Again and again, as each improvisation came to a close participants resumed their normal selves with a distinct feeling of having been 'other'. I have seen this happen with the Commedia dell'Arte masks I work with at RADA.
I have been working with a set of eight Archetypal Masks (not like the one pictured, that's an atmospheric photo-collage image) - plus one carnival Death mask.
In my years of performing and teaching physical theatre I am passionate about opening up the body to more freedom of and delight in expression. The mask demands more physically from the masked performer (the face needs to be visible, the body needs to harmonise and respond in the moment, and an awareness of how to use the performing space is important).
But it was remarkable to see how people's focus and ability to mime invisible objects was enhanced by the masks.
I am planning a course in Archetypal Mask work in 2018 - stay tuned to hear about that.