& upcoming classes & workshops
video is from one morning in three weeks of the our Commedia dell'Arte
intensive summer workshop. For information about workshops coming to
your school, theater company or institution please contact us.
difficult times, one of the highest achievements is to bring a smile
... some laughter to another and relieve worries and concerns for a
time. Performers, players, actors, dancers, and all artists,
actors, artists, dancers, singers, directors, teachers, students & variety artists
can open the drawer marked Commedia dell'Arte,
Classical Commedia University*
(RCCU*) with Mask Arts Company
Thank you for passing on this information to someone who might want to take advantage of it.
we will be happy to arrange a workshops at your school or theater company,
anywhere in the world.
teacher director artistian:
"After the first theater Metaphysical Mask Lab, walking out of the studio, all day I saw the world in a deeper more revealing way." - Stanley Allan Sherman
Neutral Mask Metaphysical Mask Labs
The Metaphysical Mask Lab combining Carlo Mazzone-Clementi exercises and movement vocabulary with our own ongoing explorations now with the Jacque Lecoq Neutral Mask.
using both masks. Exercises from our two great movement theater
pioneers, plus ones we have developed. This lab is for actor, artists,
clowns, directors, dancers and creators; we have also have had writers
Stanley Allan Sherman created a Metaphysical Mask with and for Carlo Mazzon-Clementi. With Peter Kors we explored Carlo's used the Metaphysical Mask. Because of these labs Stanley has exchanged information with others in Europe and the United States that use the Metaphysical Mask, including Ole Brekke that has replace the Neutral mask with the Metaphysical mask at The Commedia School.
These are pioneering investigative labs, now we are adding the Neutral Mask. This work is quite amazing and helpful with many forms of theater.
The first lab with Peter Kors & Stanley Allan Sherman; a video from the lab by Jim Moore, "Metaphysical Mask Improv" on his blog Vaudevisuals.
- Neutral Mask Lab:
You can also join the new Metaphysical Mask Connections group on facebook.
- Movement - Rhythm workshop
Rhythm "timing is everything". When I was at Ecole Jacque Lecoq's 1970 -72, a friend Richard Hayes-Marshall said to me, "Stanley I think one of the things we need to discover is our own personal rhythm. We each have a different personal rhythm" Have been playing with this since then and Richard is right. Finding your personal rhythm makes everything you do better, from voice to walking down the street.
- Movement - Rhythm workshop:
your own piece of theater, dance theater, lazzi
is a joy, an adventure
and can be the difference in making a creative fun living.
This workshop/lab will be devoted to you coming up with your original lazzi, bit, short theater or dance piece or full show.
Original Material - Beyond Devised Theater workshop:
you have a question about a workshop, please ask.
"In a 1970's article I read about a mask maker in Bali that put souls into the masks he made for use in their rituals but not the ones they made to sell. Part of the art of mask making is to be able to put a soul into your mask". Stanley Allan Sherman
Mask-making classes run on a flexible schedule and can be from 1 to 4 hours depending on what stage in the process we are at.
mask-making classes covers:
& Cloth Meche
is common for student to take their clay sculptures home with them to
work on them.
Clown Nose Making Workshops Information
Recommended books on Commedia dell'Arte
I teach Mask Making in groups and privately. There are three areas of mask making I teach: Sculpture of the Mask, Papier-mâché Mask Making and/or Leather Mask Making. If you would like me to teach a Commedia dell'Arte Workshops designed for your situation contact me to discuss your project.
Sculpture of the Mask
your ideas and needs for your mask. Your sculpture map of your character,
sketching your mask,
Once you can sculpt your mask in clay you have a choice of making the mask in Leather or Papier-mâché.
From Roving Classical Commedia University mask making class. Fellow teacher Hovey Burgess and others sculpting in candlelight.
Papier-mâché Mask Making
This is less expensive for mask making and much simpler and quicker. Papier-mâché or cloth meche masks can be very effective, strong, long lasting masks. This is a much shorter class and good for almost all ages.
Papier-mâché hands at work.
Leather Mask Making
You learn everything from how to buy and make tools, choose leather, making the master mold, different leather techniques, dyeing, staining, finishes and how to put in hair. This can be done over a period of 3 months or a quick intensive 2 to 3 weeks.
Private student Alfredo Denaia
Performing in the Mask
to perform in a mask and make it come alive, doing various physical exercises
and exercises in the mask. I can also go into Neutral masks as well. These
exercises have been developed from studying with Jacques Lecoq and over
30 years of experience as a performer, mask maker and teacher.
Most of my performing career has been spent as a theatrical clown doing my solo show in theatres from very intimate houses with less than 100 seats to 3,000 seats. And I have a very nice stack of rave reviews.
Developing your personal clown, developing original material, various physical exercises, mime, working with props, making them come alive, solo show, non-solo theatrical clown shows and more.
