“A mask tells us more than a face.” Oscar Wilde
Mitch offered two workshops, both were suitable for all (novices through to professional performers/theatre makers) (16+) who might want to further develop their actor-training skills, gain a deeper understanding of how to explore character(s) and transform character and/or for those who may have considered using masks to help tell a story but have felt unsure how.
In Mitch’s very safe and capable hands, we considered:
This workshop was accessible and flexible in its approach and consisted of much laughter! This was a wonderful opportunity to introduce and explore how actors can use masks to enhance their training and story-telling. In the first, three-hour session Mitch took us through the different ways in which masks have been used over the centuries. Mitch explained, “Masks are tools that allow actors to excavate their craft in different places as it has its roots in the early emergence of theatre itself. Masks are transformational and encourage an actor’s embodiment, the spontaneity of play , the triggering and channeling of impulses and the development of an actor’s range of expression, from the primal rhythms of Commedia, the cabbages and kings of Balinese Topeng, the passion of clown, the minimalism of Noh theatre and the articulation of action of the Larval mask. The workshop will be accessible and flexible in its approach, with the aim of encouraging and facilitating non coercively a theatre lab of discovery with reference to current theatre practice.”
Saturday, 29 February 2020, from 15.00 until 18.00
Venue: Centre culturel de Merl Home St. Gengoul, 26 Rue de St. Hubert, 1744 Luxembourg
Open to all adults (16+), working language English. Cost: NWTC members EUR 50 non-members EUR 60
In addition, Mitch ran an exploratory one-day course, focusing on the power of transformation through masks. Laughter and, sometimes, poignant moments emerged as Mitch guided us through the explorations of the mask: from our social mask through to the physical half and full masks and we will see how the stories can evolve. He says, “Half- masks naturally lead themselves to language, encouraging at times a vocal equivalent of a mask. Other full-face masks cannot speak, can they can be eloquent in their movement and expression. Sometimes they can act as signifiers in the text. Other times they can be accompanied with text by a non-masked person. All to be explored.”
NWTC members EUR 130 / non-members EUR 150
“I think all happiness depends on the energy to assume the mask of some other life,
on a re-birth as something not one’s self.”
William Butler Yeats
Mitch is a free-lance director, teacher and performer. He has worked extensively at drama schools and universities in the UK. He has run workshops for the National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company and National Youth Theatre. He also has an international profile running workshops in Hong Kong, France, Italy, Austria, Belgium and Ireland. He collaborated with the turner prize artist Jeremy Deller on re-enactments of the routines of Jacques Tati on the beaches of Folkestone and as a film consultant for the National Centre for Circus Arts, introduced Daniel Radcliffe to clowning and slapstick. He recently ran workshops in the art of farce for the Bernard Shaw theatre in Carlow, Ireland.
Recent projects include adapting and directing the Chekhov short story, “Man in a Box “ at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts (A.L.R.A) ; devising a boffin play “Pulcinella’s Brood” with East 15 drama students ; Creating Theatre of Memory with A.L.R.A students, where the personal becomes the public ; Devising and directing “A Beggars Belief “ with Cavan Theatre Lab. Adapted from a Ray B Cadbury short story , Performed at a literature festival at the Ramor Theatre, this piece dealt with homelessness through a magical realist 1950s prism that integrated the fate of a blind beggar in Dublin with the writing of the screenplay of Moby Dick by Ray Bradbury for John Huston.
Mitch works regularly at the Academy of Live and Recording Arts where he recently adapted Herman Hesse’s novel ‘Steppenwolf’ with Drama students. He worked with the singer Tina Grace in staging a tribute to the writer John Berger at the British Museum in 2017, featuring the actor Toby Jones .He was also pleased to workshop the Actor's Repertory Theatre in Luxembourg in 2017 towards their production of Big Boy. In 2018 he directed East 15 drama students in ‘Pulcinella’s Children’, a devised bouffon play and soon after was the clowning choreographer for the play ‘Red Noses ‘ at the Corbett Theatre. He has recently returned from directing a play,' A Beggars Belief ‘ based on a short story by Ray Bradbury, adapted with and for Theatre Lab Cavan at the Ramore Theatre , Virginia, Ireland .
Mitch has taught at Summer School (LEATSS) several times, the last visit being 2018.
You can find out more about what motivates Mitch in his interview (see www.nwtc.lu)!