The Mask & Wig Club of the University of Pennsylvania

A Survey of the First 50 Years (1889-1939): The Relationship between the Club and the Non-Club
By Alexander S. Distell and the SYG Class of 2008


1. Introduction…………………………………………………………………….p. 3 2. In the Beginning………………………………………………………………..p. 4 3. The 1890’s……………………………………………………………………...p. 6 4. October 10th—17th 1899………………………………………………………..p. 9 5. The Early 20th Century…………………………………………........................p. 11 6. The Roaring ‘20’s and Onwards……………………………………………….p. 13 7. The 1930’s and 1940’s………………………………………………………....p. 16 8. The Undergraduate Club Today………………………………………………..p. 17 9. The Clubbies…………………………………………………………………....p. 20 10.Conclusion……………………………………………………………………...p. 21


the dynamic between the Graduate Club and the Undergraduate Club has undergone little though some change. the Mask and Wig Club of the University of Pennsylvania has carried on a vibrant tradition of all-male burlesque and cabaret style dramatics and antics at the University of Pennsylvania. the Club remains the focus of student extra-curricular life and enjoys its reputation as the nation’s oldest allmale musical comedy troupe. Besides its strong ties with the university community. Mask and Wig draws the largest audiences after men’s basketball and football. Of greater interest remain the considerable transformations endured over the years by undergraduates regarding their status as club members of Mask and Wig. For the last 118 years. Introduction For well over a century.§ 1. -3- . Currently. Today the Club comprises a company of roughly 45 men. undergraduate members enjoy the ongoing support and involvement of a dedicated and enthusiastic Graduate Club of alumni. and succeeds in disseminating a sense of belonging within the university community amongst those who wend their way down to the historic Clubhouse for the annual spring production. all of various backgrounds and experiences whose integration of diversity brings to Mask and Wig an originality and richness that stands as a testament to the strength of the Club as an institution.

It was therefore only natural that Philadelphia’s more prominent and privileged sons should attempt crafting a society whose nature resonated with and exemplified the then current state of the nation. surfing the rapids of the new Industrial Revolution towards a golden age of culture and an economic boon. The preceding terms will be utilized throughout the rest of this discussion regarding undergraduate membership though evidence does not exist suggesting that Mask and Wig employed these terms during its early history. the earlier structure of the Club’s hierarchy resulted in a company inherently competitive and less unified than today.The modern titles conferred upon undergraduate constituents to distinguish their respective roles within the company are the Non-Club and the Club. Currently. the Mask and Wig Club finds itself more of a fraternity-like organization that imbues equally as much stress on social activities and fraternal bonds as on the theatrical productions that constitute its raison d’être. Non-clubbies consist in those men not yet nominated for membership in the Club. In the Beginning… The Mask and Wig Club emerged as an organization at a time during which the United States of America found itself upon a seat of increasing global power. whereas clubbies refers to undergraduates elected for membership. The following will attempt to acquire an understanding of the relationship between the Club and Non-Club in reference to the undergraduate company during the Mask and Wig Club’s first 50 years. § 2. four young men led by Clayton -4- . Restless given the dearth of opportunities. In 1888 theater arts did not provide much of an outlet for students at Pennsylvania. Evidently.

-5- .Fotterall McMichael began staging their own productions at the 40th Street Grand Opera House in West Philadelphia. Forbes. Werdersheimer. though its members soon officially christened it “The Mask and Wig Club of the University of Pennsylvania. and Charles call N.” Inspired by a burlesque production by the London Gaiety Troupe prompted the Club’s very first production.B. society’s elite. F. This owed itself much to the work of the founder’s mothers who encouraged their friends.3 Some of the nation’s most well-regarded families attended.”2 Historian William A. posted in the basement of inlay). 1889. “The Footlights” According to 1941 Club Pierrot. Among the original organization and “The were “The Harlequin”.I. Camac for whose names appear on the auditions that resides upon the Speculation has it that on April theater troupe were laid out. names regular considered meetings for the original notice Clubhouse wall to this day. Charles Camac came up with “The Mask and Wig Association”. including the Lippincotts and Biddles.” which proved a total social and financial success at the Chestnut Street Opera House on June 4th.B.1 The other three men included W. “Lurline” or “The Knight and the Naiads. Nielson. the seal of approval stamped by those listed in the Social Register proved essential to the Club’s early continued existence. 24th 1888. in spreading the word and officially serving as patronesses. official plans for a After the call notice was College Hall (see photo ensued. For a newborn organization at such an institution as Penn.

