Making the Most of a Mask

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Madison Jackson

Nya Perez and Kloe Ethridge working on their masks.

Madison Jackson, Staff

A mask is an object normally worn on the face, normally  for protection, disguise, performance, or entertainment. Masks are often used for ceremonial and practical purposes and are usually worn on the face. Throughout history and the world masks have been used to express power in the performing arts. This is evident when looking at the symbol for drama which are the Comedy and Tragedy masks. Masks in performing arts are used to convey certain personas and continue to be a vital force in theater and drama. Ms. Lindahl class sought out to understand the value of masks and how they can be beneficial when portraying a character.

The theater class first analyzed the history of masks and how the actors and performers before them utilized these props. After the class understood where masks came from they began to create their own masks, Nya Perez said, “The lesson was to make a mask with a story and choose the materials that we make the mask of based on our character”. Students used an array of materials vary from paper,plastic,markers,crayons,glitter,yarn, and beads to convey which character they wanted to be.

The class after making their props presented to the class why they chose the materials they did and how masks help them. Kloe Ethridge said, ” I think that masks are important in theater because it gives the character and audience and different POV and a different side of the story. It also helps me because I am shy and sometimes the mask gives me confidence to portray the character”. Majority of the students seemed to agree but Isaiah Deir said “Although my mask portrayed the change in my personality from freshmen year when i was very goofy and talked a lot,I would rather use my real face because it connects me to the character more”.

The purpose of creating masks and investigating the value behind using props was a very important lessons. Drama and theater constantly use props,not just masks to evoke a certain feeling with the audience or to help them convey a character. Knowing how and why actors and actresses use masks and props was necessary to know in order for current actors and actresses to do the same.

Madison Jackson
Students working on their masks.