Masque in its 10th year

Krystyn Lambert performs The Chinese Rice Bowls of Hop Sing Lee in last year's Malibu High School talent show, Masque. Photo by Jason Evans

Although former Principal Mike Matthews jumped onstage each year for the student-run show, new Principle Mark Kelly says he will not perform; he is checking content and quality.

By Zuzana Freeman/Special to The Malibu Times

This week, the Malibu High School auditorium will showcase the MHS community’s most anticipated events-Masque.

The annual student-run talent show began in 1995 with MHS’ first junior class and is now in its 10th year. This year, the show opens Thursday at 7 p.m. with performances each evening through Feb. 26.

The show is the only fundraiser run by the school to pay for the senior prom.

Sixth through 12th-grade students all take part in the show, with 20 acts scheduled for this week and weekend. The performances range from a solo opera singer to a rap act, as well as a junior class act and a senior class act.

Although Masque is student run, the middle and high school teachers in years past have overseen the program. However, advisors from the drama and theater arts department are jumping into the act this year.

“This is the first year that Jodi Plaia, the high school theatre arts director and myself have been involved,” explained Malibu Middle School drama teacher Bridget Leonard. “It’s always been the responsibility of the teachers in the past, but we were asked to be the advisors this year for the first time.”

The acts differ every year. “We have a hip-hop dance team, opera, jazz, a Led Zeppelin band, a drumming act and lots of singing and dancing acts,” Leonard said. “There are no theater skits this year, apart from the MCs who will be doing very short skits in between each act.”

The 75 students taking part had to go through a rigorous audition process. “Sixty acts auditioned in front of a committee of six students from the student council who voted on the acts according to preparation, material and variety” Plaia said. “Each of the classes decides on their own act.”

In past years, school administrators have clashed with students over ostensibly objectionable content in the student-produced Masque acts.

“Content is censured every year” Leonard said. “We need to be aware of it because we have 11 and 12 year olds coming to see the play and we don’t want to offend anybody with ill-advised Saturday Night Live skits.”

Unlike former principle Mike Matthews, the new principle, Mark Kelly, will not be performing in the show this year.

“I’m checking the content and quality of the scripts” Kelly said.

Masque takes place on Feb. 24, 25 and 26 at 7 p.m. at Malibu High School auditorium, 30215 Morning View Drive. Tickets are $15. More information and tickets can be obtained by calling 310.457.6801 ext 257.