A masterclass in mask performance with A Conspiracy of Clowns • Running Time: 360 mins
Renowned mask practitioners, A Conspiracy of Clowns, offer you an immersive introduction to mask performance and the art of physical expression
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Renowned mask practitioners, A Conspiracy of Clowns, offer you an immersive introduction to mask performance and the art of physical expression.


VENUE: POPArt Theatre, 286 Fox Street Maboneng

DATE: Saturday 26 May 2018

TIME: 10h00-16h00

COST: R450

BOOKING: Spaces are limited, so booking is essential


Performing objects (including masks, puppets, and materials) are central to some of the oldest performance forms in history, yet are still regarded with suspicion and fear by many contemporary practitioners. This is a pity, because masks make for invaluable training tools for all performers and theatre makers, regardless of what genre or medium you work in – yes, even film actors and animators.


“But if you take my face away, how will I be able to express my emotions?” you say; and “If you take my voice away, how will I be able to communicate??” you wail. Yes, it’s true – you will confront these things. But you will quickly learn how amazingly liberating masks can be and how they are capable of showing an exquisite range of complex emotions – without needing to say a single word. You will soon discover how much the body can show story, without you being aware of it, and in doing so you will encounter many of your “habits” and “tricks” that are potentially limiting your range of performance. You will be amazed at playing with form in space, how stillness and silence are your friends, and how one simple clear movement can say so much. You will discover, through mask and counter-mask, how differing emotions can be portrayed with a minimum of effort. And encountering the mask, you will build a complex psychological character from scratch – really getting under the skin of somebody else.


The workshop will explore fundamental mask techniques, starting from Neutral Mask (the mask of reference), to Larval Mask (the emergence of emotion), through Basic Character Mask, to Advanced Character Mask. By doing so, you will work to develop a greater physical awareness and an increased range and clarity of physical expression.


No previous mask experience is needed - this is a physical workshop intended for performers, dancers, directors, writers, students, researchers, teachers…ag, anyone really curious about how objects move in space and can project subtle and complex human emotions.


This Master Class is the first of a series of similar events A Conspiracy of Clowns will be offering in the near future, with the aim of slowly collecting a group of like-minded practitioners together for more regular playing and training, and eventually to create new work in Joburg. Watch this face for details.



Additional info:


What to Bring:


Please wear neutral clothing of low-key colours suitable for movement and that you are comfortable in. Be ready to work barefoot or in tekkies.


We will take a few breaks along the way, so please bring water/juice and snacks. A packed lunch for a quick bite might be handy, although there are many awesome restaurants close by.


Not essential, but if you have any old shawls/scarves/hats/beanies/jackets, and don’t mind sharing them, that would be awesome to bring along. We will provide basic items to costume our characters, but the more the merrier!


About the Conspiracy:


An open collective of misfits, clowns, fools, and mad designers, A Conspiracy of Clowns is dedicated to creating original stories with a particular focus on alternative approaches to theatre making in the field of clowning, visual theatre, and contemporary devised performance. Works to date include the ground-breaking PICTURES OF YOU, KARDIāVALE, BENCHMARKS (in association with FTH:K), CRAZY IN LOVE, PIET SE OPTELGOED, WATERLINE (in association with Uyabona Ke?), and HEARTS HOTEL.


Co-Artistic Directors Rob Murray and Liezl de Kock form the nucleus of the Conspiracy and, as two of the foremost mask practitioners in South Africa, will facilitate the Master Class.


Book for PERFORMING OBJECTS 1: The Silent Mask by clicking this button:
Sat 26th May 10am R450: Hurry! Only 1 ticket left!

* If you would like to host a workshop of any kind, please get in touch with us at popartjhb@gmail.com. POPArt offers a revenue split with performing arts workshops facilitators and will provide the space, online ticketing and co-marketing.