I Find teaching masks work Very interesting because it’s not just for teaching commedia You know like once you they’ve they found the spirit of the mask you introduced the history. Yes that’s right they find out, which character it was and they go “Hey i found that in my, mask When i was working? And that’s what the history, book, says he is, that’s fantastic I found it myself!”.
So the student owns the work and you end up with wonderful performance if that happens but I found there were some students there was one confident Student that very popular in the class you know and but she was doing an improv and she ripped the mask off and threw it on the ground and says “I hate Masks!” and after we all got over the shock of being disrespectful to the mask, like everyone was thinking hey, that, was this guy’s property it’s his Masks, I mean “What have you done!” once we got over that i started to realise what was going on in the class, that this student, was normally quite confident performing but the frustration was that the mask, was stopping her from doing, what she normally does. She had little tricks to make her audience laugh, she wasn’t able to, do that, her face was taken away, and she was having to be this something else and she didn’t like.
So there are students that will not take the mask very, well but I find that the shyer ones, Looking up at her, and they’re enjoying the anonymity of the mask, and they’re going, “Hey, she can’t do this but we can”. And so what you’ve got there is gives them more confident ones the ones that are normally quite confident onstage give them a High, status characters they’re usually, non mask characters so they end up becoming the high status they become bossy however with, this lower status Servant type characters and you find that this casting is very very accurate, when you finally go to performance.
Also I cover in the in the workshop, I say try and work on short skits, and have comic duo’s and trios so you have one high status with two servants or so on and this is great for an assessment tool just get them to work on that doing a whole play with the whole class is very very difficult within a time restriction of a unit.
Okay, so hopefully that little bit of information i will be expanding on to get the best out of the mask work you, do it school I believe you should do it at any year level you can do commedia at any year level and if you do it earlier you can actually pull on your experiences that you did in year 8, year 9 and when they’re doing more meaty stuff they need in year 12 you know you can pull back, and say let’s do a Commedia run, just as a rehearsal process .
I hope that is valuable to you? and you’re interested and please leave a comment thank you very much bye.
Tony Kishawi DADA (Dip. Arts Dramatic Arts)
As found on Commedia Unmasked Youtube