Runs from Tuesday January 18 2022 to Tuesday March 22 2022

Approximate running time: 2 hours


Toronto ON M6K 2B2


× Instructor: Alexandra Simpson
Jan 18- Mar 22
Tuesday 4PM-6PM

In this ten-week course, participants will be led through a design and building process to create a set of three papier mache masks. Participants will pull inspiration for their masks from issues and stories that speak to them and will learn a variety of design, painting, and finishing techniques. In our final two weeks together, participants will have a chance to physically explore the masks and develop short writing pieces. This workshop is open to all skill levels and abilities. No prior experience is required.

Materials: · Piece of cardboard 10 inches x 12 inches (You may cut the side from a cardboard box)

· Several sheets of newspaper

· 1/2 cup white flour

· dollop of white glue

· 3 paper grocery bags or equivalent amount (1 roll) brown kraft paper

· 1/2 package tissue paper

· Several feet of masking tape

· Scissors to trim edges

· Scissors with pointed tips or matte knife (to cut eyeholes)

· Acrylic paint: black, white and a single other colour of your choice are adequate. A palette of red, blue, yellow, medium brown, black and white will provide ample options

· Paint brushes: one large enough for your base coat and a smaller one for details

· Sewing elastic, string, or ribbon (to make your mask wearable)

· A short piece of writing that inspires you***

You can likely find all the above items in your local Dollar Store. Acrylic paint in assorted colours and white glue are available in $1.00 bottles. White glue is recommended for added strength, but not essential.

***Please also come to our first session with a short piece of writing that resonates or inspires you. It can be from a magazine, newspaper, piece of poetry, short story, etc. Anything that you feel a deep connection to will be perfect.

About the instructor: Alexandra (she/her) is an interdisciplinary theatre artist with a background in physical theatre, playwriting, dance, and mask building, performance, and facilitation. She is the co-artistic leader of Animacy Theatre Collective (ATC,, a Toronto-based theatre company that uses physical theatre, playwriting, and multimedia to create research-based and devised plays. Alexandra trained mask building in Italy at the Sartori International Workshop in the Art of Commedia dell’Arte and has built masks for various productions including Wilderness (Lisa Hamalainen, 2018), The Giving Tree (Trellis Art, 2019), Pest Me Pet Me (ATC, 2020) Finding Home: a salmon journey up the Humber river (ATC, 2021), and In Search Of (ATC, 2021). Alexandra is interested in themes of gender and sexuality, and human connection with the environment. Her work focuses on characters and stories that blur and challenge societal boundaries and ask urgent questions about urban life. Alexandra is very excited to share her love of masks and storytelling with the Workman Arts Community!

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