People in disguise 

Theatre students create cultural masks out of cardboard

photo credit: TJ Garvin
Unmasked \\ Freshman Aubrey Matkoff constructs a mask out of cardboard in Mrs. Bekka Glaze’s fourth period tech theatre class Aug. 31.

Theatrical students studied different cultures’ masks and used what they had learned to create their own. The students were to do research on other regions’ masks and find ones that stood out to them. They had hands-on learning experience using cardboard and other items found around the house to construct their masks. 

To come up with ways to make this project compatible for both remote and on-campus students, Theatre teacher Mrs. Bekka Glaze found that cardboard was an easy and affordable option. Students already had the material at home. Using household materials has made it so both remote and on-campus students have equal learning opportunities. 

[Cardboard] is easy to work with and I knew my virtual learners would likely have access to the supplies they needed.”

— Mrs. Bekka Glaze, tech theatre teacher

“Last school year we used cardboard to build a lot of scenery and props,” Mrs. Glaze said, “I think it is so cool how it can be manipulated in so many ways. It is easy to work with and I knew my virtual learners would likely have access to the supplies they needed.” 

After the students researched the cultural masks and picked out the masks that stood out to them the most, they had to recreate it in their own perspective. Creativity was a big part in making these masks stand out.  

“I did my mask over a combination of a South American religious mask and a dryad which is a woodland nymph,” theatre student Maegan Turner said. “I chose to do the South American mask because of the bright colors and I picked dryad because I  found that Greek mythology was really interesting to learn about. The creativity aspect was my favorite part of the assignment. We got to pick the style and elements that we used to make our mask our own.” 

Through their research, students got an  inside look at theatre around the world. They got a taste of what it’s like to make props and scenery for sets. They had to think outside of the box to make their masks pop.  

“This project prepared me for stage production by helping me understand the different types of theatre and how their costumes are made,” theatre student Melissa Baird said.

The project allowed for students to work at their own pace and incorporate their own ideas into their masks. The project introduced them to not only using cardboard, but other materials they’ll use to make props and sets in upcoming plays. 

“Next we will start working on costuming design, but we will do most projects from now until January simultaneously while we are working on our October show, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and then Freaky Friday, the Musical that will open Jan. 21. Tech I, Tech II and my production tech class will all work on the scenery, lights, props and costumes for the show,” Mrs. Glaze said.