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Masquerade Theatre Presents GREAT EXPECTATIONS

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The production is live-streamed December 11 - 19, 2020.

Masquerade Theatre Company presents its third fully realized virtual production, Great Expectations, live-streamed December 11 - 19, 2020.

Masquerade made its debut with Proof in May, one of the first fully-realized, live virtual theatre productions produced during the pandemic.

Continuing to push the bounds of virtual theatre, Masquerade will close 2020 this
December with a live-streamed production of Great Expectations, based on the novel by Charles Dickens and adapted for the stage by Gale Childs Daly. Daly's adaptation is
unique, using the fast-paced timing of a troupe show to tell Dickens' classic tale with
only six actors for more than twenty characters.

Leading the story in the pivotal role of Pip is up and coming Philadelphia/South Jersey-based artist, Courtney Bundens. They were last seen in Masquearde's debut production of Proof as Catherine. As a non-binary performer, Bundens has embraced the role of Pip. "Being given the opportunity to play an iconic character of a classic work is a great pride to me, especially as a non-binary person." Bundens explains.

"Though Pip is canonically male, his experiences with family, ambition, greed, love; they are universal, and my identity does not take away from those lessons. His journey has been so incredible to explore and color in along with my incredible cast mates over this process, but without the mutual respect Megan and I have for one another's abilities, I likely wouldn't be cast in this role anywhere else."

"Courtney is a tremendous performer," says Artistic Director Megan Knowlton Balne.

Balne is also directing Great Expectations. "The role of Pip requires innocence,
self-awareness and an innate ability to connect with others, and Courtney embodies
those characteristics so genuinely in their portrayal of this challenging part."

Masquerade Theatre's mission is to explore our humanity and celebrate our diversity as a vital part of our shared human experience.

With Masquerade, Bundens "wants to bring something non-traditional to the stage. Seeing other artists who are like me making their mark and breaking boundaries in the theatre community has been inspiring to watch, and I hope through this step I can soon join them. There are so many astronomically talented non-binary, trans, and gender non-conforming artists out there that are just waiting to break through, and if that space is not offered readily, we must continue to create those spaces ourselves, loudly and with undeniable passion."

Joining Bundens are fellow Proof performers, Jake Hufner and Tony Killian, and new members of Masquerade's Troupe, Allison Korn, Beatrice Alonna and Alex Levitt, who play the versatile Narrators and embody more than twenty characters to tell Dickens' story.

In order to effectuate the necessary timing and chemistry required for such a fast-paced show, the actors will be performing in the same space, socially distant, in their own personal performance pod. The performance will be live-streamed using a combination of broadcasting software, multiple webcams and microphones. Each
individual performance space will have a cohesive lighting design and set pieces to
transport the audience to Dickens' Victorian world. Philadelphia lighting designer
Molly Jo Gifford will join Masquerade once again to create a comprehensive design
that will translate through the live stream.

Charles Dickens' classic novel, Great Expectations, explores the journey of a young boy,
Pip, who grows into a young man, led astray by false assumptions, misplaced hope and
misguided goals. Through Daly's interpretation, the story of Great Expectations comes
alive through vibrant performances of six actors in true troupe style. While Pip's path
takes many twists and turns, Pip owns his misgivings and sees the good to find his way
forward during this 2 1⁄2 hour journey of comedy and drama.


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