The 1890’s During this decade of substantial growth. They therefore comprised the original Graduate Club membership. only three years after its founding. McMichael. In 1891. Brooks. Kendrick. Coulston. and Gates (surprisingly. Mask and Wig enjoyed success both financially and in terms of its popularity with the wider public. business manager. secretary. indeed. all of these men had moved on from their undergraduate careers with the exception of Murdoch Kendrick ’93 who was a senior. and Edward Brooks Jr. and they maintained absolute control in running the company independent of the university.4 These positions were occupied by the original members of the Club: Neilson. Steel. a law student of the class of ‘93 who had received his bachelor’s degree from Yale in 1890. for they did not yet have any higher authority to which they needed answer besides themselves. The -6- . The original charter of October 17th 1892 states that the officers of the corporation include a president.5 This seminal step. We will see shortly how throughout the 1890’s the nature of undergraduate membership and university affiliation was challenged in light of the Club’s escalating achievements. the Club initiated a continuous tradition known today as Tour. The founders granted themselves leading roles while others had made the cut through audition. neither Forbes nor Camac appear on this list though later they would).The production consisted in a small cast and larger chorus. Merrick. in which two members had not yet graduated. In that respect it may be said that the founders were the original clubbies. treasurer. § 3. stage director and an executive committee. marks the undergraduate club’s unofficial genesis as a distinct though as of this time tenuous and dependent entity.

and with marked success. D. Quince Street only a few blocks away from the Chestnut Street Opera House located between 11th and 12th streets.. In 1892. to rebuild the stables into something befitting of a gentlemen’s dramatic club. In effect. Ellison.”8 The Clubhouse provided Wiggers with a physical object that harnessed the previously freeroaming and burgeoning institution. Freemasons and the Knights -7- . Built in 1834. the Club was on a role. at home in Philadelphia. Eyre designed an auditorium with a stage on the second floor while creating a comfortable and welcoming Grille Room on the first floor. the Club played Easter week.”7 With the money pocketed from its annual production. an unknown Philadelphia architect later famous for his grand estates on the Main Line.”6 Nevertheless. followed by a dissecting lab for Jefferson Medical College students and finally a horse stable before Mask and Wig purchased it in December of 1893 from John B. Easter week and Mask and Wig in Philadelphia became a permanent fixture. the “first time in the country a college dramatic organization had ever attempted. “a member of a well known and distinguished Philadelphia family. “Miss Columbia” to New York and Washington. though the show was only a “modest success.C. The Executive Committee commissioned the young Wilson Eyre. Paul’s Lutheran Church. it accomplished an important feat in unifying Club members with something all families require—a home.first Mask and Wig Tour brought that year’s show. such a lengthy run in a metropolitan city. The atmosphere was redolent of many of the nation’s clubs and organizations that also had their origins or became much more popular around the same time as Mask and Wig such as the Union League. what became the Mask and Wig Clubhouse served as St. the Club purchased a property at 310 S.” and “from this time till 1936 with ‘Red Rhumba’.

