Traditionally, masks worn by performers in Commedia dell’Arte theatre were made of leather and covered half the performer’s face. The mouth was left uncovered so the audience could see the actor’s mouth move and so they could speak more clearly. Each mask was made specifically for one actor, and the exaggerated facial features indicated which character they played and the extremity of their personality .
Costume Designer Colleen Dobbin has been working hard preparing the masks for our upcoming play The Soup is Served at the Key City Public Theatre in Port Townsend, WA. Here are some of her beautiful initial designs: