The Epic Project
Inspired by the study of mythology by Joseph Campbell (a favorite of mine too!), as well as theatre creators Ariane Mnouchkine, Jacques Lecoq, Peter Brook, and Complicite, Professor Stephanie Roberts is leading an exciting collaboration between UMKC Theatre and the UMKC Conservatory IMP Ensemble.
The working title is The Epic Project. It is a three year endeavor to weave contemporary and classic stories into an epic narrative suited to our times. The actors have been devising for nearly two years already. I was invited to be a part of that exploration this last February.
As a part of their exploration of character and archetype, I worked with the actors to create animal-spirit masks. The inspiration for this work came in part from old mask and mummer traditions from Europe and also from animal and spirit masks from around the world. I asked the students to engage with familiar objects and new materials as they uncovered the spirit of the animal within.
Enough chatter. Here are some pictures!
Digging further into materials
Uncovering the animal spirit
We did many experiments with materials and forms, then took what we learned and started making the mask for each actor.
On the second to last day of our process, Julie Denesha from KCUR came and interviewed some of the actors. Check out her amazing photos here.
See the work-in-action!
Come see the workshop performance in this phase of the Epic Project in Studio 116 at UMKC’s Performing Arts Center (4949 Cherry St.) Previews run from Friday Mar 6-8th and runs Mar 11-15th. Shows at 7:30 with the exception of Mar 15th at 2:00pm.
Seating is very limited so please reserve your FREE tix at 816-235-2782.
Support live, collaborative theatre!