Parrish also painted a remarkable and striking design above and around the auditorium stage. The sentiments brewing during this time. “The Yankee League. who would of his generation.” Many factors contributed to the developing discontentment. not to mention the many university clubs particular to other Ivy League schools. though it was mainly.of Columbus. as Werdersheimer points out. though one can easily imagine that a perpetual struggle existed between the undergraduate performers and the Graduate Club members regarding the production of the shows and the organization and carrying out of Club affairs. 1893 marked the first year that the original members including McMichael were no longer students yet they endeavored to participate in that year’s production. which “came to a head” in 1899 had a direct effect on the future of the undergraduate company and the rules governing undergraduate membership in the Club.9 portrait* above the bar later become an artistic icon first professional commission His famous Old King Cole generated the warmth and merrymaking atmosphere of the Grille Room as did his humorous caricatures of club members with which the Grille Room walls are pregnant.500 by an anonymous bidder. The young Maxfield Parrish. These sentiments had * The original was sold in 1996 for auction at Christie’s in New York for $662. received his in decorating the Clubhouse.”10 Not much evidence exists to document the ensuing drama of that decade. 1893 was a significant year in other respects as well. “constant success coupled with a normal amount of egotism [which] accounted for a real division in opinion among the members as to the future of the Club. -8- .

That evening. 1899 secured the fate of Mask and Wig as it stands today and formally initiated what we now know as the Undergraduate Club. According to Werdersheimer: -9- . Many. including founding father Clayton Fotterall McMichael.11 Probably. The culmination of the deliberations on October 17th. McMichael gave a speech in which he reversed his decision entirely. establishing a professional dramatic association free of students. 1899 a meeting was held during which these issues were adamantly debated. they felt a reasonable degree of from college. they no jealousy. central and most important the hands of strangers. On the night of October 10th. the original member’s frustration boiled over. § 4. October 10th—17th 1899 Arrogant from ten year’s success and thus still riding the thrilling high of achievement. mustering up the courage necessary to set aside his ego and with clarity consider the future of his organization. Such a serious issue required more time to discuss and so a final decision had to wait another week. Having graduated longer enjoyed not only their glory as the lead roles in the had worked so hard to they resented leaving the component of their lives in apparent youth but their productions of a Club they create.particular significance for occasionally Graduate members would reprise lead roles in addition to already steering the helm of writing. stood firmly of the opinion that the Club should cut itself off from the University of Pennsylvania. Understandably. stage production et al.

Perhaps once involved with the official process of production. by amendment of the By-laws. which was later renamed the Board of Governors. The specific rules governing student membership planted a seed of competition that would lastingly change the nature of the relationships within the undergraduate body. At the same time. some of the original opposition remained at least indifferent if not.12 Undoubtedly. state in Article IV Section 3 the following regarding student membership: Student members of the Club may be elected from time to time at the discretion of the Executive committee. must surely have held differing views on the correct way of doing things. and most probably. But this dynamic would change forever now that college students could be elected to membership. But because the governing body had not yet elected any undergraduates to contest the graduates’ disagreement beforehand. providing always that a three-fourths vote of the Executive Committee shall be necessary to secure such election. the contentions probably existed only between individual Graduate Club members to which the undergraduate performers must have remained almost entirely unaware.Openly and without reservation the justification for the continued existence of the Mask and Wig as part and parcel of the University was clearly and firmly established. the old tensions of the previous decade resurfaced as older men and younger students. from the bona fide students of the University of Pennsylvania (who shall have been members of the cast or chorus of a regular production of the Club) and who shall have successfully completed one full year at the University. The By-laws as of 1909.10 - . which are the earliest available copy. still angered by this arrangement. separated by a clear generational divide.13 . undergraduates. They even received seats upon the Executive Committee. were for the first time given recognition in the executive affairs of the Club.

Hare. with only 249 of the thousands of men who had performed in shows gaining admission to the Graduate Club by 1941. the Club itself. Donaldson. the statement above remains relatively neutral.11 - . To further illustrate the difficulty of gaining membership. probably not to offend the rest who had failed to be elected. competition became evermore intense. Taylor. Several of our classmen—Davis. not all of that year’s senior class had become clubbies: “Although the Easter show is the thing for which the Club exists. it should be noted that none of the men of the class of 1902 or the class of 1903 was elected .This method of selection caused undergraduate students to vie for club membership based on the talents. The Early 20th Century Admission into the Club early one was highly selective. dedication and personal character of those hoping to become clubbies. That membership was competitive is not to say that it was unhealthily fierce though many men likely took it very seriously and perhaps felt bitter for their own shortcomings that had precluded them from becoming clubbies. Only those who had received speaking parts as undergraduates were even eligible for membership. probably lauding their talents and achievements. Miller. although. As the Club’s fame and success increased during the early 20th century. Stratton.”16 Certainly the Wig class of 1901 revered those who they had willingly nominated for membership.15 Yet the passion and desire for inclusion in this organization helped its overall success and sustained its vibrant life. there is another side. Warthman— were elected undergraduate members of the Club. § 5. In 1901.14 And those elected to membership needed to have served as undergraduate Club members first. abilities.

