b. July 13, 1942 Hometown: Park Ridge, IL
Years at Ripon College: 1960-1964
Extracurricular activities: College Days, Sigma Nu, illustrator for MUG, WRPN FM, Union Board, Drama
Plays at Ripon: “The American Dream”- role: director. Ripon College Theatre. “The Zoo Story”- roles: Jerry, director. Ripon College Theatre. “The Three Penny Opera” – (1963) role: Mac the Knife. Ripon College Red Barn Theatre. “Come Back Little Shiba”- (1963) role: backstage crew. Ripon College Red Barn Theatre. “The Skin of Our Teeth”- (1963) role: Mr. George Antrobus. Ripon College Red Barn Theatre. “Antigone”- (1964) role: backstage crew. Ripon College Red Barn Theatre. “The Fantasticks”- (1964) roles: El Gallo, narrator. Ripon College Red Barn Theatre.
Hometown: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Years at Ripon College: 1958-1962
Extracurricular activities: Freshman class president, the Indigos*, Basketball, Student Council, Judicial Board, Homecoming Committee
* The Indigos were an independent, 4-member jazz ensemble. Members included Thomas “Duffy” Ashley-Farrand (Class of 1962); Peter Bock (Class of 1962); Al Jarreau (Class of 1962); Donna Oberholtzer (Class of 1963); Gail Jensen (Class of 1963); and Ann Hassler Wyatt (Class of 1965). Ashley-Farrand, Bock, Jarreau, and Oberholtzer founded the group in 1958. From 1958-1962 they performed at “college dances, the Republican House, Tuscombia Country Club every Saturday night, and eventually all over Wisconsin.” (Ripon College Magazine, Summer 1998, page 9.)
Right: List of Jarreau’s career highlights from the Ripon College Magazine, Summer 1993. Jarreau received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on March 6, 2001.
Awards: Ripon College Distinguished Alumni Award (1982) Ripon College Honorary Degree: Doctor of Performing Arts (1988)
The Mask and Wig, 1917-1947
Born in the fall of 1917, Mask and Wig was “was founded on the purpose of studying and presenting the best in acting drama, classic and modern.” As an honors society for the Ripon Dramatics Club–then a part of the Department of Public Speaking–it soon gained a reputation among the students, as well as the Ripon community, for high standard productions. Productions were so successful that for many years, Mask and Wig increased their productions from two per school year (one each semester) to three or sometimes four per school year. The plays became Commencement ritual, as well as ritual for First Year Students, who usually produced one a year.
From its reputation and success, many new organizations came forth, thus fortifying the beginnings of what is today the Theater Department. In 1920, the Wisconsin Alpha Chapter of Theta Alpha Phi established itself at Ripon College, still going strong today. Also, many new classes on theater design and production came forth. The pinnacle of Mask and Wig came with the building of Little Theater, sharing production space with Memorial Auditorium, City Auditorium, and Armory Theater. Today, one can still experience the vague outline of the Little Theater in East Hall, although the Memorial Gymnasium and Armory Theater are no longer present.
Also, among the many important figures in the development of Mask and Wig were other Professors of English. Prof. H.H. Allen (Ripon College 1921-1926), was responsible for the building of the several theater stages, such as Little Theater and the College Theater in the Old Chapel. Another prominent figure is Prof. James Clark Graham, Prof. of English and later College Dean of Men (Ripon College 1916-1946), responsible for the organization of the Civic Drama League “another expression of this new interest in the play.” Originally intended for the community, it also soon involved the student body.
Success reached its peak in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Although the Mask and Wig theater never officially disbanded, it dissolved into Theta Alpha Phi in the 1947-48 school year, soon after Prof. Boody left Ripon College in 1946. Its legacy and impact on Ripon College remains.
Listed below you will see the Mask and Wig’s many productions. Visit the Ripon College Archives for a collection of programs and photos.
