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Lesson 1

Introduction to the full Masks. Tr demonstrates 2 Masks in action. Students are asked to describe the character – its feelings/thoughts

Students physical work on expressing character through the body conveying emotion.
Working from the outside in : exploring 3 physical shapes -  thin (tight, restricted) square (broad, open, expansive) bubble (energy in all directions!)  Which shape is your Mask?

Students don a Mask and explore the way it moves/behaves in a variety of situations  (in a hurry. Trying to move something heavy/small. Shopping. Eating. Relaxing)  

Simple pair interactions in Mask - status exercises. What is your relationship with the other?

Lesson 2  

Adding dialogue to the full face masks. Pair interactions – master servant

Students improvise the scene with the Mask, then repeat the scene without the Masks, but adding dialogue.

Dubbing:  two students play a scene in Mask: two other students provide the dialogue (or unspoken thoughts)

A person puts on a Mask and transforms (think Bruce Wayne – Batman)  

Lesson 3  

I usually introduce the half-masks.  These require a very different energy and presence In addition to finding a body for the mask, students must also find a voice .  Each Mask introduces itself.

Background on commedia dell-arte and the principal characters (Pantalone, Dottore, il Capitano, the servants, the lovers)  Simple pair improvs to explore typical encounters, exchanges and exasperations!

Pairs: lazzi. (A lazzo is a simple comic routine. Eg a servant comes to apologise for making a small mistake - I spilled water - but ends up over-confessing: I was cleaning up the mess after inviting friends over for a party last night while Master was out…)

Lesson 4  

1 character two masks.  Exploring identity – changing behaviour (different situations?) This can be done with half and/or a full mask.   Leads to small group work devising a scene for sharing

Lesson 5  

Small groups (4-5 pax) rehearse and then share their scenes