Mask in Theatre. masakhaمَسَخَ be transfomed. Put on a mask and anything is possible. Suddenly you can move, act, and think differently. The mask embodies the potential for transformation of all kinds - emotional, spiritual, physical, and symbolic. Greek Italian Japan Korean
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Suddenly you can move, act, and think differently.
The mask embodies the potential for transformation of all kinds - emotional, spiritual, physical, and symbolic.
Thalia, the muse of comedy &
Melpomene, the muse of tragedy
Big eyes and mouth
Project broad emotions (happiness, sadness, anger) to audience from great distance
Change of characters (Performance limited to 3 actors)
Inspired Venetian Masks for the Carnival – the Mardi Gras
Zanni originates from Giovanni,
a typical name of servants in Italy.
The role of Zanni is very changeable;
silly, simple-minded and vulgar.
Zanni can also be sly, cunning and cheeky.
Zanni is always poor and hungry.
He is a kind and good character but to the point that he blames himself for the wrongs he never did.
Too trusting and naïve, he is often cheated, joked on by others.
Masks are grotesque, exaggerated and use dark and bright colors to suit performance at night by wood fires.
Red, black, white colors are favored.
Most of the masks depict human faces but some represent deities and animals.
An interesting feature is that the masks of yangban, the upper class gentlemen, are almost always deformed: a lopsided mouth, a distorted nose or squint eyes. (a reflection of the commoners' hostility toward the privileged class)
One of the oldest known dramatic art forms worldwide
Chinese opera masks are significant in a way that they represent the characters’ personalities and intense moods.
Opera masks are also used to represent various human emotions which leads to the “changing face” technique. (frequent on-stage change of facial expression)
Red indicates devotion, courage bravery, uprightness and loyalty.
A typical "red face" is Guan Yu, general of the period of the Three Kingdoms (220-280)
He is famous for his faithfulness to his Emperor, Liu Bei.
Traditionally, masks were used for practical reasons:
- for audience to see the expressions of actor/actress to be seen from a great distance
- for a change of characters throughout the performance
Later, masks allow for the creative interpretation of characters
- the colors, lines and shapes become symbolic and meaningful
- stock character (stereotypical fictional characters) can also be represented
Performance and dance (Harvest dance)
Religious rituals (Initiation rites)