Feature in Issue 7-3 | Autumn 1995

Despite the fact that we are currently in the ‘Age of Aquarius’ - supposedly the time when society shifts consciousness to more spiritual values, we still live in a highly image-orientated world. Supermodels, advertising, shopping centres, high-tech and highly visual cinema all add to our notion of developing our outer rather than inner potential.

Not so with creative mask work which forms one of the features in this issue. Whilst aware of its visual impact, the essential foundation of any mask performance is what lies within – masks are excellent tools for drawing out the inner emotions of an actor and exploring the undiscovered territory of new characters. As John Wright points out, they are excellent for helping the self-conscious performer pull out what is within, not to mention being the ideal tool for making the body become the main focus of a performance. It would appear therefore that masks are not only essentially highly creative and dynamic objects for developing performance, but could be used in all kinds of workshops in developing the ‘self’. And on top of all this they are great fun to design and make.

‘Dramaturgy’ is also explored in this issue. It is encouraging to see healthy discussion that both focuses on the unique structures and processes of mime and physical theatre but at the same time acknowledges the huge strides and changes we have seen in the work. It is also refreshing to see a ‘mime script’ from Anne Le Marquand Hartigan when we struggle so often to put into words something not originally constructed from them.

This article in the magazine

Issue 7-3
p. 3