will be a “Spring Play-In-A-Day” performance on Jan. 7, similar to the fall.
There will be four other performances during the spring semester.
One of these performances, known as “Burlesque on The Bluff,” is already bringing excitement to the members of the Red Masquers because of its historical factor. The show is based off the 2010 movie-musical “Burlesque,” featuring artists Christina Aguilera and Cher.
“I like how we’re presenting the historical part of it since Burlesque has taken on a different meaning,” Lane said. “We’re going back to this meaning with songs and acts.”
Susan Betten, Vice President and costume chair of the Red Masquers, is thrilled for what this performance will look like as well.
“I’m super interested in the history of Vaudeville and Burlesque type performance, not to mention the costumes, and I can’t wait to see where we take that production,” Betten said.
From March 23-April 2, the Masquers will be putting on “Serenade.”
Red Masquers secretary Rachel Lewandowski said she can’t wait to be a part of this show.
“I’m really excited for Serenade since it’s the world premiere for it, and [it] will hopefully be a cool process,” Lewandowski said.
From Jan. 25-29, the play “Mud” will be performed. The Red Masquers’ last performance of the year will be Premieres 46, which includes a series of short plays that will run near the end of the semester, from April 19-22.
Students who are interested in joining the Red Masquers can reach out to Lane, who is the director of the university’s Theater Arts program.
Kapfer wants it to be known that students of all interests and backgrounds are welcome.
“…If you’re passionate about theater, you’re able to just come and have fun with everyone,” Kapfer said.