By Alex Rodrigues, Business Staff ’15, Tour Director
Tour is a tradition that goes back almost as far as the Club’s inception. The Cast works tirelessly for nine months to put together the best show possible. Then we want everyone to see it, so we take the show on the road. In the past few years we’ve traveled to New York, Boston, Washington D.C., Miami, San Francisco and Los Angeles. That’s a lot of places to take 46 guys and an annual production with enough costumes and props to fill up a box truck.
But this year was special: we had the opportunity to take the show to London for the first-ever Mask and Wig performance overseas. The planning process for tour started in June, more than nine months before we departed. At first I wasn’t sure if we could pull it off. How do make sure that 46 kids have passports in time? How do we communicate with each other while we are there? Will anyone even come to the show? These questions rattled around in my head for a day or two before sitting down with the rest of the tour committee to decide that we could pull it off. Confidence was our key driver.
From there, the tour planning process was a little unconventional this year. It involved a lot of early mornings, waking up at 6AM to make Skype calls to London. We had to book a theater, find a place for everyone to stay, rent band equipment and make sure the audience was full.
I don’t think anyone believed us when we finally announced to the company that we were going to London. They all laughed and asked if we were going back to Florida again. Having back-to-back tours where the company flies somewhere is a little unprecedented, but performing overseas was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up. So each section got to work. The Crew constructed a new set that would fit in checked luggage, The Cast rehearsed with cheesy British accents for the show, The Band packed up their instruments and music, and the Business Staff designed a new program for the shows.
In the end, the trip was a huge success! Thanks to help from Wig alumni and Penn Alumni Relations, we had over 200 people at the show. The audience members raved about our performance and began asking when we would come back. But who knows where in the world Mask and Wig will go next…