Tag Archives: Half Masks

Testimonial by Ari Nadkarni

I was 23 when I first got to go to The Actors Space and I belived I already knew a lot about theatre. This was quite sweet and naive. My first two weeks with Marian and Simon during ‘The Creative Actor’ workshop killed a fair part of my ego and opened an entire new world of theatre to me, a world that was not so much based on realism as on magical playfulness. Where other people feel that the play doesn’t work, but cannot properly describe the trouble, Simon and Marian find precise words to explain the irritation and also show you how to avoid this irritations in the future. Their teaching is very much from the heart and at the same time impressively sharp-witted.

I came back a year later for ‘The Art of Comedy’, because I was about to direct a Clown paly in Germany. I learned so much during this course, by watching the play and listening to the teachers and slowly starting to understand, why some play mechanics work and others don’t.

I got back to Germany and our Clown play touched the audience to laughter and tears. I also made a production of Molières ‘Malade Imaginaire’. On the first evening we had about 200 spectators (already a lot for a layman group), on the third and last night there were more than 400! Even guests from Thailand who didn’t understand the words had to laugh at the strong and amusing physicality. I also applied at a public university (Folkwang) for Physical Theatre and got into the finals (then they took oher people, damn it! :0) )

I owe so much of this succes to Marian and Simon. Sometimes I hear myself using precisely their words to describe theatre. The Actors Space is a wonderful place to stay, to learn and to go back to, both in reality and memory.

Ari Nadkarni, Germany.

The Power of a Tradition

Mollet del Vallès is a city of 50.000 residents on the outskirts of Barcelona.

Plaça Prat de la Riba

The sweet Plaça Prat de la Riba

The people here are friendly, a lot of the population moved from other parts of Spain looking for a better life during the 60’s – 70’s. They continue to speak Spanish but have also integrated Catalan as a common language and everyone seems to live in harmony.

As I walk the streets of Mollet I am aware of the fun, excitement and passion that is in the air (the Spanish and the Catalans are very good at these!)

In 1984 a local artist created the figure of ‘Carnestoltes’, a being half animal half human they say, that arrives in town during the new moon of February every year.

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The great mirror scene.

He represents the rebellion against all controlling institutions (which locally are called ‘Els Poders- The Powers’), these being the Church,The Bankers, The Politicians and the Army. In 2005 another local artist created this antagonistic characters.

Every year since 1984 the Town Hall of Mollet offers two shows to the community, the ‘Arrival’ of Carnestoltes, and, one week later, the ‘Judgement.’

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The friends of ‘Carnestoltes’ are going to trick the ‘Powers’

Taking the 'Carnestoltes' to be judged

He gets captured by the army guys!

The shows are played to big audiences: 1500 people on the ‘arrival’ at the small beautiful plaça Prat de la Riba’ and 3000 people on the ‘Judgement’ at the big Park Pau Casals.

I had the pleasure to write and direct these shows for the past two years.
It has been great fun. I love this city and it’s people!
To me, it is important to come together as a community and celebrate. I am already looking forward to developing the shows next year!
Marian Masoliver, director teacher of The Actors Space
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Female version of the Pope!

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