Masks are used for their expressive power both ritually and in several theatre traditions as a feature of masked performance, and historically the use of masks in rituals or ceremonies dates back more than 9,000 years.
Robert Larson, Luther College professor of theatre in the department of Visual and Performing Arts, along with Luther students Michael Ehrecke, Sydney Kjerstad, Anna Murray and Katrina Hanson will explore the use of masks in theatre in a lecture demonstration titled "The Actor and the Mask: A Playful Journey" at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10, in Studio II of Luther's Center for the Arts.
The event is open to the public with no charge for admission.
The lecture demonstration is the result of a January term research project that focuses on the discoveries made when an actor fully experiences and embraces mask work. Under Larson's guidance, the students were introduced to a variety of masks, many of which emanated from the teachings and works of the late Jacques Lecoq (1921-99).
Lecoq's approach to physical theatre gained his Paris-based school an international recognition that continues to impact contemporary actors and directors.
The students will share their insights on the course and mask work, while introducing the various masks explored during the J-term course. Those masks include the neutral mask, character masks, and the red nose, considered the smallest mask in the world.