The Art of
Mask Acting &
A mask hides part or all of the face. ... The symbol often used to represent drama, two masks, one depicting tragedy and the other depicting comedy, was inspired by Greek theatre.
Dr. Terry John Converse, Emeritus Professor Washington State University
The value of mask training for actors is tremendous. Masks help actors break out of their own personal rhythms and centers, expand preconceptions about a role, stimulate physical imagination, and bring greater variety to a character. Covering the face enables an actor to hide from his or her individual persona, and temporarily separates the actor from his or her own identity. Having something to hide behind means, paradoxically, that the actor no longer has a need to hide and can therefore take greater risks, and access new realms of inspiration. Instead of imitating life in behavioral terms, mask characterization allows actors and directors to find very powerful dramatic expression.
Charu Narayanakumar, Artistic Director Phoenix World Theatre
Mask Designing is very similar to acting. Trying to understand the character, the feel, the emotion, and all the minute details. It is in our hands to show people what we intend to portray. Over the years I have had a lot of experience designing and actually making the mask. It is a very interesting process that we all should explore. Having very keen observation of people I meet has helped me a lot in designing all my masks. Being able to mould a character with your hands can be a bit overwhelming but the challenging part is to find the core emotion of the character so the actor can communicate to his audience with his body.