Take a tour of the new Purple Masque Theatre 

K-State Alumni Communications


Kansas State University students have a brand-new space to prep for shows in the Purple Masque Theatre. (Photo: Purple Masque Theatre)
As Kansas State University theatre students prepare to take to the stage this semester, they’ll have a brand-new facility for learning and performing. 

The Purple Masque Theatre has moved from its previous location on the east side of Memorial Stadium to the west side; the east side is being remodeled for a new university Welcome Center. The theatre — part of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance — is used for drama therapy, workshops, performances and more.

“We will continue to impact the lives of students by giving them a space to create work from the ground up,” said Jennifer Vellenga, program director of theatre. “The improvement in the space for the Drama Therapy program is significant and impacts the community as many of our programs support personal, emotional and physical growth for members of the Manhattan community and beyond.


Inside the previous Purple Masque Theatre. The new theatre has improved facilities for students and the public. (Photo: Leah Baus)
“Our patrons will have an easier time finding the Purple Masque. It is next to the Alumni Center at Denison and Anderson, right across from a parking lot. Patrons will also have a very comfortable experience in our new seats.” 

Vellenga said she is excited to see what students will achieve in the new space.

“The old facility was never intended to be a theater, but it was amazing what students were able to do with it,” Vellenga said. “They had to be innovative out of necessity. Now we are able to support their innovation with the tools they might encounter in the profession.”  

The new Purple Masque has 126 purple cushioned seats, with ADA accessibility, and gained grid space in the ceiling so that lights can be hung from many positions.


Performers take advantage of the updated, more modern space in the new Purple Masque Theatre. (Photo: Purple Masque Theatre)
The theatre added close to 3,000 square feet of front of house space that includes a box office, restrooms, a concession area and office, as well as 2,500 square feet of classroom space for the graduate Drama Therapy program. The theatre also has a small costume shop for repairs and laundry and a small scene shop for building and repairing scenery.

Vellenga encourages K-State alumni and supporters to come see a show in the new theatre. The first show of the 2015-2016 season is “An Evening of One Acts: Laundry and Bourbon followed by Lonestar” at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 1-3. Click here for a complete schedule of performances. Tickets are sold through the McCain Box Office.

The Purple Masque is still looking for a donor to name the lobby, providing funding to put the finishing touches on the space. Read more about the theatre revitalization project in the winter 2015 issue of the K-Stater magazine.


Seating at the previous Purple Masque Theatre. (Photo: Leah Baus)
“I encourage theatre alumni to visit,” Vellenga said. “I love giving tours to alums and taking photos of them sitting in the new purple seats. The smiles on their faces is worth it all.”

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