THE THEATRE MASKS (the actor's journey through the mask work)

16. 06. 2017

International workshop organized in collaboration with Divadlo Usmev and the Conservatory of Bratislava.

OPEN TO: performers, theatre teachers, directors, playwrights, designers, choreographers, musicians with professional experience in their field, and anyone else interested in expanding their creative tools or wishing to further their knowledge with masks and physical theater.


Since ancient times, when the lives of men and women were still wrapped in the fantastic world of mythology, the mask represented an essential and indispensable element in human evolution. The mask is a medium that connects us to undefinable forces, such as those appertaining to archetypes of nature, humanity, and the divine. Thus its use in communal ceremonies is present in cultures and civilisations throughout history. Used in tribal, magical, and religious rituals, the mask was an essential part of the transformation of ritual into theatrical form in ancient Greek and Roman civilisation. In the Middle Ages the mask appeared in pagan carnival traditions and served to represent the demons in sacred ceremonies.  During the Renaissance, with the fixed characters of Commedia del’Arte, the mask became the main player in the birth of modern Western theater. From the 1900s, the mask came to have a pedagogical function thanks to the exploration and research of many theater artists, who begun to use it as a tool for actor's training, thus participating in the rebirth of physical theater, where the expressive presence is re-evaluated in its entirety.


The mask’s theatrical and dramatic aspects have spread throughout all human cultures. This does not express a taste for fiction and deception, but rather the expression of a fundamental duplicity and inconsistency found in many situations of human life. The mask, having a phenomenal nature, manifests itself completely when all the elements which constitute the phenomenal act come together. A mask’s construction materials and structure are important. Just as important however is the person who moves and merges with the mask, who observes, the quality of physical space which supports the play, as well as the quality of the dramatic space within which it may play.


The mask, with the multitudes of meaning that it carries, constitute the basic elements one must face when practicing the art of theater. The mask covers the face of the actor, also covering all of the face’s expressive elements. The research of theatrical expression must thus move completely into the body and its relation to space. This gives the actor a new sense of presence, a fluency of feeling, a powerful dramatic expression, a gestural language imbued with emotion, a return towards a fullness of feeling, and the possibility of rediscovering the inherent dimension of the play. The body and the space are essential for finding the truth within the acting. This is fundamental for lively and authentic theater actors as much as for scenographers, directors, writers, choreographers, and dancers.


  • ​​The relationship between body and space: the presence and the state.
  • The structure of the body: the mask's body
  • The body in action: movement analysis and technique
  • Advanced technique of mask articulation
  • The mask in play.
  • Improvisation.
  • PlayWriting
  • The journey trought the theatre masks
  • ​Neutral Mask  by Donato Sartori
  • Larval Masks by Matteo Destro
  • Full Expressive Masks by Matteo Destro
  • Primary Monodirectional Masks by Matteo Destro
  • Human Tragi-comedy Half Masks by Matteo Destro
  • Satiric Masks by Matteo Destro



Places are limited to 14 participants


The workshop will be taught in English. Work sessions can be translated in Slovak, French, Italian and Spanish.


from 10th to 16th JULY 2017 - 10.00 am to 17.00 .pm


Class will be held in the historic center Conservatory Bratislava, Tolstého 11, Bratislava 811 06


200 €


for all information and for enrolment please contact


The price of tuition does not include accommodation. If you need the organiser in Bratislava can help you find and book the accommodation solution you prefer

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