Archive Record

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Catalog Number 2008.045.002
Object Name Program, Theater
Scope & Content Program for Masque and Staff's performance of "Night of January 16th" at Higgins School on November 4, 5, 10, 11, 1960.

Cast includes: Kay Bumpas, Norman Burtt, Robert Altergott, Pat Marshall, Patt Gersdorf, Lee Ann Harling, Robert Johnson, Jessie Cusser John Harling, Joan Hazlett, Harry Horst, Bonnie Casey, Richard Hazlett, Morris Pumphrey, Lois McKelvey, Connie Miezio, Don Walker, Audrey Thompson, Jim Spahr, Russ Gotha, Lois Gotha.
Collection Schuette Biermann Farmhouse Collection
Notes Masque and Staff was formed in 1959 at The Church of the Good Shepherd in Elk Grove Village by Shirley and Bob Johnson along with about a dozen of other church members.
The name and logo originated from the use of a comedy/tragedy mask denoting theater and a shepherd's staff denoting the church. Many of the first performances took place in the Dempster Junior High auditorium. Shirley Johnson, Bob Johnson, Pat Marshall, Bonnie Casey, Wally Meyer, Ron Gersdorf, Patt Gersdorf, and Lois McKelvey were charter members of Masque and Staff.

The first production was a musical/variety show at the Dempster Junior High School auditorium entitled "Just for Fun." Eleven additional shows were produced using the Dempster School. In 1964, the first dinner theater show "The Moon Is Blue," was performed in the lower level banquet room of the Maitre D' restaurant in Elk Grove Village.

After Elk Grove High School opened in 1966, the group began to perform shows in the theater. From 1968 to 1993, Masque and Staff awarded a scholarship each year to a graduating senior who was active in the High School's theater arts program. Other locations that hosted their dinner-theater productions included the Elks Club in Arlington Heights, Green Tree Inn in Bensenville, Mr. Duke's/Georgio's in Wooddale and the Itasca Country Club.

Masque and Staff staged 114 plays from 1959 to 1998. During those years Shirley Johnson directed all but seven of those productions.
Source Lois McKelvey