Masks are as contemporary as they are ancient, having been around for upwards of 40,000 years and chiefly serve the potential to dramatically alter a person’s identity and how others interpret them, whether for the purposes of play or storytelling. Today’s equivalents are sunglasses, haircuts and makeup (face paint), inducing a modern ritual of shapeshifting experience, creating a virtual existence for the workplace or social occasion beyond our assigned identities. Creating masks is also a magnificent means to reinforce team relationships.
This ancient Greek theatrical symbol has once again returned to the stage as a top trend famously featuring in Punch Drunks immersive production of ‘The Drowned Man’ at the National Theatre. Audience members were instructed to wear expressionless masks, devoid of a mouth, through the duration of the production. The masks functioned as a fourth wall, allowing the audience to interact anonymously with the cast whilst simultaneously giving them the confidence to explore the space on their own.
There are a variety of mask workshops – like those run by our friends at Head of House – that seek to engage through creativity drawing on the personal journey that most enjoy through a return to building with their hands, something many of us haven’t done since childhood. Ironically, through this daring sense of adventure comes a rare transformation and fractional peek into the wearer’s inner identity exposed in what, on the surface, is just another masquerade.
Hands on workshops provide a creative and intimate scene to explore our inner selves whilst strengthening communication and relationships with colleagues. Incorporate a three dimensional mask making workshop into a staff summer party or midsummer pageant for an invaluable and immersive team building experience to remember.