Teacher: Janet Borrus, theatre
School: East Los Angeles Performing Arts Magnet
Project Goal(s): To provide theatre students with an opportunity to learn physical theatre techniques in masks and to to make their own masks.
DESCRIPTION OF ACTIVITIES
Students begin on their feet, learning techniques for acting in neutral, full-face larval and character masks. Inspired by physical improvisations set to music, and images from photographs and magazines, students develop original characters, each with their own idiosyncratic gestures and movement. Next, they work collaboratively in small groups to devise short narratives featuring their characters, a particular setting and theme (such as loss, generosity, competition, first love, immigration). For a month they are immersed in the rigorous process of building masks from scratch, learning how to highlight and exaggerate character traits using plaster, papier mache, clay, and acrylics. The culmination of the program is a performance of eight original works of Mask Theatre set to music.
ETA funds were used for the teaching artist fees and art supplies.