If asked, most of us probably have a very similar view of what theater is, but despite this universal idea of something acted out, usually on a stage, for our entertainment, there are many types of theater specific to various cultures around the world.

In some countries, like Japan for example, the types of theater are defined by very specific styles and conventions, even rules. Traditional theater anywhere, has usually developed through many centuries, yet retains many of its original characteristics even when being performed on modern stages. Japan has various types of theater each easily distinguishable once you know the nuances. Noh theater is a performance of song and dance and having originated in the 14th century, remains steeped in its traditions.

All performers in Noh theater are male who act in rich, heavy costumes in slow movements with a monotonous dialogue, poetic in its tone. Themes often to relate to the supernatural, the spiritual world and dreams, with plots and stories drawn from history, legend and literature. The lead character Shite most usually wears a mask carved from Japanese Cypress which tells the audience what kind of character he is.

7 Different Types of Theater from around the World ...

Noh takes place on a specific type of stage which is square with a roof supported by 4 corner pillars, open on 3 sides, with a back wall painted with an image of a pine tree.

By Neecey. Noh - Japan. Your reaction Thank you! Show Commnents 1. Please rate this article click a star to vote. Read More. Curried Shrimp Type keyword s to search.The use of masks in ancient Greek theater draw their origin from the ancient Dionysian cult.

Thespis was the first writer, who used a mask. The members of the chorus wore masks, usually similar to each other but completely different from the leading actors. Picture 1 portrays a sort of mask suitable for the chorus. Because the number of actors varied from one to three, they had to put on different masks, in order to play more roles. The actors were all men. The mask was therefore necessary to let them play the female roles.

Picture 2 portrays a woman's mask. Some people claim that the masks had one more significance : they added resonance to the voice of an actor so that everyone in the huge ancient theater could hear him Baldry I do not quite agree with that point of view. I think it's enough for someone to attend a modern performance of a play in the ancient theater of Epidaurus to feel the perfection of the acoustics in an ancient theater.

different types of masks in theatre

Even the audience of the last row can hear a whisper from the orchestra. An interesting idea Wiles is that the mask could give to the character some sort of universality, creating an average figure, so that the audience would judge him on his actions and not his appearance. Certainly that was a result of the use of the mask but I am not quite convinced that it was one of the purposes of its use.

Usually the masks were made of linen, wood, or leather. A marble or stone face was used as a mould for the mask. Human or animal hair was also used. The eyes were fully drawn but in the place of the pupil of the eye was a small hole so that the actor could see. Your browser version is outdated. We recommend that you update your browser to the latest version. Share on Social Media. Elias Karayannakos, All Rights Reserved. Cookie Policy This site uses cookies to store information on your computer.

Do you accept?Since the coronavirus outbreak began in China last yearface masks have gone from something you see on your dental hygienist to a sold-out commodity in high demand, despite warnings from high-ranking health officials that the masks could do more harm than good when worn by healthy people.

But certain masks are appropriate for certain people to wear as the novel coronavirus spreads. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionpeople who are sick with COVID and around other people, home caregivers of patients who cannot wear a mask, and healthcare workers treating coronavirus patients can all benefit from masks, which may help prevent novel coronavirus droplets from spreading.

Not all masks are created equal, though: Face masks like the N95 help contain virus particles from people with symptoms who must go out in public, and help keep health workers safe from contracting the virus through particles released by mucus and cough sputum when they are around infected individuals. More expensive full-face respirators should be reserved for people who have trouble breathing in regular masks, or healthcare workers whose facial hair prevents an N95 mask from sealing correctly.

Here's the breakdown of which conditions each mask is designed for and who really needs to wear one. Remember, all of this protective assurance only applies if you wear the mask correctly, and make sure it fits snugly. Most people don't do that. A "P" mask is, by contrast, "oil proof," but that's kind of overkill for a novel virus that is most often transmitted through coughing and close contact between people. P masks filter out at least Most people don't know how to properly wear a mask in the first place.

