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This section contains Laugh and Cry Theater masks. One mask is always happy and the other is always sad or crying. The proper term is "comedy and tragedy" although they are also referred to as theater 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.
Comedy and tragedy masks can be made out of virtually any medium, wood, plaster, ceramics, aluminum foil, card stock material and even paper maché. When I was a child my parents gathered a sack-load of sawdust from a local lumber mill 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 theater 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.
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