17 This should not surprise anyone aware of Article IV Section 3’s proviso that undergraduate members be elected only “from time to time. used primarily and almost exclusively by undergraduate members.” And considering that election required a three fourth’s vote by the executive committee. At the time of his death. even if only nominally. a testament to his prominence and service to the university community through his involvement with the Mask and Wig Club. Clayton Fotterall McMichael passed away in 1907. McMichael had expected to step into the throes of the office to which he had been recently elected—secretary of the university. their importance and necessity to the organization as a whole. Clubroom provides a center of Club activity. an untimely death.12 - . which was “awash in philanthropic good will. This crucial step of affording undergraduates their own space signified to the clubbies. In 1908 the Club.”18 erected its the memory University of own dormitory in Quadrangle membership as made clear in the class yearbooks from those years as well. not to mention cash. and regulate its activity within the limits of Housed within the McMichael dormitory. resentments may have stirred amongst undergraduate performers in light of the reality that many of them mostly likely “schmoozed” the Grad Club and boasted particular talents that others lacked. bears Club the in To name this day the hall Mask and Wig. Sadly. the Mask and Wig members to a certain extent university policy. It also provided a further means of segregating the non- .

friends. The Roaring ‘20’s and Onwards Certainly by the 20’s. In essence. those non-members whose names were not even listed as company members† save their inclusion in the cast and chorus list if they had been lucky enough to win a role in that particular year’s production. and rehearsal had established itself rather firmly. The Mask and Wig Band utilizes the space to rehearse for its annual fall Kick Off performances. Further information regarding the current hierarchy of the Club’s infrastructure will be explained below. clubbies use the Clubroom for Sunday meetings during the fall and elections in the spring. Each year the Club selects who shall inhabit this room— cheaper and larger than most Quad rooms—and the occupant is almost always a member of the undergraduate company though not necessarily a clubbie. The fall earned its infamy with the traditional Smokers that took place in Houston Hall. clubbies possess keys clubbies must be Bash and Spring Fling Naturally. the Mask and Wig Club website (www.13 - .maskandwig. selection. In 2006. or in other words.clubbies. . the Smoker served as a trial run for potential † Today. Also in modern times. family. There consisted three separate Smoker performances attended by Graduate Club lists non-clubbies as members of the company. the annual schedule of performances and the process of audition. if not earlier. § 6. the one dorm room attached to the Clubroom still resides within the Club’s control whereas the other rooms in the hall fall under university regulation. and students. only to the space and nongranted said keys special and permission to borrow subsequently gain access.

be it musical or otherwise. . Outside of Mask and Wig. Scott Fitzgerald. That which transpired throughout the three day extravaganza likely set the competitive tone for the rest of the year.”19 Such an atmosphere was conducive to experienced stage men coming back the following year to intimidate the new guys who might think themselves big enough to challenge them. terming the decade the “Jazz Age. In “Paradise. While Mask and Wig gained popularity and money on its home turf. It also provided a nice outlet for men not as likely suitable for principle roles or even chorus parts in the Easter production.performers during which comedic ideas were fleshed out. and singing and dancing skills put to the test. F. though they would still need to audition for specific parts. with which he was endowed or thought himself possessed. which was later changed to Thanksgiving: “…offering an opportunity to the individual to demonstrate the particular talent. began producing short stories and novels that codified the party-loving lifestyle of society’s socio-economic elite. and reflects Mask and Wig’s golden age of glory. America had entered upon a decade of decadent debauchery. That such a premier work of literature included something of such a sort is a testament to the popularity of the medium. implanting in the nation’s consciousness notions of elite society. This environment affected more so the students vying for membership rather than those who had already secured clubbie status with roles already reserved for them in the year’s production.” Fitzgerald’s autobiographical main character Amory Blaine writes and performs with Princeton’s Triangle Club. selective and exclusive schools. as well as all-male collegiate musical comedy troupes. Princeton ’17.14 - .” as well as defining the stereotype of Ivy League pretension in “This Side of Paradise” (1924).