Washing your handsstaying a safe distance away from sick people at least six feet between you and themand avoiding touching your face when your hands are dirty, are all far easier, cheaper, and more effective measures for the general public to adopt to avoid contracting COVIDa disease which is spread through respiratory droplets which are coughed and spit out of infected individuals.

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As the novel coronavirus spreads throughout the US, people have clamored for now sold-out or up-charged masks of all types in an effort to protect themselves. Health experts have said over and over that healthy people should not buy maskssince they won't do much to protect you and purchasing them will deplete the supply for people who do need them — like sick patients and healthcare workers. Here's a breakdown of all the different types of face masks and who should — and shouldn't — be wearing them.

Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Loading Something is loading.Mask Types. Common mask types. Theatre masks - Ancient Greece has handed us down a pair of plain white masks representing two basic emotions and acting styles - comedic and dramatic. Theatre masks focuses an audience's attention on the actor's movements and speech, and the design can amplify sound waves and reach more people during a performance.

A similar-looking mask is worn by actors in a Japanese Noh play, along with ceremonial robes.

All the different types of face masks, and who should wear them during the coronavirus outbreak

You'll also see masks used by medicine men for their trance dances. Masquerade masks - a standard in balls, masquerade masks come in a variety of formats, shapes and sizes, for men and women. They are also known as Venetian masks, whose medieval court held the world's first masquerade balls.

Masquerade masks add elements of mystery and glamour to parties.

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The most common type is the half-face maskwhich covers only the eye area. A full mask though leaves the mouth area open, to allow for eating and drinking. More elaborate masks cover the whole head, with feathers and other designs mounted on the back. Stick masks, which have to be held close to the face, are mostly decorative and for sightseeing rather than dancing. An elastic band makes a mask comfortable for various sizes.

Face masks are popular for fun parties and occasions like Halloween. They can take the shape of animals, popular cartoon characters, or ghoulish creations. Many mask collectors make it a point to have a representative from as many cultures of the world as they can.

Here are some interesting mask designs grouped by traditional communities in the six inhabited continents: Africa: Here, masks were used in shamanic rituals and as cultural props for initiation into puberty and an adult role in village society. The Dan and N'Tomo tribes make masks with stylised facial features, with a smooth surface of wood or clay, and marked by simple lines and eye-holes.

Pendant masks from Benin were not worn on the face but strung around the neck as a symbol of power. North America: the Inuit of Alaska made burial masks to honour their dead, as well as ceremonial masks for shamans and as a spirit-guide for hunting or recovery from illness. The Inuits and other North American native masks were made from leather, bones, and wood. Latin America: The Aztecs' most ornate masks incorporated precious gems and gold into their designs.

The masks in this region express themselves with colour and a wide variety of materials, fur, papier mache, leather and moulded metal. Brazil's Mardi Gras celebrations feature a rich tradition of decorative masks. Asia: masks are used in Chinese lion dances, Tibetan stage plays and religious rituals.

Theater Masks - Different Types of Theatrical Masks

The Japanese Noh mask is porcelain white and has the barest minimum of facial features.The commedia dell'arte developed types, also called maschere, or masks, for different stock characters. The classical appearance of the Harlequin stock character in the commedia dell'arte of the s.

Maurice Sand, Skip to main content. It was not a written art form, rather, it was based on the improvisation by the actors who worked around a canovaccio literally canvasor a brief sketch of a plot.

During the latter part of the sixteenth century, groups of actors formed troupes called compagnie and traveled playing this type of unwritten dramatic form in inns, market places and theaters.

They traveled in Italy, in France and all over Europe, influencing the theatrical traditions of the countries they touched. We have, however, a number of scenarios left to us. The most important collection was published by Impresario Flaminio Scala in These types were regional, wore a typical costume and spoke the dialect of their region.

