The purpose and power of the mask in the history of theatre

Maskell, Katherine (2007) The purpose and power of the mask in the history of theatre. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    This SpEx project sought to discover whether the mask could be argued to have the power to control or posses an actor during a performance. Primary research consisted of analysing the improvised mask exercises of five of my peers, as well as my own performance in the mask and the rehearsals proceeding. I used my findings from this research to answer the question of the power and purpose of a mask in the history of theatre. I found that the argument regarding the power of the mask can be placed in three categories, internal power, external power, and the skill of the actor. I also came to the conclusion that the type of power the mask is viewed to have in each instance is linked with its purpose. I found this by first outlining the importance of the mask and its original culture, to determine whether this has changed, and to acknowledge that the mask's importance and ancient uses may be something that stimulates these arguments for the internal power of the mask. I analytically examine arguments for and against the mask's power, relating them to my own experiences to explore the different ways of looking at the mask's power and purpose in the theatre throughout history.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Media and Performing Arts
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:48
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:14
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/492

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