Open Forum

Mask Recommendations for Performance

  • 1.  Mask Recommendations for Performance

    Posted 17 days ago
    Wondering if anyone has found a product that's working out well for you.  We are looking for something for students to use for One Acts right now but also thinking ahead to the spring when we hope to do a musical but realize we will likely have to mask our cast.  thanks!

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    Suzanne Safran
    Producer
    Doylestown PA
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  • 2.  RE: Mask Recommendations for Performance

    Posted 15 days ago
    Hi Suzanne! I read an interesting article over the summer about a company in France that had experimented with different materials and solutions for actors wearing masks in productions. There aren't specific product recommendations, but there are some fascinating ideas about how to make it work (voice overs, increased physicality, etc):
    https://nyti.ms/3l1PbfD

    Additionally, I saw this story about a community theatre group in Kansas that found a clear mask to help show their actor's facial expressions:
    https://www.kwch.com/2020/08/13/salina-actors-use-clear-face-masks-to-show-expression/

    It might help to identify what specific issue you want to address to narrow down your search. Do you want the audience to be able to see facial expressions? Are the students having trouble speaking clearly and projecting? If you haven't already, be sure to check out the Reopening Guide in our Rapid Response Advocacy Center, it's full of tips and recommendations to help you have a safe production!


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    Ginny Butsch
    Community Engagement Manager
    Educational Theatre Association
    Cincinnati OH
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  • 3.  RE: Mask Recommendations for Performance

    Posted 13 days ago
    Hey Suzanne!

    I've seen a lot of schools and theatres using The Singer's Mask made by The Broadway Relief Project. 

    Sesame Street has been using the masks for all of their puppeteers since the mask doesn't muffle the sound. They shared their initial sound test, which is really interesting. 

    The Notre Dame Music Festival utilized the mask for nearly all of their choirs in a socially distant concert.  Millikin University Choir uses it for their concerts.

    Here's a complete production at SUNY Sullivan of LORCA EATS BULLETS in which the entire company wore masks, incorporated them into the show.

    Best,

    Jeff Whiting

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    Jeff Whiting
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  • 4.  RE: Mask Recommendations for Performance

    Posted 10 days ago
    i listened to the sound test, and it's clear as a bell, but they're using mics.  I don't have that for one-acts.

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    Marie Miguel
    Chespeake, VA
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  • 5.  RE: Mask Recommendations for Performance

    Posted 9 days ago

    Clear masks do nothing to stop the spread UNLESS there is an attached multi-layer fabric component that brings the entire edges down to the skin - c.f. what the astronauts wear. 

    Jeff recommends the Singers Mask - those are the best available at this time.



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    Kristi Ross-Clausen
    IATSE 470/Actors Equity
    Alliance for Wisconsin Theatre Education
    Stage Managers Association Board
    AVIXA/USITT
    Teacher, Author, Speaker
    Appleton, WI
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  • 6.  RE: Mask Recommendations for Performance

    Posted 9 days ago
    Thanks everyone.  This is the mask I've seen some groups using.  https://www.theclearmask.com/product  Have you heard problems with this one Kristi?  I just don't love the sound quality and am leaning toward a plain black cloth mask for a cleaner look.  And though it's clear I do still see it, so think I would prefer to see a plain black mask.  But this clear style definitely looks easier for singing in terms of breathing bc nothing sitting right on your mouth.  I don't love the duckbill style either and our choir director said he found it quite uncomfortable.  Was hoping someone had a miracle to share!  Would love to hear from someone who has used a cloth mask and if you found one that the kids could sing through w/o having breathing difficulties.