Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Date of Award

Spring 2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department

School of Theatre and Dance

Advisor(s)

Ingrid De Sanctis

Abstract

This paper serves to synthesize and reflect upon the Creative Honors Capstone project entitled “Masks: A New Face for the Theatre.” This project sought to answer the questions: 1. What is the role of masks in theatre today? 2. How can a director use ancient mask traditions to inspire new work? The ancient mask traditions that were the primary focus of this study were Greek Theatre, Japanese Noh Theatre, and Egungun Masquerades of Yorubaland. The initial steps of the project included research into the historical context of these masked traditions as well as contemporary practices. This research was then used to inspire a masked performance of Charles Mee’s text Life is a Dream. The performance featured each of the ancient masking styles and a final section that explored masks in a contemporary theatrical style. The goal of the project was to pull masks out of their historical context in order to discuss their relevance to the contemporary theatre artist and to demonstrate how ancient traditions can inspire new work.

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