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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: May ::
Re: Masks
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0390.  Wednesday, 4 May 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Skip Shand <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 3 May 1994 10:16 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0385  Re: Masks
 
(2)     From:   Sarah Gannon <GANNON@HWS.BITNET>
        Date:   Tuesday, 03 May 1994 22:07:15 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0385  Re: Masks
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Skip Shand <
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Date:           Tuesday, 3 May 1994 10:16 EDT
Subject: 5.0385  Re: Masks
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0385  Re: Masks
 
Harry Hill may be dismissing Sarah Gannon's mask query too quickly. Edward
Burns, and plenty others, have argued that Elizabethan acting style was much
more rhetorical/gestural than the psychologized and internalized post-Ibsen
styles which underlie most contemporary performance. Classical mask (as
distinct from neutral mask, which IS a tool for interior work often) can be a
wonderful tool for eliciting gestural performance from actors whose whole
training is versions of "method". As such, it might well be a very helpful
route to productions capable of embracing the discontinuities of character
explored by nontheatrical readers like Belsey and Sinfield. Mask's most obvious
use, it seems to me, might be in identical twin plays (I have often imagined a
masked *Comedy of Errors*--has anyone seen one?), but I find my imagination
savoring the idea of a masked *Macbeth* even as I write this.
 
What I'd love to know is whether anyone has any evidence of a wider use of mask
on the Elizabethan stage than those occurrences (*Dream*, *Ado*, etc.) which
are occasional and specified by text?
                                                   Skip Shand
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sarah Gannon <GANNON@HWS.BITNET>
Date:           Tuesday, 03 May 1994 22:07:15 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 5.0385  Re: Masks
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0385  Re: Masks
 
Harry Hill RE your response to my masks question...
 
Thanks for your response.  I see what you mean about the use of masks being
facially restricting.  However, I feel that in a play such as Twelfth
Night, it might be rather interesting to use masks for Sebastion/Viola or
even Viola/Cesario. However, I do agree that these plays are very complex
without all of this doubling and use of masks.  However, do you not agree
that it would be an interesting technique?  Just a thought.
 
Sarah Gannon @William Smith
 

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