Among these characters, the lovers, the inamorata and the inamorato, had a special place. Often, the improvised play would spin around their peripeties as they were. Like Romeo and Juliet, by the inimical will of their parents. Only, since we were in the realm of comedy, a happy ending was assured!

different types of masks in theatre

The lovers did not wear a mask and their speech was lofty and romantic. They provided a semi-tragic quality to the action with their love troubles. The comic characters were called maschere because on the scene they wore masks to have a stylized effect.

The romantic plot was reinforced with iazzi, that is, improvisations of a bawdy or slapstick nature. The scenario would change, but the types remained the same, giving the public a sense of familiarity with the dramatic action. There was no need to explain what each type or actor would do: the audience knew ahead of time.

Among the numerous masks, the most famous are: Arlecchino, Pantalone, Brighella, Pulcinella and the Captain. We do not know where Arlecchino got his name.

different types of masks in theatre

Famous for his patchwork costume made of diamond-shaped lozenges of all colors, he was a devious and naughty servant.Since the dawn of theater, many cultures from around the world elected to represent actors as other persons of beings, enabling performances that were much more striking and effective.

Theater traditions in both West and the Asia adopted masks as one of the most important tools that could be used on stage, often creating plays that were fully acted by masked actors. Most notable example of this approach was born in ancient Greece, specifically the state-city of Athens where culture, poetry, and art were valued as an important foundation of daily lives. Stage drama received special care, enabling quick popularization of three main types of plays— tragedy, comedy, and satyr play comedic satire.

The earliest example of masks was used for various religious ceremonies such as rituals, celebrations, festivals, rites of passages, recreations of folk stories, pageants, and many other ceremonies of ancient origins. Some of the older masks used in religious healing date up to years ago in Ancient China. Traditions of those events translated well into the creation of organized use of masks in China around 13th century AD.

Murals and paintings from that time described the use of various masks during ceremonies performed by sorcerers, exorcism masks and theater performances that were at first performed only to royalty and nobility. All theater masks from that early period of history were lost to time because they were not created to be durable, and were often offered to the fire as offering to the gods at the end of the celebration. Much later, Athenian actors used now famous happy masks of Comedy and sad masks of Tragedy to celebrate gods especially during a festival called Dionysia, which honored the Greek god Dionysus, god of fertility, harvest, wine-making, religious ecstasy, myth, and theater created from more durable materials.

They exported their craft to all colonies of Athens, popularizing theater and mask-use across central Europe where new users used masks for many other purposes. For example, marks were very popular in neighboring civilization of Ancient Rome, where masks of many kinds were used not only in theater but also in religious ceremonies such as funerals where professional actors wearing masks would recreate deeds from the life of the deceased and his ancestors.

In Asia, modern traditions of famous Japanese Noh theater formed in the 14th century by famous author and musician Kan'ami and his son Zeami. In this heavily codified and regulated art form that is still performed today, single theater play consists of five musical drama segments with shorter comedic plays being played in between of them.

Masks that are here used for roles vary widely, reaching a number of over different models. The most popular ones are those of women, children, ghosts both good and bad ones and old people, covering all genres, ages, and emotions. Many centuries after the fall of Ancient Greece and Rome, the tradition of mask use in theater and public ceremonies endured in continental Europe.

Regular theater production from medieval, renaissance and Victorian ages all used masks to some extent, especially in plays that featured puppetry and other forms of tools that elevated visual storytelling. In late 19th and 20th century, avant-garde art movement gave new life to theater masks culture via several distinct art movements that became very influential in Europe and America traditional avant-garde art, Naturalism, Oriental Theatre, modern dance, modern mime and others.

The rise of the cinema film also enabled masks to be used in an entirely different art form where they were used to portray many types of otherworldly characters, persons who wanted to become symbols, changes of persona and horror beings. History Of Masks. Home Famous Masks Theater Masks.Masks have been used almost universally to represent characters in theatrical performances.

