|Me modeling my Mask for Valeria.|
For Valeria, Liz Wiley and I settled on the bird as her character animal. I think that this is the perfect choice, as many bird qualities apply to her: light, quick, flitting, and clever.
Valeria is the plotter and manipulator of the The bird is the animal of the Commedia dell 'Arte zanni (or servant)character, Scapino, who functions in much the same way.
|Etching of Scapino, the Commedia dell'Arte character.|
Designing this mask was particularly rewarding for me, because I am also the actress playing Valeria. Being able to conceive of and craft the mask while I am building the performance was an amazing experience.
When I first began sculpting, I was not sure what sort of bird this mask would ultimately be: perhaps some sort of rare exotic. As she progressed, it became clear that there was only one option: peacock.
I used a peacock feather in my mixing of the color palette, and ultimately ended up attaching two to the mask itself, creating a fun head-dress element. The feathers jauntily swing back and forth as I run around (which I do a lot of onstage.)
Valeria appears in this mask for a very fast-paced, physical vignette scene in which she is chased (by a pirate!), does some chasing, and sneaks into Belvile's house. The sharp shape of this mask, striking colors, and fun feathers all worked really well for this larger than life scenario.