Click on the following tabs for information about the conference’s October Weekend events.
To register, use the links in the calendar and/or sign up for the mailing list.
*Please note that Skeena Reece will now be giving a closing keynote performance on Sunday evening from 5-7 PM EST. There is no Friday night programming.
Saturday October 30th, 2021
9:00 – 11:15 AM
|Webinar #1. Register in advance:
|Screening of the trailer for “Decall,” a masked theater piece by the company El Caracol.
|A brief introduction to the day’s events.
|From Painting to Masking
Marlatt will discuss her transition from painting to mask making and the returned influence of mask making on her painting.
Kretz discusses her work, “Social Murder”, a mask made entirely of deconstructed MAGA hats, and pieced together MAGA hat letters. Her mask calls out the complicity of Trump supporters in the outrageous number of U.S. deaths from COVID. The former president’s lies and negligence were in direct opposition to the oath he swore to protect American citizens. The mask piece will be contextualized within the ongoing MAGA Hat series, along with current works in progress.
This talk will present “Karen”, a body of work I created in 2020. This work engages with the gestural language of masked theater traditions, monologue, Butoh dance and astrology. It investigates and creates a thematic bridge between the contemporary cultural usage of “Karen”, Hans Christian Anderson’s literary protagonist of The Red Shoes (also named Karen), and an astrological interpretation of the asteroid Karen (2651) within the United States 1776 birth chart.
11:30 – 12:30PM
Webinar #2. Register in advance: https://bostonu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_afbwRNo1TSyKRTyNKQhmPw
Join members of Agitarte and Papel Machete, Deborah Hunt and Sugeily Rodriguez Lebrón, for a discussion of their project in development: Eve of Abolition, including the decision to use masks, puppets and other forms of material performance in the show . An original multimedia and mask/puppet theater performance, it is set in the year 2047, during the final day of the last prison in transnational liberated territories of what used to be known as the U.S. and Mexico, after a movement of abolitionists have created the conditions to end the prison industrial complex.
Papel Machete is a worker’s street and community theater collective dedicated to puppetry, masks and performing objects for educational and agitational performances as a means of supporting the struggles of the working class and marginalized communities of Puerto Rico. All of our work is generated collectively by our active members through facilitated creative processes and construction workshops using papier mâché as our medium and exploring a wide range of forms and styles that include toy theater, cantastoria, shadow theater, table-top puppetry, humanettes, cut-outs, masks, and giants.
This discussion is moderated by Judy Braha, Program Head of MFA Directing, Directing and Acting in the School of Theatre at Boston University. Braha also collaborates with the BU Prison Education Program and CFA Prison Arts Project.
If you find this project worthy of support, please do consider making a donation to the organization directly: https://agitarte.org/donate/
Webinar #3. Register in advance: https://bostonu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Hx_LhFZ2QTuE5FR9kFuuzw
and Lucy Kim
|A fascinating conversation about materials, process, and the use of photography as an interface between two artists whose practices are quite different.
Irish visual artist threadstories questions how the erosion of personal privacy in our digital age affects how we view and portray ourselves online with her collection of masked portraits.
Lucy Kim is a visual artist working in painting, sculpture, printmaking, and biological media. Using material mistranslations as a premise, she explores the many naturalizing mechanisms that structure day-to-day visual experiences, from the seamless transition of a physical subject into an image, to the production of visual salience. She works with a wide range of materials: oil paint, silicone rubbers, resins, and more recently, E. coli that has been genetically modified to produce melanin.
Webinar #4. Register in advance: https://bostonu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_OqQ3gd6BQrqDyRSos86mrg
(Join any time or leave and rejoin with the same link.)
|Experiential Workshop and Artist Talk
|The Masked Body: Sharing a Commedia dell’Arte Experience
|Chiara, born and raised in Italy, studied Commedia dell’Arte and brought her experience to the States sharing her passion for masks and physical theatre with the American audience. The event offers an introduction about performing with masks, a practical workshop about characteristics and physicality of few famous Commedia dell’Arte characters (please wear comfortable clothes!), and her experience in staging original shows with masks. Lastly, she will talk about Isabella Andreini, one of the first professional female Commedia dell’Arte performers, to whom Chiara has dedicated the original show “Isabella Unmasked – The Legacy of an Italian Renaissance Woman”.
|Artist Talks: Creating Masks for Theater
|The Mask is an Actor: A Demo for Mask Makers on Making Character Masks for Performance.
