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DigiCULT
.
Info
7
T
he practice-based research with
these masks, conducted by Adriano
Iurissevich, Director of Venezia INscena:
Centro di Formazione Teatrale (http://
www.provincia.venezia.it/veneziainscena/),

began with a process of empirical discov-
ery of the fundamental inherent properties
of the masks: aspects, dominant emotional
states, and the appropriate physicality, move-
ment and gesture qualities, taking account
of relevant ancient iconography (for exam-
ple, statuettes, mosaics and paintings). The
next phase was to work with the texts, to
explore how they are constructed to exploit
the resources of the masks. Menander's
plays, it was quickly apparent, are an excel-
lent `notation' for masked performance. The
units of the text are short and clearly artic-
ulated, facilitating the precise movements
that maskwork requires. They foreground
the thought processes and perception of the
characters, utilising the potential of these
masks to register absorption, introspection,
and contrasting emotional states.
I
n September 2003 the Project organ-
ised the performance of a complete
play, Menander's Arbitration, in Lecce and
Siracusa. The production, which was filmed
in the Roman theatre in Lecce (see Figures
6 & 7, and a video of the performance can
be viewed online at http://www.iah.arts.
gla.ac.uk/masks/astutal.htm), can claim to
be the first to use both objectively recon-
structed masks, and an authentically small
cast of male actors, sharing the differ-
ent masks and roles. Apart from this pro-
gramme of work with mask professionals,
training workshops were also organised as
part of Prima del teatro 2002: scuola europea
per l'arte del'attore; thus students of differ-
ent European drama academies were able
to share in the rediscovery of this tradition,
and of the subtle and sophisticated masks
that belong to it.
M
ore information is available in
video documentary format online.
Four separate videos can be viewed from
http://www.iah.arts.gla.ac.uk/masks/
menscpt2.htm
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
T
he project, directed by Professor E.
Moignard, has been funded by the
Arts and Humanities Research Board. We
gratefully acknowledge the contribution
of Malcolm Knight, Adriano Iurissevich
and the actors who have participated in
this work. We are most grateful also for
the help of staff of collaborating museums,
in particular Simon Eccles (Art Gallery
and Museum Kelvingrove), Dr Madaleine
Cavalier (Museo Eoliano Luigi Bernabo
Brea, Lipari), Dr Lucilla Burn (Fitzwilliam
Museum, Cambridge), Professor Michael
Vickers (Ashmolean Museum of Art and
Archaeology, Oxford), Andrew Parkin
(Shefton Museum, University of Newcastle
upon Tyne) and Sally MacDonald (Petrie
Museum of Egyptian Archaeology).
Figure 4. 3D printed replica of a mask of a youth, late 4th/early 3rd centu-
ry B.C. Art Gallery and Museum Kelvingrove, Glasgow, 1903.70.dt.6
Figure 5. 3D printed replicas of masks from Lipari preserved at the Art Gallery and Museum, Kelvingrove,
Glasgow, displayed in the exhibition Behind the Mask (Banbury Museum 2003).
Figures 6 and 7: Menander`s Epitrepontes, Act 4, Actors Angelo Crotti and Romans-Soarez-Pazos, Director Adriano Iurissevich

Ar
t
Galler
y
and
Museum,

K
elving
r
o
v
e
/
Richar
d
W
illiams,

2004

Ar
t
Galler
y
and
Museum,

K
elving
r
o
v
e
/
Richar
d
W
illiams,

2004

Richar
d
W
illiams,

2004

Richar
d
W
illiams,

2004