For over 85 years, student-run theatre has flourished at La Salle. Originating in 1929 as the “Buskin and Bauble Club,” students produced the stage play, The Queen’s Husband. In 1931, Brother President Felix reorganized the theatre program into the La Salle College Dramatic Society. With them, the one-act play, “Copy,” was produced. In 1933, The Masque was founded by Professor Joe Sprissler, a member of the School of Business Administration. It was Professor Sprissler who acted as The Masque’s first moderator. In 1934, under its new name, the organization put on a production of the show Sun Up. In 1935, the students who comprised the cast and crew of Sun Up formed the formal organization of The Masque of La Salle College. From there on, The Masque presented one show annually until the beginning of World War II.
Upon returning from the war, students — most notably James Leary — reorganized the group and hired a new moderator, Willard Walsh. Acclaim for The Masque grew rapidly. Soon, it became one of the most popular and successful student organizations on campus. Under the guidance of Walsh, The Masque continued its growth.
The year 1950 brought with it a new era in Masque history. Dan Rodden, for whom our theatre is currently named, raised The Masque’s bar to a whole new level: professional theatre. After ushering in La Salle Summer Theatre, Rodden became adviser to The Masque, designer of and eventual namesake of the theatre, notorious English professor, and cherished individual for the entire Lasallian community.
Recently, The Masque of La Salle University has been attempting more progressive shows. We are intersted in showcasing this groups ability to broaden its horizons by performing two mainstage productions annually, becoming an active member in La Salle’s administrative processes, and offering students opportunities to learn not only about theatre, but history, society and American theatre’s potential for the future. There’s more history to be made, so come be a part of one of La Salle’s oldest surviving student groups.