Contributed by Holly Conroy
House Manager, Board Member and Mask Designer
Last summer, for the Water Works production of The Tempest, I apprenticed with uber-talented Nina Barlow, to learn the lengthy processes for creating masks from paper pulp, papier mâché, and thermalplastics. It was a blast! Nina was so generous with her time, talent, and materials…and the woman is SO MUCH FUN!!! I became obsessed with mask-making. Everyone in my family, including my 97-year-old mother-in-law, submitted to having their faces cast in plaster gauze—the first step in creating perfectly-fitting custom-made masks. Since then, they’ve received all sorts of masks, from tree-faces to zombies to Elvis.Masks are creeping into my other theatrical endeavors,too. A production of The Fantasticks I directed in June featured several, and I plan to make a set for Morgan Le Fey’s magical creatures in Camelot at Village Players in 2013.
So imagine my delight when I learned I would be given the opportunity to collaborate with Bart Bund on masks for A Midsummer Night’s Dream this summer! Woohooo! Bart’s imaginative staging is leading me in new directions and, once again, I’m having a blast! In addition to some very silly masks for the “mechanicals,” I’m stretching my skills on a couple of over-the-top fairies and a changeling boy. I hope they turn out as snazzy in reality as they are in my mind! Come and see!