Paper Mache Masks

Matt Lyon’s Paper Mache Theater Masks

volpone theater masks

We have a real treat today – Matt Lyon gave me permission to post an email he sent to me last week, along with photos of some fabulous masks he made for a recent theater production.

And now, here’s Matt and those wonderful masks. Click on any of the smaller images to see them full-sized:

Hi Jonni,

I’m Matt Lyon, a Theatre teacher at the School of the Arts, Singapore. I just thought I’d share with you some photos from a production of “Volpone” by Ben Jonson that I recently directed and designed masks for.

“Volpone” is a kind of twisted fable in which a rich man, Volpone (the Fox), wants to be even richer, so he rolls over on his back and pretends to be gravely ill.

Then all the greedy fortune hunters in town (the Vulture, the Raven and the Crow) gather round to peck at his soon-to-be carcass. They bring him valuable gifts, hoping that when he dies, he’ll bequeath them all his riches.

Of course, Volpone, assisted by his wily servant Mosca (the Fly), has no intention of dying anytime soon!

The play is not often done in masks, and even when it is, the masks tend to be traditional-ish, commedia-style human masks; but I thought it would be fun – and a good learning experience for my student performers – to do it with animal masks. And my Year 4 students (16 years old) really took to the masks and got into their characters, as I think you can see from the photos…

Anyway, thanks for the method in your book and your videos! My old way of making masks was vastly inferior, and I really couldn’t have managed this show without you…

Matt

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