011 – Pass the Gaze

  1. Get into two groups – Group A and Group B.
  2. Group A enters the stage in a line, wearing theatrical masks. The first person in the line stares at the audience (group B) while the others stare at the first person who is staring at the audience.
  3. The person looking at the audience will then pass their gaze to the second masked person on stage, handing over the audience’s focus. The mask-wearing group on stage then transfers their gaze to the second person, and so forth.
  4. After passing the gaze, when the audience has moved their focus to the next person, the first performer leaves the stage. The second performer now has the gaze. Continue with the rest of group A.
  5. Repeat with group B.


Notes: The objective of this exercise is to explore the use of masks on stage and the way in which the mask-wearer can control the focus of the audience. On stage, it is vital all performers know where the attention of the scene is, in order to avoid more than one focus point on stage. 

The use of masks can also become metaphorical, the mask-wearer can represent a specific community, ideology or concept, or literally symbolise hidden identities, agendas.

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