The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

Mask & Wig Club presents A Comedy of Terrors + Interview with Mask & Wig members Credit: Freda Zhao , Freda Zhao

Do you need more witty humor, tap dancing numbers and knockoff Ghostbuster costumes in your life? You may want to check out The Mask and Wig Club’s first ever horror-comedy performance.

“A Comedy of Terrors” centers on the efforts of two brothers who try to win over more viewers for their paranormal investigation TV show against a rival show. Other than Mask and Wig’s traditional feature of men dressed in women’s clothing, this year’s show has a human-ghost romance.

Though the material is light, preparation for such an event is a serious undertaking. Members of the club begin brainstorming for their spring show at the beginning of the previous summer, soon after school lets out in May. In fact, the whole show is written over a few weeks in late August before the fall semester begins.

The script is then tweaked and improved countless times until the cast begins its first day of rehearsal on Jan. 2. From there, practices can range anywhere from four to 14 hours per day until the production’s first show in mid-January.

“Collectively, we put in about 7,500 hours to make this happen,” said Mask and Wig Chairman Rishi Simha, a Wharton senior. “I’m really proud of my guys.”

Part of putting on the show falls into the hands of the business staff, which is responsible for publicity and selling tickets, often using advertising tactics and bringing in campus groups to sell out shows. Groups, like the sprint football team recently, attend shows as a bonding activity, Simha said.

After weeks of rehearsal leading up to the first show, actors and musicians must have their parts down cold because rehearsals stop after the first performance. Of course, changes will be made. “Sometimes there will be a line that doesn’t land, so we tweak it to make it more punchy,” Cast Director Joe Miciak, a College senior, said. But otherwise, few differences typically arise from show to show.

Membership in Mask and Wig is a serious commitment, but a rewarding one. In addition to their shows in their Center City theater, members will be traveling overseas this spring to perform the show before a London audience.

“It’s the first time Wig has gone overseas,” band leader Wyatt Shapiro, an Engineering senior, said.

“We were able to use our relationships with the Penn Club, the Wharton Club of London and Penn Development to make it happen,” Simha said. Despite the club’s deep history, this is clearly a year of firsts for a group of guys ready to show themselves to the world.

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.