15 - . This did not “fit in with the Mask and Wig system.In 1926. And so naturally. Such publicity stirred and simmered a more competitive environment amongst undergraduates and encouraged their relative autonomy as a whole from the alumni. a key event happened in the history of the undergraduate company.” This received positive attention in a newspaper clipping from The Pennsylvanian that year: Although we must reserve judgment on the merits of this year’s Mask and Wig production. During this era. Consistent with tradition at the time. such a feat as this production would surely have made him highly eligible for membership. In this year and undergraduate by the name of Albert G. Despite the Great Depression. the Club continued through toward the end of the decade. There were some misgivings when the Club burned its bridges behind it two years ago and resolved to depend upon its own undergraduates for its productions. Miller won out with his script for “A Sale and a Sailor. the . submissions by undergraduates and graduates for the Easter production constituted a good-natured contest for the best written show. Last year’s musical comedy. it is likely that if he wasn’t. proved to be one of the most successful of the Club’s annual offerings. book submissions provided another opportunity outside of auditions for undergraduate members to challenge each other’s abilities in striving for one of the rare and coveted red and blue rosettes of a clubbie as well as earning his name a position in the history of the production lime light.”20 and the company soon returned to direction from within its own membership. The state of the economy at the time did affect sales at the box office though and to cut costs. The Club has undoubtedly taken the right method to stimulate undergraduate talent. the Club temporarily experimented with professional coaches to work with the cast and chorus. it is a good omen that the Club has found a playwright within its own membership. in which several students collaborated. Though it is uncertain wither Miller was a clubbie at the time of his submission.

16 - . and direct their very own production completely autonomous from Graduate Club interference. stage. though “old members” have gotten lazy and subsequently they have delegated the responsibility to the undergraduate Business Staff. instead. § 7. Second were the real financial concerns due to a decreasing popularity with theater-going in the Easter season. To solve this problem. The year of this change was 1936 and so there happened to be two “big” productions: the Easter production “Red Rhumba” followed immediately in the fall by “The Mad Whirl. with the change to Thanksgiving. “a number of old members for several years procured all the advertisements for the program. the Club regained its former financial standing and success by 1941. undergraduate club members received the opportunity to write. there also came a change to rules governing undergraduate participation in the production. to be given each spring in Irvine Auditorium and referred to as the “Freshman Show. talented freshman . the Club had to cope with two major issues: one was that the university had expressed threatening concern regarding student academic time detracted by going on tour and working on a show at the end of term. Freshman could no longer participate in the annual production.” This way.Club ceased its contract with a professional publisher for its programs and advertising in 1931. The 1930’s and 1940’s Pulling out of a recession requires dedication and hard work.”21 The Club continues with this method currently. At the time. To rectify the situation.”22 Thanks to this change in scheduling. Mask and Wig made a difficult decision by exchanging its Easter week timeslot for Thanksgiving instead.23 However.

