Masks and Performance: With Everyday Materials

Masks and Performance: With Everyday Materials

by Gita Wolf, V. Geetha, Anushka Ravishankar

Creative and empowering self-expression through make-belief and performing with masks.


Creative and empowering self-expression through make-belief and performing with masks.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This spiral-bound title in the "Craft without Limits" series presents an unusual appearance with its heavy brown paper pages, distinctive drawings, and tipped-in color photos. It grew out of a workshop conducted in India, connecting twelve-year-olds with professional mask-makers and performers to bring an awareness of tradition and professionalism to the children and to inspire them to make masks and use them in a performance with their own script. The first section explores masks—their nature, their meanings, and their uses, especially in the theater. It goes on to describe the making of four traditional types of Indian masks and how the children adapted these techniques to the creation of their own masks with some striking results. The second half focuses on performance, stressing the hard work involved and discussing differences between masked theater—for one, a heightened sense of magic—and the conventional stage. These students made their masks first and then created a play to fit the characters; it can work the other way around. In describing the entire process to final performance, the authors offer many sensible, practical words of advice applicable to any theatrical venture, ignoring no detail useful for novices in the art of theater. The play the children wrote, with notes on the action and the lighting, is included. This unique handbook will surely be of interest to both students and educators working in children's theater and to anyone intrigued by traditional masks—especially of southern India—and their possibilities. 2003, Tara, Ages 12 up.
—Barbara L. Talcroft

Product Details

Tara Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.80(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
9 Years

Meet the Author

Gita Wolf has written more than seventeen books for children and adults. A highly original and creative voice in contemporary Indian publishing, she has pursued her interest in exploring and experimenting with the form of the book and its status as a revered cultural object. Many of her children's books have won major international awards. V.Geetha is a leading intellectual from South India. A writer and translator, she has published widely in English and Tamil, in the areas of modern history, contemporary politics, the radical left and feminism. V. Geetha has been active in the women's movement in India for over a decade. In her writings, she attempts to read the past and its lessons against its grain. Carrying on in the nonsense-verse tradition of Dr. Seuss, Edward Lear and Lewis Caroll, the witty and jubilant poetry-tales of Indian writer Anushka Ravishankar are internationally acclaimed, widely translated, and honoured with innumerable awards. Anushka has authored over 18 books.

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