Father Ryan gives its students a breadth of opportunities to participate in theatre, from behind the scenes to on-stage. Students may take courses in theatre and/or join the Purple Masque Players, Father Ryan's theatrical performance group currently in its 90th year. In addition to the theatre classes, our theatre program has welcomed the touring groups from Wicked, The Lion King, Anything Goes and many others to instruct our students in masterclasses.
Each year, the Purple Masque Players perform one play and one musical. The theatrical productions vary in scope, but are all challenging and fun to perform. See below for a list of Purple Masque Players productions from the past five years.
2014-2015: The Gift of the Magi/The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and Guys and Dolls
2015-2016: Alice in Wonderland and Big Fish
2016-2017: Twelfth Night and Thoroughly Modern Millie
2017-2018: A Christmas Carol and Seussical
2018-2019: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and Cinderella
PURPLE MASQUE PLAYERS DIRECTOR
Director Kelli Ware McClendon has moderated the Purple Masque Players at Father Ryan since 2001. Outside of the Purple Masque Players, Ms. McClendon is a member of the Actors Equity Association, has professionally stage managed for TPAC Education, has worked with the Tennessee Repertory Theatre and Nashville Shakespeare Festival as well as other summer repertory companies. Ms. McClendon earned her BFA in Production and Stage Management from Auburn University in 1992.
Debuting in 1927, the Purple Masque Players continue to produce committed and talented artists for the theatrical world. Many of our alumni are actors, technicians, writers and producers and have shown their skills on college stages and international venues. Erin Davie ’95 has appeared on stage throughout the country as well as on television (Law and Order: SVU and The Good Wife). Her Broadway credits include: Grey Gardens, Curtains (with David Hyde Pierce) and A Little Night Music where she co-starred with Bernadette Peters, Angela Lansbury and Catherine Zeta Jones. Jessica Gianonne ‘05 has studied at the Old Vic in Bristol, England. Colin Carswell ‘14 is now at the prestigious theatre program at Boston College.