not to mention the decline in numbers of the theater-going audience. the Club’s fame spread throughout the nation with the advent of swing and the Jitterbug in the late 30’s into the 40’s. a Club member by the name of Bobby Troupe. and Tommy Dorsey. Sadly. Troupe is responsible for a number of Mask and Wig favorites including “Hey Daddy” and “Route 66. much of it written by Club member Charles Gilpin but most noticeably. These people constituted the nation’s musical celebrities at the time. Meanwhile. funding continues to decline in general each year given the high costs of production. The Undergraduate Club Today With the advent of television and the popularization of cinema. § 8. This kind of attention bears the responsibility of inducing men attending auditions by the throngs every year. Joining the Mask and Wig Club throughout this first 50 years of its existence was essential to the complete Penn experience.” Other luminaries responsible for spreading the sounds of Mask and Wig include Ella Fitzgerald. Mask and Wig’s glory days diminished during the fifties. To accommodate smaller audiences.” Frank Sinatra popularized “Route 66” and a number of a cappella groups covered “Hey Daddy. ensuring that Mask and Wig selected its performers and Club members from the cream of the crop of youthful male performing artists. tour and Clubhouse maintenance. . Benny Goodman. shows changed from the grandiose burlesques at the major theaters to smaller cabaret style shows held in the Clubhouse auditorium. Les Brown. Big Bands across the nation sought Mask and Wig music.17 - .would have the chance to prove themselves worthy of consideration for roles in next year’s big production.

it serves as a show for them to see during New Student Orientation in hopes of attracting potential members of the company. as well as possessing an operating knowledge of the . while election to membership in the Club is not a surefire bet.Today. Sophomores re-audition as stated above in the fall. returns the next year in its entirety with the rare exception of every few years when one or two members showed almost no promise the year before and therefore suffer a most unfortunate expulsion from the company. forever responsible for the remainder of the school year in rallying his class to cleanup duty after company events. nearly every New Guy class. Any “mistreatment” from the older members is actually a disguised form of jealousy that the freshmen still have three more years ahead of them. Heavy recruitment in the first week of the fall semester is necessary to ensuring a talented and able freshman class.18 - . Having established strong friendships with the upperclassmen. it has integrated itself more fully as a built-in part of the process that transpires every year. as they are called. The New Guy year is also a year of subservience to clubbies. But New Guys do not have it as badly as one might initially think. not to mention the virgin awe and amazement derived from the surprise experienced throughout the year during the Club’s plethora of traditions. and has become fairly formalized. the Club does not enjoy as widely publicized a reputation as in the old days. a year of fraternal bonding. Such as it is. They enjoy a free ride with little to no responsibility whatsoever. The “Freshman Show” now happens in the fall but rather than a show for freshman to perform in. arduous rehearsals and long performance schedules holds the odds heavily in their favor. And while their admittance back into the company for their sophomore year is not technically guaranteed. Indeed. with a Captain Cleanup designated the night of initiation.

This form of entry into the Club derived from the competitive nature . Also. In this sense. SYG’s are also below the clubbies in the stratified hierarchy of the Club and owe them respect and a degree of obedience. Sophomores. band. but is open to those interested in a fulltime commitment with either the stage crew. and the New Guys form the Non-Club. membership required nomination and a three fourths vote by the Graduate Club. if they have proved themselves worthy over the past two years during their time spent in the company. the SYG class is “tapped” or nominated for membership in the Undergraduate Club. At the end of the Spring Show towards the end of the year. This process functions very differently today than in the past. though they oftentimes do have a few speaking roles). learning what it takes to be a clubbie though a very educational process. usually makes it difficult to get turned away. known as SYG’s or Second Year’s functioning as an entity. the sophomores work hard to prove their dedication to the Club. the company in modern times reflects a rather self-contained unit with little to no competition year after year for a role. During the ensuing three to four weeks. At the end of term. In the earlier history as detailed above. or business staff. In this sense. auditions for freshmen and sophomores do not consist in merely a role or orchestra chair for one show but instead offer membership in the company for the entire year of events. as well as learning to work together as a class to accomplish certain goals in a way that they have not yet been subjected to during their first two years. the junior and senior clubbies elect them members of the Club.19 - . It should also thus be mentioned that entry into the company is not restricted solely to cast members (the chorus consists in the freshman and sophomores.

but now the dynamic of their relationship has changed. Though still friends as all members should be. Junior clubbies receive their first opportunity for leadership at this time. After all.20 - . This change in a natural and accepted their former non-clubbie the relationship reflects component to the evolution of status as a company member. “Not Another Divine Comedy: Yahweh or the Highway” § 9. The Clubbies The junior clubbies and the SYG’s share an interesting relationship.of membership rather than the rites-of-passage-fraternity-esque manner in which members are selected today. the juniors necessarily take on a more authoritative secret clubbie role and are privy to information that they cannot exchange with brethren. The 2005-2006 company putting on a floor show downstairs after performing the spring production. with the possibility of being elected to any position with the . only a year before both were in the Non-Club.

