The mask is one of the most significant tools in modern theatre. The Centre has a professionally equipped workshop for all aspects of mask-making, design and construction.
Commedia dell’Arte masks in leather are made around wooden moulds following the classic Sartori method developed in Padua. Malcolm Knight trained with Venetian mask-maker, Stefano Perroco (who was trained by Donato Sartori) in the 1980’s.
Noh Mask carving is possible because of the twelve sets of tools and materials donated by Nohzin Suzuki (the Nohzin-kai school in Kobe, Japan) during his 1994 residency at SMPC.
Masks are also commissioned for use in contemporary theatre production and actor -training. Behind The Mask is our touring exhibition for Museums & galleries and has been travelling round the UK and Ireland since 2005.
Grant Mason, our resident film and television wizard, also makes monsters, make-up effects, and masks in foam latex, fibre-glass, silicon, neoprene, and related materials.
The Centre promotes the use of the mask as a central tool in actor-training. Research into the great traditions (Greece & Rome, Medieva, European Folk and Carnival, Japanese Noh, Balinese Topeng, Korean Mask Dances), tribal performance, and contestation and political action.
Malcolm Knight is completed a PhD in Mask Praxis: Theories and Practices of The Mask in Modern Drama for the University of Glasgow in 2005. He has made an extensive study of mask performance, mask-making, and mask traditions over a twenty-five year period. He has trained with Stefano Perroco and Nohzin Suzuki; and teaches neutral, character, larval, Commedia, Greek and Noh masks.
MASK RESOURCE LIBRARY
The Centre has an extensive collection of theatre, folk, and ethnographic materials including books and articles in other languages; and video footage of commedia, Noh, Topeng, Kathakali, Carnival and related forms. This Collection forms the largest and finest resource of its kind in the UK.