Some sad, bad news from Rochester:

After 25 years and 79 shows, Masque Youth Theatre and School will be closing its doors for good on June 29, 2009. Though the theater's budget hovered around $100,000, the theater's founder and Artistic Director, Sylvia Mae Langworthy, as well as any staff were largely volunteer. According to the press release on the website, when Langworthy decided to retire, the Board of Directors set out on a fundraising campaign with the intention of hiring a director. They raised only $20,000 - not the $50,000 they hoped for and decided that "current resources were not sufficient to continue operations."

I learned about this only because I received an email about the sale of Masque's costumes. Here's the message:

As a result of the closure, the Masque costume wardrobe of 25 years (79 shows) will be on sale. (Click here for the list.) All Masque costumes are cleaned before storage and are maintained as complete shows. Some shows come complete with hats, cloaks, capes, etc. During the month of July, the Masque will be selling costumes for complete shows only. Appointments to view these costumes can be made during the following times:

Wednesdays, July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, at 10:00 am – 1:30 pm
Tuesdays, July 7, 14, 21, 28, at 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Thursdays, July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, at 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Saturdays, July 11, 18, 25, by appointment only

Any costumes not sold as a full show in July may be available for sale as separate pieces in August. Date yet to be determined. To make an appointment and/or get a list of costumes and prices contact: The Masque at (507) 287-0704 or e-mail: [email protected]

Maureen Low, Masque Education Coordinator, also added: "Of course we have so much else for sale (tech equipment, fixtures, props, furniture, seats and so much more) as everything needs to be cleared out for us to sell the building. We are concentrating on the costumes right now."

So, go down to Rochester, find yourself some good deals, but also remember, as Maureen put it in her email to me, "This are sad times for us."