exception of chairman and the various section heads. junior clubbies most always exhibit remarkable devotion and loyalty to the organization. the degree to which seniors and non-clubbies commingle depends on the individual. sometimes though not always residing in the shadow of the seniors.21 - . They deserve more recognition than they receive for their efforts. not to mention making new friends no matter how “unworthy” they may be. been clubbies and have not had the opportunity to share the bond of membership within one division of the Club at the same time. working very hard to see that the tradition and spirit of Mask and Wig continues. They along with the juniors have one goal in mind for the non-clubbies after all the hard work that goes into production—fun. enthusiastically encouraging and fostering a love for and loyalty to Mask and Wig. advice and leadership—they are the grand masters. and this applies to the juniors as well. As with the seniors. Senior clubbies reprise their status for their final year with a demand for somewhat more respect. authoritative and Their relationship to the Non-Club is sometimes less personal juniors to the than with that of the sophomores are because the as far as the sophomores seniors have always concerned. However. Most seniors are willing to pass on their knowledge. § 10. and a fatherly cornucopia of wisdom. stories. Conclusion .

The change from a competitive non-fraternal environment to the current tight knit brotherhood of dramatics replete with endless traditions owes itself to the external affairs of the entertainment industry at large. Mask and Wig maintains its strong sense of fraternity. At the end of the day. members of the Club. particularly during the first fifty years of the Club’s history. all-male musical comedy troupes declined in popularity.22 - . When movies and television took over as the preeminent form of entertainment. Though Mask and Wig shows continue to sell out and remain popular on campus. contrary to the old days when throngs of hundreds would show up to the Clubhouse or Houston Hall. often feeling overwhelmed by this remarkable organization. The fraternity-like nature of the Club today is required such that a sense of urgency and necessity is instilled amongst its members. propelling onwards the existence of the Mask and Wig Club. “Why is there only one Mask and Wig Club of the University of Pennsylvania?” Because there’s only room for one There’s only room for one So here’s a swig of a toast so big Straight from the hearts of Mask and Wig There’s only room for one There’s only room for one We’d drink to you with a toast for two But there’s only room for one! Hey! . a condition not present in earlier generations. the Club does not enjoy the national publicity it once did. are compelled to ask. Recruitment is necessary to retain membership.A self-selective organization.

p. 16 21 Werdersheimer. p. 26 16 The Record of the Class of 1901. p. 27 13 MW Year Book 1908-1909. p.NOTES 1 Werdersheimer. p. 21 10 Werdersheimer. 16 7 Werdersheimer. p. 26 11 Werdersheimer. 3-4 of the Year Book of the Mask and Wig Club of the University of Pennsylvania 1908-1909. only that the men enjoyed acting in the choruses and returning for auditions each year. 2nd. 22 20 Werdersheimer. 17 23 Werdersheimer. 181 17 In The Record of the Class of 1902 and The Record of the Class of 1903. p. p. 26 15 Werdersheimer. p. 18 From “The Mask and Wig Club History” in the play bill of the 117th annual production. 26 12 Werdersheimer. which implicitly admits their failure to make clubbie status. 5 Membership list of Wig Year Book 1908-1909 6 Werdersheimer. Some Fifty Odd Years of The Mask and Wig Club 1888-1941. 16 8 Werdersheimer. 14 4 P. p. University of Pennsylvania Archives. 17 22 Werdersheimer. 12 2 Werdersheimer. William A.23 - . p. 18 . University archives. p. p. p. 16 14 Werdersheimer. 20 9 Werdersheimer.11-12 3 Werdersheimer. p. Van Pelt Library collection. p.. p. p. p. no mention of clubbie election is made. “Birth of a Notion: Karl Seconds that Emotion!” 19 Werdersheimer.

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