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Trestle Half Masks

Trestle has created eight brand new half masks following the success of their existing full mask sets. This marks the culmination of a significant period of development and innovation for the company. For the first time Trestle masks can speak and come alive as archetypal, theatrical characters.

Trestle Half Masks: Promotional Film from Trestle Theatre on Vimeo.

Trestle’s Artistic Director Emily Gray says: “Trestle Masks are hand crafted at Trestle Arts Base in St Albans and sent around the world. The new half masks offer an exciting starting point for devising physical performance. They are highly effective for developing skills in physicality and vocal agility for all ages.”

The half masks represent the following archetypes; Child, Devil, Crone, Fool, Mother, Romantic, Trickster and Hero. They also provide:

  • An active introduction to Commedia dell’Arte
  • An inspiration for examining Greek Theatre and working with chorus
  • A practical insight into Shakespeare’s archetypal characters 

The half masks bring together Trestle’s 30 year experience as mask theatre makers with more recent explorations of physical storytelling theatre styles.

This new collection of Trestle Masks is a welcome addition to the Company’s existing collection and are made to a very high standard.” says Helen Lax, Regional Director, Arts Council, East; “Trestle’s workshops are a brilliant example of how to engage with, and aid the development of children and young people who are aspiring to move into theatre.” 

The new mask set was developed in consultation with drama teachers on Trestle’s MA programme, professional artists and sixth form students at Sandringham School, St Albans. The masks and training have been successfully trialled in colleges and with performers with disabilities in England and with schools and businesses in India.  Demand is now growing across the UK and Europe.

Third Year BA student Annabelle Buck, on placement from the prestigious Royal Central School of Speech and Drama worked in collaboration with Trestle, VIDEOFeet Digital Arts and film student Christian Evans to create a Half Mask promotional video and a video looking specifically at archetypes. “The aim was to create a resource aimed to inspire and educate the viewer, from which both teachers and students can lead into further work on storytelling through movement; Half Masks can be used as a tool to explore physicality. .” explains Annabelle.

Trestle’s new half mask sets and workshops are available now, click  for more information.