chapter  8
12 Pages

Directing Masks

As stated earlier, rehearsing a mask to an empty room is a pointless task. It needs somebody sitting there to make it real. This could be another member of the cast, or somebody who carries the title ‘director’. The chief role for this person is to witness the performance of the mask and offer positive criticism aimed at improving the performance. This might be a question of tweaking a gesture, timing, focus etc. The director must search for the ‘but’, as in ‘That was very good, but . . .’. In mask work, it is often a question of provoking the actor to tell more and more of their inner monologue, and clarifying that the mask is saying what the performer intends.