top of page



“Viejo o adolescente, criollo o mestizo, general, obrero o licenciado, el mexicano se me aparece como un ser que se encierra y se preserva: máscara el rostro, máscara la sonrisa. Plantado en su arisca soledad, espinoso y cortés a un tiempo, todo le sirve para defenderse: el silencio y la palabra, la cortesía y el desprecio, la ironía y la resignación. Tan celoso de su intimidad como de la ajena, ni siquiera se atreve a rozar con los ojos al vecino: una mirada puede desencadenar la cólera de esas almas cargadas de electricidad. Atraviesa la vida como desollado; todo puede herirle, palabras y sospecha de palabras. Su lenguaje está lleno de reticencias, de figuras y alusiones, de puntos suspensivos; en su silencio hay repliegues, matices, nubarrones, arco iris súbitos, amenazas indescifrables. Aun en la disputa prefiere la expresión velada a la injuria: “al buen entendedor pocas palabras”. En suma, entre la realidad y su persona se establece una muralla, no por invisible menos infranqueable, de impasibilidad y lejanía. El mexicano siempre está lejos, lejos del mundo y de los demás. Lejos, también, de sí mismo. El lenguaje popular refleja hasta qué punto nos defendemos del exterior”.

Octavio Paz evidences a process which seems to be ingrained in Mexicans but the truth is that this can happen to anyone. This is even embodied in etymology: in Spanish, “persona” (person) comes from the Latin persona which can be traced to the Greek word propospora (mask). Are we then all intrinsically carriers of masks? Living behind a mask can provide some safety, the ability to “not crack” but also represses feelings, ideas, visions of the world. The mask is used to hide, defend and protect the intimacy in a conscious and unconscious way. It has the task to defend the individual as a protector shield in social life but hides the real personality of the actor which gives birth to a character.



Masks are very important in the Mexican culture, with traditions such as “la danza de los viejitos” in which dancers use masks and traditional clothes. But masks are also universal theme. For instance, there are a lot of companies in Canada that work with masks with the same purport, expressing, liberating, or simply having a different way of approaching acting and theatre. A big inspiration for us is Robert Faust Mask theatre. Other Other similar would be The mask Messenger, The Theatre Resource Center Richard Pochinko, Steve Jarand in Calgary, Theatre beyond words.

Masks have many functions: hide, protect, release, transform, disguise, act and impart power to whoever puts it on. Since ancient times, the mask has been used for ceremonial purposes. This is an ornamental simplification. The visible is reduced to the basic elements that transform a face into a mask. And the mask is itself a representation, full of intentions and symbolisms, converted into archetypes that are part of the collective and individual unconscious and represent the fears and aspirations of a civilization.


Although the mask is also called "face mask" it is important to clarify that this mask is used exclusively to cover the face and disguise the features of the face.


Ethnologists place the birth of the mask at the moment of self-consciousness-self-consciousness. Masks are used in ritual, social and religious functions, where participants use them to represent spiritual or legendary figures. In some cultures it is also believed that wearing a mask will allow the wearer to take on the qualities of the representation of that mask; That is, a bear mask will induce the wearer to become or act as a bear.


They in turn allow a union between the divinity, the living and the dead; Between his ancestors and himself; That is to say, that the mask collects this conflict of the man with the death. The change of identity in the user of that mask is vital, because if the spirit represented does not reside in the image of the mask, the ritual in which it is used will be ineffective, and the prayers, offerings and petitions do not They will have meaning and meaning. They can function to contact spiritual powers of protection against the unknown forces of the universe and the triumph of life.


The person wearing the mask is also in a direct association with the spirit, so he runs the risk of being affected by it. Just as the creator, the bearer must follow certain procedures to protect himself, as well as manifest his respect. He is somehow an actor in collaboration or cooperation with the mask. Without their performance, their postures, the steps of the dance and the succession of this, the mask would be without the complete vital force. Masks can function to contact spiritual powers of protection against the unknown forces of the universe and the triumph of life. At other times, invocation to the forces of war.


A mask is a cover of the face, that who uses it communicates a different identity to its own. In everyday life human beings use a number of masks that respond to the different roles we play and that do not always correspond to what we are, but rather to the way we want them to see us, or to what the Others want to see us. The more distant the mask we use from what we actually are, the less free we will feel, leading us to live a state of permanent anxiety and frustration.



To hide is one of the first reactions of man to the faults committed and whose origin lies in the fear of being discovered who is in reality and what are the true intentions of our heart.


Behind a 'mask' we find a common denominator: Fear. We use masks for fear of expressing ourselves, fear of being judged, fear of being reproved, fear of not getting approval from others, fear of being known. Many people wear a mask of coldness and indifference, for fear of appearing vulnerable to others. Others use the joke mask as a way to avoid intimacy with others. Others take refuge in the hostile attitude as a way to feel secure. Thus, we have several types of masks: work, responsible father or permissive mother, educated person, party, funeral and many more. They are all products of our culture, the pre-established label and our own interior.


The masks give us a false security and we resist to take them away even though we feel it would be good to do so. Protected by them, we can live in a permanent emotional solitude; Full of secrets, of fear of being discovered, of being rejected, judged, condemned or ridiculous. We are afraid to remove the mask for several reasons: We are afraid of intimacy; Afraid to show our vulnerable side, the dark side. Therefore, we avoid communicating intimately. Others are afraid of separation. I do not want to get too close to you because, maybe, then you leave me and that can hurt me. Others fear the merger. If I share everything with the other person I lose my privacy, I lose my space, fear of being invaded. Fear of rejection; That the other person knows us without production, face washed, with defects and virtues, as we are, we anguish not be liked by the other person. Finally, there is the fear of responsibility. If I get too close, I get deeply involved, and that forces me to be when you need me. I am not willing to compromise. With these fears, we disguise our true selves. We disguised one of our strongest and greatest attractions: the natural charm of oneself.

bottom of page