The University of Maine Dramatic Club was officially formed on December 3, 1906 by members of Windsor P. Daggett’s advanced public speaking course. They elected temporary officers and chose Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” to be their first presentation. Auditions, called try outs, were held on December 18, 1906 and again on January 8, 1907 with 75-100 men representing all sections of the college. On January 11, 1907 they met to announce the cast and adopt a constitution drawn up by the temporary executive board. The Dramatic Club’s first performance of “As You Like It” was on May 17, 1907 at Brewer City Hall. They also performed at Hancock Hall in Ellsworth, date unknown, and had a final performance on campus in the gymnasium at Alumni Hall, which later became “Little Theater”. The campus performance was on May 22, 1907 and featured the Glee Club singing Shakespearean songs, and the University Orchestra playing an overture. The first year of the University of Maine Dramatic Club came to a close on May 31, 1907 with a final meeting to vote on officers for the following year. For a number of years the Dramatic Club would perform one main production each year, touring it to a number of locations in the region before having a final performance on campus. It wasn’t until November 7, 1910 that the Dramatic Club voted to change their name to the Maine Masque, to match the large letter M on each half of their main curtain.
Drama was first offered as a degree at the University of Maine in 1933-34 and since that time the Maine Masque has evolved into the organization that it is today. Open to all University of Maine students, the Maine Masque’s primary goals are to support and produce theater at the University of Maine. Each year the Maine Masque produces one main stage production as part of the School of Performing Arts season of events. The School of Performing Arts offers music, theater, and dance degrees at the University of Maine. The Maine Masque is an independent organization under the jurisdiction of the University of Maine Student Government, but closely works with the School of Performing Arts to support theater activities at the University including independent performances directed by University of Maine students and various theater related activities on and off campus. Some of the many activities that the Maine Masque organizes include: trips to New York City open to all University students, a welcome back to school BBQ at the Pavilion each fall, a Maine Masque Ball each spring, attendance at the American College Theater Festival, representation at the New England Theater Conference, and the Apple Awards which is our version of the Tony Awards.