The mask is the earliest man-made visual
realization of our dual existence: of day
and night, waking and sleeping, life and
death. The immobile and unchanging aspect of
the mask is the face that lives without living.
The application of the mask was twofold. In
the early years of homo sapiens, when a warrior killed his adversary, his dried and then
stuffed skin was turned into an artistic trophy.
Primitive man often wore the mask of his slain
enemy with the intent of absorbing his spirit.
At the other extreme were the priests of early
religious cults. They would don masks before
stepping in front of a god's altar. The mask
may have been used to create more readily the
mysterious tie between the priest and the
divine spirit, but mainly it helped the priest
shed his humanity and create a "spiritual"
The stage masks of Greek and Roman antiquity were of several kinds-comic, tragic and
satiric-and were called "personae." In Greek
tragedy, particularly, the mask gave an indication of age, station and the prevalent mood.
We know of 30 masks made for tragedy,
including old men, young men, divinities and
servants. The crudest and oldest masks were
made of tree bark; others were made of leather
lined with cloth. Some were constructed of
light wood to ensure the preservation of the
model. The mask was proportioned to the size
of the amphitheatre so that it could be seen
clearly from the most distant seats. The vocal
volume was increased by strips of brass fastened inside the mask near the mouth, or else
the lips of the mask were widened and exaggerated to form a crude megaphone. Seen at
close range, all the masks looked frightening,
but if they had not been so crudely fashioned,
they would have seemed without features
from a distance.
The Man is least himself when
he talks in his own person.
Give him a mask and he'll
tell the truth.
"Open house" lecture about Sophocles, Oedipus, Greek mythology and more.
Featuring the Stage Director of Oedipus Rex Anatoly Anohin, Set Designer Timaree McCormick, Lillian Corti "Blindness, Sight, and Psycoanalysis in Oedipus" of the UAF English Department and Dr.
Joseph Thompson "Oedipus Rex and the Oracle at Delphi" of the UAF Philosophy & Humanities
Department. Monday, March 28, 5:30pm in the Lee H. Salisbury Theatre Free Admission & will be available online via streaming audio and video! Check back here for details.OEDIPUS REX in the Lee H. Salsibury Theatre
Friday, April 1 @ 8:15pm
Saturday, April 2 @ 8:15pm
Sunday, April 3 @ 2:00pm followed by a Q&A with the director and cast!