Catawba to induct several into Blue Masque Hall of Fame

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 14, 2017

Catawba College News Service

SALISBURY — Catawba College’s Blue Masque will induct three theater professionals and a beloved Catawba professor into its 2017 Hall of Fame.

The 10th anniversary celebration will be held in the Robertson College-Community Center’s Hedrick Little Theatre at 8 p.m. Oct. 13, during homecoming weekend.

The induction is open to the public. Tickets, which include a reception on the Keppel Auditorium stage, are available through the alumni office at 704-637-4394 or at

Those being inducted include the late Ralph Leonard Roberts, a Broadway, off-Broadway, regional theater, film and television actor; John Daniel Harris, a theater management professional for over 30 years; Craig Grigg, a designer and fabricator of specialty props for Broadway, off-Broadway, regional theater, television, film and dance; and Janice Fuller, a poet, longtime Catawba writer-in-residence and English professor.

Roberts was born in Salisbury and attended Catawba College in the late 1930s. He made his Broadway debut in the 1948 revival of “Angel Street.” To help finance his acting passion, Roberts also became a masseur with a clientele largely made up of actors and actresses. Marilyn Monroe was a client and close friend.

Harris received his Catawba theater arts degree in 1982. He moved professionally from production technical director to stage director of musicals and operas. Harris is a former CEO of Virginia Scenic, one of the premier scenic studios for opera. After he sold that business, he served as chief operations officer at the Castleton Festival in Virginia.

Grigg, a member of the honors program while at Catawba, earned his bachelor of arts degree in theater with minors in English and German. His Broadway designs have been seen in more than 60 productions beginning in 1997, including  “Finding Neverland,” “Cabaret,” “Bullets Over Broadway,” “Big Fish,” “Kinky Boots,” “The Addams Family,” “Harvey,” “Cripple of Inishmaan” and “Blithe Spirit,” among many others.

Fuller grew up in Salisbury before earning degrees in English at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Recently retired from the Catawba English Department, Fuller’s work as a poet has brought her wide acclaim. Several of Fuller’s plays were first produced at Catawba in collaboration with theater arts faculty and students.

Tickets to the Blue Masque Hall of Fame ceremony and reception are $30 each.

At 7:30 p.m., immediately preceding the induction, current and former Catawba College theater arts students will present a talent showcase. Admission includes the showcase.