ArtTalk: The Art of Masks

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Masks are one of the most ancient creative forms, from Noh masks in Japan to commedia dell’arte in Italy to traditional Native American masks across the continent, this art form is used to facilitate creative expression.  From November 4-19, you’ll be able to see one example of masks in use during The Umbrella’s production of Equus. 

At this month’s ArtTalk, the creative team of Equus will be joined by mask makers from around the region in an interactive panel.  We’ll be discussing what it means to wear art, how that affects the way it’s made, and how masks are utilized in different venues. 


Eric Bornstein, Behind the Mask, 
Award-winning Behind the Mask Studio has created masks/puppets for many companies, including Boston Ballet (Nutcracker), Boston Lyric Opera (Madama Butterfly), Boston MFA, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Company One (Shockheaded Peter [2016 IRNE award-winner for Best Puppetry Design]), Underground Railway Theater (Galileo), Fava Opera (Les Sortileges D'enfants [Paris]), Liars & Believers (Le Cabaret Grim, Best Production Design winner, New York Musical Theater Festival 2014), Gamm Theatre, and Bethesda Softworks (Versailles, Paris). Over the last 30 years Eric’s masked characters have been the subject of numerous media features. Local and national media have described Eric as “Boston’s preeminent mask maker”…”a man of many talents” and his masks as “phantasmagoric,” “magnificent,” “Stunning, finely crafted…first-rate,” “eerie/enchanting,” “masterful,” and “gorgeous.” 

Charlotte Dore is an actor, puppeteer and voice artist. She is a member of the actors unions SAG/AFTRA & Actors Equity. She has been running Rosalita's Puppets for Over 20 years touring all around New England with puppet shows and children's storytelling using puppets and masks. She worked with Tom Woodruff ( Oscar winner for Aliens) on the Gorilla in the Kevin James movie Zookeeper filmed in Boston as an additional puppeteer. She has recorded over 40 audio books and performed in theatres such as Stoneham and the Lyric and toured Nationally with Underground Railway Theatre.Charlotte uses masks in many of her children's programming and in her interactive work uses physical comedy and mask inspired techniques weather using a mask or just a "costume". She is delighted to be part of a panel discussing mask and its importance in Theatre."

Ian Thal is senior contributor and theater critic for The Arts Fuse. He has collaborated with Eric Bornstein in Teatro delle Maschere, and has also performed with Bread & Puppet Theater, i Sebastiani, and Cosmic Spelunker Theater, and teaches mime and commedia dell'arte at OpenAir Circus, a Somerville-based youth circus. His plays include Arlecchino Am Ravenous, Two Cats Explain The Monstrous Moth Group, The Second Annual Administration Building Takeover and Slumber Party, and Jan Kultura, Substitute Teacher, Meets the Crowd.

Kate Devorak is a Massachusetts-based actress, director, and designer. She graduated with a degree in theater from Drew University in 2013. Favorite past roles include: Cory in PRIVATE EYES (Salem Theatre Company), Player in HAMLET (Salem Theatre Company), Sylvia in ONE TENNIS SHOE (Ghostlight Theatre Company of NE), Portia in THE MERCHANT OF VENICE (Nashua Theatre Guild), Rosannah DeLuce in BRILLIANT TRACES (Nashua Theatre Guild), and Gunman in MASS, a devised piece (Drew University).


11/17/2016 - 2:00pm
Event categories: 
Studio Art