Theatrical performances are a visual literature of a transientmomentary kind. It is most impressive because it can be seen as a reality; it expends itself by its very revelation. The mask participates as a more enduring element, since its form is physical. The mask as a device for theatre first emerged in Western civilization from the religious practices of ancient Greece.

When a literature of worship appeared, a disguise, which consisted of a white linen mask hung over the face a device supposedly initiated by Thespisa 6th-century- bce poet who is credited with originating tragedyenabled the leaders of the ceremony to make the god manifest.

different types of masks in theatre

Thus symbolically identified, the communicant was inspired to speak in the first person, thereby giving birth to the art of drama. In Greece the progress from ritual to ritual-drama was continued in highly formalized theatrical representations.

Masks used in these productions became elaborate headpieces made of leather or painted canvas and depicted an extensive variety of personalities, ages, ranks, and occupations. Moreover, their use made it possible for the Greek actors—who were limited by convention to three speakers for each tragedy—to impersonate a number of different characters during the play simply by changing masks and costumes. Details from frescoes, mosaics, vase paintings, and fragments of stone sculpture that have survived to the present day provide most of what is known of the appearance of these ancient theatrical masks.

The tendency of the early Greek and Roman artists to idealize their subjects throws doubt, however, upon the accuracy of these reproductions. In fact, some authorities maintain that the masks of the ancient theatre were crude affairs with little aesthetic appeal. In the Middle Agesmasks were used in the mystery plays of the 12th to 16th century. In plays dramatizing portions of the Bible, grotesques of all sorts, such as devils, demons, dragons, and personifications of the seven deadly sinswere brought to stage life by the use of masks.

But again, no reliable pictorial record has survived. Masks used in connection with present-day carnivals and Mardi Gras and those of folk demons and characters still used by central Europeans, such as the Perchten masks of Alpine Austria, are most likely the inheritors of the tradition of medieval masks. The 15th-century Renaissance in Italy witnessed the rise of a theatrical phenomenon that spread rapidly to France, to Germany, and to England, where it maintained its popularity into the 18th century.

Comedies improvised from scenarios based upon the domestic dramas of the ancient Roman comic playwrights Plautus c. Adopting the Roman stock figures and situations to their own usages, the players of the commedia were usually masked. Sometimes the masking was grotesque and fanciful, but generally a heavy leather mask, full or half face, disguised the commedia player.

Excellent pictorial records of both commedia costumes and masks exist; some sketches show the characters of Harlequin and Columbine wearing black masks covering merely the eyes, from which the later masquerade mask is certainly a development.

Except for vestiges of the commedia in the form of puppet and marionette showsthe drama of masks all but disappeared in Western theatre during the 18th, 19th, and first half of the 20th centuries. In modern revivals of ancient Greek plays, masks have occasionally been employed, and such highly symbolic plays as Die versunkene Glocke The Sunken Bell ; by German writer Gerhart Hauptmann — and dramatizations of Alice in Wonderland have required masks for the performers of grotesque or animal figures.

Irish poet-playwright W. Yeats — revived the convention in his Dreaming of the Bones and in other plays patterned upon the Japanese Noh drama.

Modern art movements are often reflected in the design of contemporary theatrical masks. The stylistic concepts of Cubism and Surrealismfor example, are apparent in the masks executed for a production of La favola del figlio cambiato The Fable of the Transformed Son by Italian dramatist Luigi Pirandello — The mask, however, unquestionably lost its importance as a theatrical convention in the 20th century, and its appearance in contemporary Western plays is unusual.

In many ways akin to Greek drama in origin and theme, the Noh drama of Japan has remained a significant part of national life since its beginnings in the 14th century. Noh masks, of which there are about named varieties, are rigidly traditional and are classified into five general types: old persons male and femalegods, goddesses, devils, and goblins. The material of the Noh mask is wood with a coating of plasterwhich is lacquered and gilded.

Colours are traditional.


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