Masks for Theatre: A Costume Designer’s Perspective
|The mask is an actor. A character mask needs to have the same emotional range and expressiveness as an actor. An audience should be able to tell what kind of person this is and what is their mood by looking at the mask. This requires specific skills for the mask maker. We will discuss how to sculpt and design theater masks capable of a nuanced and dynamic performance. We will also talk about the techniques you can use to make the masks more comfortable for the performers and more durable to last through the run of the show. Plus the pros and cons of different mask making materials.
Masks can both enhance and inhibit a theatrical production. When making a mask for a theatrical production, whether it is for Greek Theatre, Shakespeare, or The Phantom of the Opera, Costume Designers and Artisans need to take a range of issues into consideration. This Presentation will address: How much information is lost by covering the actor’s face? How do you create masks that allow for speaking roles? What are the pros and cons of different ways to wear/hold a mask? How do you create masks that are comfortable for your actors? and How do you successfully mask productions during Covid?
|Artist Talk and Screening
|A Woman and her Masks; Some Favorite Characters
|This is a presentation of the mask work created in distinct theatrical works that Deborah Hunt has presented in Puerto Rico since 1990. It is a journey with some of her most personal characters shown in very different ambiences…on the street, in communities and in theatres.
|*= all times are EST
Sunday October 31st, 2021
|Additional Details & Brief Bio
10:00 – 11:30AM
There is no public webinar for this event and the workshop is now full. A recording of the event will be available in November.
Gender: Power and Sensitivity through Masks
|This 90 minute workshop pairs mask with the theme of gender. Limitations and expansion related to gender as defined by participants will be explored both verbally and through movement. Participants will explore the physicality of restriction and expansion with a neutral mask reflecting on what they see and feel when moving. From there, we will touch on blending storytelling with masks. We will watching each other in order to determine when the story and mask augment and compliment each other. We will question how the work could be expanded and how the themes of gender were conveyed.
Webinar #5. Register in advance: https://bostonu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_O7jGZZU2Siqj96dDudeFsQ
|Artist Talk and Master Class
|La maschera femminile nella commedia dell’arte (The Female Mask in Commedia dell’Arte)
with moderator and translator Eleanora Mancuso
|Nora Fuser speaks about her career, her development of the masked female Commedia character of the Strega or witch in the 80s , and recent productions. She discusses how masks work and provides feedback to mask actors who would like to demonstrate a character (sign up here).
Fuser will present in Italian with translation.
Webinar #6. Register in advance: https://bostonu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_qhAo98boTn6hFIsBFd4rTg
|Panel with Q&A
|Deborah Bell, moderator
|With topics ranging from sacred clowning and the trickster, to VR (virtual reality), to masks and shamanism as they connect to the rites of menarche in the Amazon, join us for fascinating talks and a discussion about the intersections of these panelists’ interests.
|Tikuna Masks in the Worecü Female Initiation Ritual
Seeing Together but Differently: From Visuality to Participation in a VR Art Installation
A Conversation about Sacred Clowning
|Vanessa Benites Bordin
|Tikuna masks, an essential element found in one of the primary rituals of the Tikuna people of the Amazon. The ceremony celebrates female fertility and the fertility of the land during the female initiation ritual of Worecü, for girls who are entering menarche (or their first menstrual cycle).
“In shamanic rituals and in computer-mediated virtual reality, a mask conceals one identity to reveal new possibilities. Seen in this light, virus protection masks offer an opportunity to replace a visage of fear with a public expression of strength as a community.”
— Manduhai Buyandelger, Associate Professor of Anthropology
“[Trickster and sacred clown characters] were highly respected for the work they did in helping communities examine their values and beliefs, but today they are often found in institutions, no longer respected for the lessons they have to teach.” (from: https://themedicineproject.com/skeena-reece.html).
|*= all times are EST
Closing Keynote: Sunday Evening October 31st, 2021
Webinar #7. Register in advance: https://bostonu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_AiD2z7ZTcest2fR9Oz1nA
|victimprincessmother is the TikTok alter-ego of Skeena Reece, a Tsimshian/Gitksan and Cree/Metis artist and performer based on Vancouver Island, BC. She is a performance artist and sacred clown humorist, which she explores in her keynote performance. Her practice also includes music, writing, film/video and visual art. Join Justin Ramsey, curator for the Polygon Gallery for a conversation with victimprincessmother.
|*= all times are EST