Troupe Strives for Stage Repairs

ALEXANDER BROWN/THE HOYA
The Mask & Bauble Dramatic Society is soliciting donations in the “Keep the Lights On!” campaign to replace the dimmer system for their home, Stage III, located within Poulton Hall.

The Mask & Bauble Dramatic Society will have to raise $33,000 to replace the dimmer system in Poulton Hall’s Stage III, but, until its fiscal goals are met, the group has resorted to using ice cubes to keep the lights cool enough to operate during shows.
The performing arts group is fundraising to replace its dimmer system, which controls the changing light settings during its productions.
The current dimmers are 15-years-old and have required extensive maintenance recently, including the application of hair dryers set to non-heat functions to keep them cool during shows, according to M & B’s current Executive and Associate Producers, Harry Wilken (COL ’14) and T. Chase Meacham (COL ’14).
In Meacham and Wilken’s appeal, published on the program’s website, the tiered gift recognition structure revealed that $700 would provide an individual dimmer, while $8,000 would obtain an entire rack, which consists of 12 dimmers; either donation would secure naming rights, among other recognition schemes.
“They’ve just reached the end of their useful life, like everything on this campus at some point,” Department of Performing Arts Administrative Director Ron Lignelli said.
The troupe requires 48 new dimmers. To cover the cost, M & B has already dedicated $5,000 from its gift fund to the project. The Performing Arts Advisory Council announced on Tuesday that it would match M & B’s donation.
Lignelli hopes that the other $23,000 will come from alumni and parent donations.
“The connectedness of the alums is very strong,” Lignelli said. “I think that [raising the total] is very doable.”
For Michael Lokensgard (SFS ’90), a Georgetown and M & B alumnus, the gratitude he feels for the memories he made with M & B compelled him to donate.
“I have a lot of fun memories of it, and I’m able to help out, so why not?” Lokensgard said. “It was a great group of people. I probably keep in touch with more people from that organization than from any other group or class on campus.”
Wilken and Meacham believe that this sense of community continues in M & B today and will help them reach their goal.
“Everybody talks about Mask and Bauble with this insane passion and love, and I can completely relate to that,” Wilken said.
This dedication to M & B is apparent from the rapid speed of the donations made by alumni and others. Only two weeks after launching, M & B is a third of the way to reaching its $33,000 goal, having already raised over $12,000.
M & B leaders have set March 1 as the goal for an end date of the project, but the work will need to be completed over the summer when no shows are in production. The troupe only has two shows left on stage III this season.
For Wilken and Chase, that means that their hard work will come to fruition after they both graduate in May, but they said the timing did not bother them.
“If I can come back and see a show with no flickering lights, I will be so happy,” Meacham added. “It will all be worth it.”

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