What’s Good? Welcome to the Masquerade Theatre – With Isaiah Showell

By: Isaiah S. Showell, Follow South Jersey Multimedia Journalist/’What’s Good’ Host

Tommy and Megan (center and right) pose with a friend from college. the Balnes both are graduates of Ramapo College of New Jersey’s Theatre Department. Photo credit: Isaiah Showell.

RIVERSIDE, N.J. — The Masquerade Theatre renovated their studio for acting camps and classes to be taught by the Masquerade Theatre staff including the founders Tommy and Megan Balne.

“This is a dream come true for us,” Megan said. “This is something we’ve been working towards for the last fifteen years that we’ve known each other. Having our own theatre company, a place where we can educate the next generation of artists, a place where we can put on thought provoking pieces, work with amazing artists in the area is really all we wanted.”

Newly renovated Masquerade Theatre offers classes to youth and adults on acting, audition preparation and much more. It’s What’s Good in South Jersey — with Isaiah Showell.

Audition Prep classes are offered to the youth and adults on Mondays; acting intensive classes are offered Tuesdays focusing on core concepts and principles of acting; script analysis class for the youth and adults are on Wednesdays; and improv classes are on Thursday.

“The two big things I want anybody who comes into our space is that I want them to feel safe and I want them to feel like they belong,” Megan said.

Classes began on January 29 at their 301 W. Washington Street location. All the classes are taught from The Masquerade Theatre troop artists like Beatrice Alonna, Courtney Bundens , and Marissa Wolf who believe in the mission statement of the theatre which is to use theatre as a means to explore the essence of what makes us human and provide common ground for people to engage in discussion and empathy one audience at a time.

The Masquerade Theatre was started in 2019 and had their first production scheduled for early 2020, but due to the pandemic, most theatres were closed so their productions became virtual until December of 2021 when they performed Tuesday’s with Morrie at the Louis Bluver Theatre at the Drake in Philadelphia.

“It’s so easy working with Megan and Tommy,” said Alonna. “They’re so purpose driven, they’re so focused on the end goal that I follow suit. I just fall in line because they know what they want they make me know what I want as a teaching artist and I’m proud to be a part of this.”

Visit Masquerade Theatre.org or call them at (856) 441-0126 to get more information on how to get involved with classes and what productions are on the way from the company.

Follow South Jersey provides local journalism which highlights our diverse communities; fosters transparency through robust, localized, and vital reporting that holds leaders and institutions accountable; addresses critical information needs; supports people in navigating civic life; and equips people with the information necessary to partake in effective community engagement. If there is a story or event you think we should cover, please send your tips to news@followsouthjersey.com with “NEWS” in the subject line.