Theatre mask making Summer Lab 2024
July 7-14
application prolonged until June 16

When we wear a mask, our body and the way we shape it is already telling a lot about the character we are playing. The relationship between this character and life, its age, the speed of reaction to an event, the way it stands and the way it relates to the theatrical space, can be enough to tell a story.
Covering our face with a mask makes us unable to express through the convention of words and language. Using the body and the projection of the mask are the only tools we have left to play.

This workshop is intended for beginners (also with no previous experience) and professionals that would like to dive deeper in physical theatrical play.
Whether you are an actor, artist, circus performer, dancer, mover of any kind or interested in becoming that, you are very welcome to join.

During these days we will give you the base for mask making as well as mask playing.
We will explore the theatrical principles of  how to wear a mask and how to use your body in service of the shape you are playing.
Each participant will have the chance to build one mask, sculpted in clay and finalized in papiermâché.
The workshop will be held in English. With German floating around us. A basic understanding of the English language is required.

Movement and theater
The physical part of the training will be about the use of full expressive masks and silent play.
Through theater exercises of mask technique and improvisations, we will explore the world of silence and shapes to better understand how to embody a sentiment and how “to play” it.

The main topics we will touch are:
– The concept of dramatic space and dramatic relationship
– The masked body: Shapes and undulation in movement.
– The projection of the mask and its articulation
– The silent play: Improvisation and silent storytelling

The masks used in the training are created by us, Francesco Procopio, Nikos Wölfl and/or other mask makers in the frame of the Atelier Mask Movement directed by Matteo Destro.

Mask making
Starting from simple structures we will learn to see the projection of the mask in the clay before we sculpt it.
In a process based on intuition and trial and error, we will come closer and closer to the shape of the mask, respecting the dynamics between the different features that all together define how we perceive the mask as a face.
We will talk a lot about planes, volumes and lines, projections and expressivity, which are concepts you’ll be introduced to during the workshop.
If you have never touched clay before and consider yourself rather not as a talented craftsperson, don’t be afraid. Your natural human perception is much more helpful in building a good mask than trained sculptor hands.

Francesco Procopio is a circus artist, teacher, actor, and director based in Berlin.
His artistic education is a mix of different influences, circus and theater are his main passions. After graduating from circus school (CAU – Granada) and the Atelier Mask Movement of Matteo Destro (S. Miniato – Italia) he performed in several shows, mostly self-produced, from street to stage performances in theaters and circus. In the last years he regularly taught movement theater, masks and circus in various organizations and projects around Europe.  For more info you can visit:

Nikos Wölfl is a sculptor, pedagogue and mask maker based on Gut Alaune.
After an apprenticeship in classical wood sculpting in the Alps, he worked as a scenographer and puppet maker in a small puppet theater. He studied sculpturing in Burg Giebichenstein in Halle, mask making – and playing at the Atelier Mask Movement of Matteo Destro (S.Miniato-Italy).
Since 2016 he is part of the Alaune project and building up the community and the place
Besides his own research on theatrical masks, he is a youth worker and gives sculpting workshops for kids and adults.

Dates and times
You can arrive on Sunday 7th July during the day. We will be building up the space and are happy for your help and you will as well need some time to set up your own tent.
We start the workshop at 18:30 having dinner together.

The workshop will end on Sunday 14th of July with Lunch. You can directly depart if you need to or help us build down and clean the space, join for another Dinner and sauna evening.
We ask you to leave the place on Monday 15th during the day.

General schedule:
8:00 – 9:00 Breakfast
9:00 – 9:30 Break / Caregroup time
9:30 – 13:30 Movement and theater
13:30 – 14:30 Lunch
14:30 – 15:30 Break / Caregroup time
15:30 – 19:30 Mask making
19:30 – 20:30 Dinner
20:30 – 21:00 Caregroup time

There will be variations in the schedule throughout the week, which we will talk about the day(s) before.
The mask making lab will be open at any time so that everyone can work there during the breaks and after dinner (and it will be probably necessary to use this opportunity every now and then in order to finish your mask)
We ask every participant to commit to the whole time of the training.

For registrations and questions, please write an email to
Application deadline: 26.May 2024

This workshop uses a solidarity sliding scale system between 350€- 550€
More info about the sliding scale system can be found here:

The costs cover fees for the teachers and cook, food, tools and material for mask making, material for the theatre training (circus tent, tatami floor) and a small rent of the space
If you would like to support the wonderful Gut Alaune project, which enables us to organize a lab like that, don’t hesitate to donate here or in cash during the training.

The Place
GutAlaune is a living community and project space founded in 2016. With around 10 adults and 2 children living there.
The workshop will mainly be outdoor in a pavilion / outdoor kitchen, on the field and in a circus tent.
We have compost toilets and a solar powered outdoor shower. 
You will be camping on the field. And you need to bring equipment with you.
If you plan to come by caravan, please let us know before.
It can be very hot here! But we can always jump in the river or under a cold shower. Bring appropriate clothes and hats. 
It can also be cold. But we can always put on a jumper! Basically we are exposed to the elements here. Please bring appropriate clothing.

What to bring

When we are in movement, we will mainly work barefoot.
If you feel uncomfortable with moving barefoot, comfortable shoes (ideally black or dark), can also be used as a second option.
Please bring black or dark clothes that you are comfortable moving in. To keep them as neutral as possible, they should be without design or decoration and ideally long trousers and long sleeves.

We will work with clay and glue so please bring clothes to get dirty or an apron.
camping gear

Gut Alaune
Alaune 9
06193 Petersberg

Train: from the Halle hbf by tram to Halle Trotha and then by bus to Binnenhafenstr. (25 min walking) or even better Franzigmark (10 min walking)

Car: please really double check your route. Google maps will usually bring you to the other side of the river which is not possible to be crossed by car on this point. Make sure your route ends at the eastern shore of the river.

We will share your email address with all the other committed participants in order to create traveling groups and use less cars, less fossil energy …

We will have a cook!
There will be three meals a day, basic tasty and wholesome. Food will be generally vegetarian with a vegan option.
We will take turns in supporting our cook with cutting and cleaning during the Caregroup times.
If you have any allergies or special needs, please let us know.

Care Groups
For the time of the Workshop we will split into small care groups which take turns in different care tasks like cleaning and help in the kitchen.
The care group will also be your reference group to help you navigate through a physically and maybe emotionally demanding program.

Scheduled ical Google outlook Events and Workshops