Alyssa Ravenwood

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Alyssa Ravenwood is an award-winning mask maker and theatre director. Ravenwood began making theatrical masks for performance in 1988. Her character masks are well known for their unique style and expressiveness. She has taught Commedia Dell’Arte, Clowning, and Mask Performance workshops all over America.

Ravenwood writes:

“When a director asks me, ‘won’t performing in a mask limit my actor’s ability to express emotion?’ I know they have never seen a true mask performance. The opposite is true. A trained actor wearing a well crafted mask is capable of more expression. The importance of training for the actor and a mask made by a professional mask maker cannot be disregarded. Audiences react to a masked performance with unique exuberance. Masks touch a particular place in us. Masks awaken a child-like enthusiasm and wonder. Performing in a mask requires specific skills. You would not expect a tap dancer to perform a ballet without training. You should not expect an actor to perform in a mask without mask training. A mask worn by an untrained actor will not come to life in the same way. We will discuss training exercises and techniques needed to use a mask in the most effective ways. I have seen audiences experience intense excitement and emotional involvement during masked performances unlike any other productions.”

For more images of Ravenwood’s work, visit