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Customer Review

on March 30, 1998
From the moment this book arrived I was impressed! It covers everything that every other book on Mask in theatrical training doesn't.
The book begins by giving an overview of the cultural and social uses of masks and many of the beliefs surrounding the "transformative" qualities attributed to masks. It goes on to discuss the use of mask in a historical framework and traces the theatrical uses of masks through some significant eras.
The real value of this book comes in the wide range of activities and exercises in the use of mask. Any teacher of Drama (from high school to university) can work with students through the exercises. They begin with the notion of "Neutral" and what the might mean for an actor in terms of movement and characterisation; then works through a range of increasingly defined masks to a complete "Complex Character" mask.
At all points in the process students are encouraged to experience what is offered, as well as asked to reflect and journalise about their experiences. The book could cover a course that continues for an entire year.
The book also provides templates for some basic masks, and I must say that my students (15 y.o boys) loved constructing them and putting them to use.
I recommend this book unreservedly and challenge any student or teacher to try to resist discovering the amazing effects of introducing masks into theatre training and Drama classes.
While many masks seek to conceal identity, this book offers a transparent and experiential approach to the use of mask. A must have for any serious student or teacher!
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