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Workshops (Vancouver): The Neutral Mask

The Virgin Trial – Alberta Theatre Projects
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Workshops (Vancouver): The Neutral Mask

Foolmoon Productions & Ragmop Theatre Present
THE NEUTRAL MASK May 31 – June 2, 2024


“There are 3 masks:
The one we think we are,
The one we really are,
and the one we have in common.“ Jacques Lecoq, The Moving Body

Neutral Mask is the one we really are.

The Neutral Mask was originally developed by Mask and Clown teacher, Jacques Lecoq, as a diagnostic tool for actors, to help them develop emotional honesty, economy of movement, and the ability to remain centred while expressing powerful feelings onstage.

Like all masks, the Neutral acts as an intuitive, non-verbal ‘script’ that bypasses conscious thought, instantly integrating body and mind. It heightens awareness of physical impulse, and increases physical range – from deep and absolute stillness to explosive, prolonged gesture.

The Neutral state is one of absolute self acceptance physically, mentally, and emotionally – ‘warts and all’. There are no emotional ‘shoulds’ or ‘shouldn’ts’. This empowers performers to let go of crippling self-doubt, freeing them from a tendency to second-guess their creative choices, and taking them to a place of great strength, power and presence.

All of this makes it perfect foundational training for the Clown, who is fundamentally a creature of body, impulse, and heart. Neutral and Clown are parallel opposites, a kind of yin/yang of order and chaos – the two sides of your most authentic self. Neutral never questions or comments, the Clown questions and comments on everything. Neutral is the embodiment of economy, Clown the embodiment of excess. Both can feel great emotion, without either repressing it, or holding onto it past its lifespan. Both live completely in the moment, which allows them to truly see what’s happening around them, and results in a powerful engagement with audience

May 31 – June 1, 2024
10am – 5:45 pm on Friday
10 am-6 pm Saturday and Sunday
1 hour lunch break at 1:30 and a snack break sometime in the morning each day.

This workshop is for Actors, Dancers, Clowns, and Performers of many disciplines.
For non performers please send inquiries to see if it is suitable for you.
14 people max


Instructor : Jan Henderson

Jan Henderson is one of North America’s leading teachers and directors of Mask and Clown. Through her company, Fool Moon Productions, she has devoted the last 40 years to helping people get in touch with their most authentic, playful and creative aspect – their inner Wise Fool – and use it to enrich their personal and professional lives. She studied and performed extensively with master clown teacher, Richard Pochinko, and co-founded with him what is now the Theatre Resource Centre, Toronto. As co-artistic director and performer with internationally acclaimed Small Change Theatre, she literally clowned her way around the world, discovering first hand that laughter is the universal language. Jan teaches Neutral Mask at Grant MacEwan University, and the University of Alberta, where she has received four awards for excellence in teaching. She is a recipient of Global Television’s Woman of Vision Award, and the Elizabeth Haynes Stirling Award for Outstanding Contribution to Theatre.

Jan is Senior Artistic Associate of Small Matters Productions, where she has co-created and directed shows that enjoy critical acclaim on international stages. Her lifetime of work is celebrated in the documentary, The Wise Fool, available now from director, Geraldine Carr.

Etransfer a non-refundable deposit of $200 to – the rest is due first day of class.


  • wear clothes that are easy to move in (Blacks if you have them.)
  • a favourite blanket
  • a  lunch
  • water



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