Laugh Cry Comedy Tragedy Theatre Mask Activities for Kids
This section contains what I have always called Laugh and Cry Theater masks. The proper term is "comedy and tragedy" although they are also referred to as theatre and drama masks. These face-masks originated in the ancient Greek theatrical culture that flourished between 550 BC and 220 BC. This was a time when all actors wore masks while on stage. The reason was to intensely exaggerate facial features and expression so audiences in the large open-air theaters, seated in what we today might call the cheap-seats, could see actors expressions and emotions more clearly.Remember, there were no sound devices or megaphones, no big screen viewers, voice dubbing, lip syncing or woofers in those days. Also, since women were not allowed onstage these masks were a great way of portraying female characters.
Through the centuries these face-masks have become a well recognized symbol of drama in the western world.
Color Book Laugh Cry Theatre Masks Masks
Comedy and tragedy masks can be made out of virtually any medium, wood, plaster, ceramics, aluminum foil, cardstock material and even paper maché. When I was a child my parents gathered a sack-load of sawdust from a local lumbermill and mixed it with wood glue to make a sticky glop of goo. They pressed the gooey mixture into ceramic mask molds and created two beautiful, rustic-looking theatre masks, which they painted each, one black and the other red with gold trim on both. I loved those masks, sure wish I knew what happened to them.
It is really easy to make a laugh and cry mask set. Just make a big, happy face for one, then for the other just flip the mouth upside down along with the eyes and eyebrows. I made a lot of Halloween Pumpkin Stencils this way. Another fun project.
This Russian web site made pretty cute water color paintings with these masks that double as hanging suncatchers or window decorations.