THE HISTORY OF THE MASQUE
The Masque Theatre is a vibrant, community driven theatre situated in the heart of Muizenberg in Cape Town.
Annually, The Masque plays host to a wide variety of live productions of different genres – both community and professional productions. As a registered Non-Profit Organisation; The Masque strives to make theatre accessible to all – from both an onstage, backstage and an audience perspective.
The Masque was opened in 1959 by a local attorney, Bertie Stern. Stern had a vision to provide a platform for both amateur and professional performers, regardless of their social or political situation at that time. When The Masque opened, it was one of the only theatres in Cape Town that was open to people of all ethnic backgrounds.
With two venues that are used for various productions: the main theatre, seating 170 people and the theatre foyer stage which seats 60. The Masque is wheelchair friendly, has a fully licensed bar and refreshments are available before shows and during intervals.
1959 - The Birth of the Masque
The Masque Theatre is a very active theatre, created by our founder Bertie Stern in 1959 with the aim to encourage voluntary participation in all forms of theatre by all people.
1993 - Bertie's Passing
Before his death in 1993, he gave the Masque Theatre over to the 4 Dramatic Societies to run. 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.
1997 - The Disastrous Fire
The theatre was totally destroyed by fire in 1997, and it took two years to rebuild (thanks largely to the generosity of the late Joan St Leger-Lindbergh).
1999 - 2019 - Expansion Occurs
The theatre reopens after the devastating fire.
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.
2020 - 2022 - The Pandemic Hits
In 2020, along with the majority of businesses in South Africa, the Masque Theatre closed it's door, due to the rollercoaster that was Covid-19
Masque Theatre supporters from across the world came together in a Backabuddy Crowdfunding campaign, saving the theatre once again by a hair's breadth!
The pandemic sadly saw two of the original societies close, FHDS and MADS
2023 - A New Era for the Masque
This time the ashes were proverbial... but the phoenix takes flight once more!
With a dedicated and innovative team at the helm, the theatre is once again full of life and welcoming in all types of artists.