Greek Theatrical Masks
Greek theatrical masks were worn by Ancient Greek theatrical performers during their performances. The only members of the troupe that did not where masks were the flue players that provided musical accompaniement.
The reasons that Greek theatrical masks were worn by the actors of ancient Greek plays included things like visibility.
Because the plays were often performed in large outdoor amphitheaters, it was difficult to see the details of the actor's face.
The masks also helped with acoustics, making the actors eaiser to hear in the large theaters.
Another good reason for the use of these masks were so that they did not need a lot of people for the play. An actor could play several parts when using masks for each different character. Another use for the masks was to aid in characterization. Characters could be exaggerated and easy to tell apart with the use of masks.
The interesting thing about Greek theatrical masks that many people probably don't know is that there are no masks that have survived to this time in order for historians and scholars to study.
The way that we know that ancient Greek actors used them is because of paintings and writings from that time that show and describe them. It is not surprising that none of these masks survived, because they were made of things like cork, wood and linen.
These materials are not that sturdy and tend to decay over time. So we know what they looked like because of paintings and drawings that were done, but there are none sitting in museums to look at.
Of course, the first Greek theatrical masks were very simple, but evolved over time to more elaborate ones. They usually included stylized hair, had large features and the mouths were always fashioned as open and round so that their voices could be heard even in the furthest row.
Masks from ancient Greek theatre were a unique way to make theater productions more interesting and entertaining for ancient audiences. greek theatrical masks - back to top