Three Act Plays
1923 or 1924 The Dear Departed The Silver Lining The Will
1924 or 1925 The Well Remembered Voice The Old Lady Shows Her Medals
1928 The Interior Cabbages Why the Chimes Rang
1946 or 1947 Before Breakfast Two Gentlemen From Soho Deeper Than Atlanta
The Master Builder—Under the Auspices of Mask and Wig 1924 or 1925–The Women’s Town (with Ripon High School Students)
1935 or 1936–Friendship Plays *Cloey *The Mayor and the Manicure *Highness
1939—Puppeteers 1946 or 1947–Nativity Play
Assembled by Emily Bach
Frances Lee McCain
b. July 28, 1943; York, PA Hometown: York, PA
Years at Ripon College: 1962-1966
Extracurricular activities: Reader’s Theatre, Alpha Chi Omega, Student Senate, Internal Affairs, Drama
Plays at Ripon: “Rape of the Belt”- (1962) role: Queen of the Amazons. Ripon College Theatre. “The Miser”- (1964) role: Elise. Church Theatre. “The Beautiful People”- (1964) role: make-up crew. Church Theatre. “Antigone”- (1964) role: Antigone. Ripon College Red Barn Theatre. “Riders to the Sea”- (1966) role: Cathleen (lead). “The American Dream”- (1965) role: Mrs. Barker. Church Theatre. “As You Like It”- (1965) role: Rosalind. Church Theatre.
Awards: Ripon College Distinguished Alumni Award (1984) Ripon College Honorary Degree: Doctor of Performing Arts (1988)
Career Highlights: Gremlins (1984) Footloose (1984) Back to the Future (1985) Scream (1996) Patch Adams (1998)
b. April 5, 1900 d. June 10, 1967 Hometown: Milwaukee, WI
Years at Ripon College: Feb. 1921- April 1922
Extracurricular activities: Theta Alpha Phi (theatre), Alpha Phi Omega, Eastern Debate Team, Phi Kappa Delta (Debate Honor Society), All College Prom Committee.
In 1921, voted cleverest and most talented, tied 2nd for most popular.
Plays at Ripon: “The Truth” (1921)- role: Warden. Initially performed at the Armory Theatre, this play toured the surrounding areas throughout the winter of 1921 and was featured at the June 21, 1921 commencement celebration. “Dregs” – (1921) role: lead. “Dregs” was cancelled and replaced by “The Valiant”. “The Valiant” – (1921) role: the prisoner. “The Great Divide” – (1921) role: Phillip. “Sintram of Skaserack” (1922)- role: Sintram.
Career Highlights: Up the River (1930) First film The Power of Glory (1933) First film success San Francisco (1936) Nominated for Academy Award for Best Actor Captains Courageous (1937) Won Academy Award for Best Actor Boys’ Town (1938) Won Academy Award for Best Actor Father of the Bride (1950) Nominated for Academy Award for Best Actor Bad Day at Black Rock (1955) Nominated for Academy Award for Best Actor The Old Man and the Sea (1958) Nominated for Academy Award for Best Actor Inherit the Wind (1960) Nominated for Academy Award for Best Actor Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967) Last film Below: Spencer Tracy accepts an honorary degree from Ripon College in 1940.
Ver Adest, Latin for “spring is here,” entertained Ripon College and the Ripon community from 1946-1957. With elaborate musicals written and choreographed by Ripon College students*, the Ver Adest shows included student-performed comedy, song, and dance reviews.
During its years as a major event at Ripon College, the co-chairs of the Ver Adest shows were two of the most important student positions on campus. At one time the show’s production involved as many as 25-30% of the student body. Interest in Ver Adest waned after the 1957 production and the program retired.
1946 – “Hi there, Mister!” Co-chairs: Doris Jacob and John J. Hovak. 1947 – “Let’s Call it a Day!” Co-chairs: Mary Ellen Weiske and Dix Waldo. 1948 – “Take it from Here!” Co-chairs: Mary Lou Blattspieler and John Nickless. 1949 – “This is the Life!” Co-chairs: Doris Bohling and Richard Zoph. 1950 – “Mind your Business!” Co-chairs: Mary Ellen Brode and David Kirch. 1951 – “This is it!” Co-chairs: Joanne Klawiter and Joseph Mazza. 1952 – “Of All Things” Co-chairs: Gina Hirschberg and Bill Wildermann. 1953 – No production due to the absence of director William Peterman. 1954 – “Hello Again” Co-chairs: Jane Anne Furzland and John English. 1955 – “Good News!” Co-chairs: Helen Healy and Bob Schieler. 1956 – “Where’s Charlie?” Co-chairs: Bob Schieler and Bob Ainsnorth. 1957 – “Pajama Game” Co-chairs: Bob Ainsnorth and Peter Mortensen.
*In 1955 the Ver Adest production staff decided to try “book shows.” In these shows the music and words were already written in the form of a musical.