by Peter Emerson
Theatre Masks were used in ancient Roman and Greek dramas to portray characters. Each theatre mask had its own shape and color to refer to the character and the emotion. Masks of comedy and tragedy are well known and are a sign of theatre even today – one is smiling or laughing, and one is frowning or howling in misery. It is a symbol of the balance of emotions that theatre aims to strike. It is an age old tradition. However, in modern times body language, facial expressions and tone of voice have become more important factors for expressing emotions.
It is believed that well-made masks look different on different actors. A good quality theatre mask dictates to the actor. Theatre masks are made out of neoprene, an industrial latex compound. The mask made from it looks like a leather mask and is similar to leather in weight. A neoprene mask is reasonably priced as well as hard-wearing.
Nowadays, show business people pay unusual consideration to character theme kits with full-color instructions. These include latex masks, appliances, adhesives, and crÃ¨me; make-up, fangs, blood, gore and more. The professional make-up artist prepares a face mask of motion-picture quality, which provides excellent realism and is built for comfort as well. These artists prepare ape-man masks, bullet-hit masks, compound-fracture-of-bones masks, demon masks, devil masks, glass attack masks, horned masks, injured noses, mummy masks, open wound, skull masks, spike masks, and vampire, werewolf, witch and zombie masks. These give the illusion of reality, and are of high quality.
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