An attitude of concentration is created for the work on Neutral Masks, with each day beginning with focus exercises.
Warm-ups are concerned with detailed analysis of the body, drawing on yoga and Tai Chi. Unlike Commedia, this is not play, it is an intense study of the internal workings of the actor's body and mind.
The work begins with a detailed look at each actor's body, and how they hold themselves . The Neutral Mask acts as a frame to expose individual characteristic ticks and postural tensions.
The study of what it means to be neutral is undertaken by the examination of simple actions in which the students are by turns observers and actors. They gradually iron out their own postural tensions, to approach as much as possible a neutral body and mind. It is often in this module that one see the actor's posture begin to change.
Later on, the Neutral Masks can be used as an aid in the study of stage dynamics, body characterization, and to look at how audiences read posture, narrative and spacial dynamics.
I like to end this module with an open-workshop showing to a select audience. This isn’t a necessary part of the work, but is good for the students as it teaches them to hold concentration levels.