Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
The Masque Society, 1916-1930
The Masque Society of Jackson College was formed in 1916 to promote dramatics and to present at least one production annually.
Although the first meetings of the Masque Society were held in the fall of 1915, the group was not officially established until spring of 1916. The society itself consisted of Jackson students only, but the plays they presented included both male and female students. Generally, the Masque Society voted on a proposed play, and picked a faculty member to direct it. The society then designated a stage manager from its own ranks, and auditioned actors from around campus.
Although its stated purposes were to present one play annually and discuss plays, dramatists, costumes, and all that could be termed dramatic, the Masque Society basically concentrated on producing plays. By the mid-1920's, the Masque Society presented at least two plays a year, often opening the season with a night of one-acts.
By 1926, discussion had begun among Masque Society members concerning a possible merger with Pen, Paint, and Pretzels, the men's drama club. The Masque Society and Pen, Paint, and Pretzels formed a joint advisory committee to discuss both groups' annual plans, but remained officially separated. Finally, in spring 1930, the Masque Society voted to officially join Pen, Paint, and Pretzels. Since both groups produced plays featuring male and female performers, and both played similar roles in organizing their productions, the merger allowed them to combine treasuries and sponsor more ambitious plays.
The Masque Society disbanded in 1930, merging with Pen Paint and Pretzels, whcih remains Tufts largest undergraduate drama group.