Photo by Jim Moore
Classical Commedia dell'Arte
To study Commedia dell'Arte go to the web site of my traveling school Roving Classical Commedia University* (*Totally Unaccredited)
"Stanley you are a director," Jacque Lecoq told me. Here are some basics that we work with when directing and creating/developing your original material. Rhythm, every moment total truth, what do you care about enough that will inspires you to spend insane numbers or hours exploring and playing with, we use all your assets and deficits, we take total responsibility for every moment, what are you most afraid of - great lets go there. No fear. More than good; it must be great enough for complete strangers to give you the gift of taking their time and hard earned money for a total theater experience. Yes - fun, joy, tears and hysterical laughter.
from Ecole Jacque Lecoq, Theater Mime Movement in 1972 through the mid
1990's I performed various original solo shows. With rave
reviews, did a 6-month run in LA, self produced, co-produced, booked
at major festivals, all kinds of tours as well as the great teacher -
performing in the street. With other artist developed material in what
we called, "theater jam sessions." Learned business of surviving
to thriving as an artist through the school of hard knocks. Was Off Broadway
with a cast of 21 for 3 1/2 years. Have been acting and performing in
the corporate world of entertainment, commercials, Late Night with Conan
O'Brien 41 times. As a director I have a lot of special performance knowledge,
tricks of the trade from experience that I now enjoy passing on, helping
performing artists create their successful original show.
of Festive Skin'
for developing, directing, consulting or show doctoring:
is no good-bye in Hell." But there is an open mic night. There's
another thought that lets you know you're in Hell - as long as we're here
we might as well make the best of it.
a one-woman absurdist vaudeville in Hell, featuring the astonishing Alexandra
pouring with sweat, red light, accordion and her. One
hour of ridiculous physical comedy and word-play and I was a happy man."
Summer 2013 four reviews from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival's month long run
lot of shows in the fringe hurtle along at breakneck speed with all sorts
of added electronics to keep the stimulation levels high but this show
is different: McGowan eschews all gizmos allowing a quietness and acute
attention to develop
the pace is unusual, but her audience was absolutely
enchanting new piece designed to entertain, engage and inspire.
pacy, intelligent and often witty performance
few shows can hold
a candle to Now Leasing's combination of energy and power to captivate.
have total ownership of the stage. It's Brassy. It's bold. It's in your
Stanley's Comment: One key in developing a show is not only Lea using all her assets, dance, aerial silk, costuming but her perceived deficits turning then into assets. Assets and deficits also became a theme in Lea's show. Lea's friends told her do not sing! We used her voice exploiting its uniqueness and expanding its strength. Finding Lea's rhythm and vocal qualities. Now she is not only singing but doing all kinds effective character voices. I brought in Paul Shipper that knows how to work with dancers voices to enhance the work that we did. Paul is a Grammy award winning musician, singing and early music specialist.
Thanks to Stanley Allan Sherman for emotional and psychological support
as well as superb directional advice. Under the direction of Stanley
Allan Sherman, a master of Commedia Dell'Arte and renowned mask craftsman
himself, NOW LEASING has developed in clarity and depth, reaching ultimate
For Solo Voice
is quite a bit of humor in this display of paranoia, all well directed
and staged by Stanley Allan Sherman
Top of Directing Page
were a couple of people missing so they asked me to go on for the very
first time slot. I agreed. I got ready early and went backstage. They
introduced me and I went out. I lost it. There were 400-500 people out
there! My biggest audience by far. It was about 70% children. The stages
are outdoors so there are lots of distractions but these guys were watching
my every move. I took an extra minute or two with my entrance because
I was responding to how huge the audience was. I started my routine. I
took my time. It was amazing! I had a blast out there. It was like flying.
Later in the day I was having lunch with another performer. We were talking
about clown stuff. He had watched the first few minutes of my show and
gave me a great compliment. He said he was impressed with how I took
my time. I was able to go out there and just "be" without having
to do a bunch of stuff. He said he has been performing for 30 years and
he still has a hard time with that. "
I feel bad because I'm not doing the exact same show that we worked on
together. I've had to change so much so these audiences will appreciate
it. Then I realize that although I've changed things in the physical
show, I'm still applying the principles we practiced. I'm taking my time,
finding the moments, letting myself discover, finding the joy. In short,
I'm really grateful for the work we did together. It's opened up so much
for me. Thank you!!"
Stanley comment: Taking your time, playing everything that happens is a must. To ignore something that happens is like lying to your audience. Always tell total truth to your audience. Especially children, they are the toughest audience. Working with Gautham, we started with his bits that all had background music. We cut all of it out. Now Gatham was free to truly play. When nothing is happening, everything is happening.Top of Directing Page
challenged me to pursue the territory within myself unvisited, to
take my work to the place of the uncommon. He demanded that I not be satisfied
with just entertaining people, but to give them theatre. Stanley should
have walked into the theatre wearing a demolition helmet because that
is the level to which he demands, demolish your safety zone, demolish
your safety net. Break it and show me your unique self, your unique
vision for our ailing world. Working with Stanley was like the difference
between seeing a vacation postcard to actually soaring through the Grand
Canyon. Don't show me the postcard, he demands, take me there, take
me to the Grand Canyon. I want to feel it through you, and I want you
to experience it too. Scared of the edge? Great. Me too. Let's go!
And Where did we find commonality? A single moment of collapse, of chaos
on-stage when for one brief moment the audience was literally on the edge
of their seats because nobody actually knew what was going to happen.
How exciting!" John Paulsen
Stanley comment: John from Seattle brought me in as a director show doctor for his show run at Here Arts Center in NYC. It was fun finding the truth in all the major and little moments of Johns shows. Every little moment is also a major moment. We both grew finding total truth. We all know the moments that do not work that we hope no one will notice. One goal is elevating every moment and discovering what is real and true.Top of Directing Page
Young Audiences reviews:"The students were very enthusiastic.
One of the best programs I've seen!" Young Audiences Program
comment: This two person children's show toured for at least 4 year
with Young Audiences. Working with Andrew and Mary a major goal was getting
them to use all their hidden talents. We used everything to bring the
poetry of Beowulf out with mime, opera, puppetry to deliver a fun experience.
The fight scene we built the monster arms out of bubble wrap so during
the fight they could be twisted and everyone would hear the monster breaking
up. When Mary and Andrew stopped touring the show they sold it to a theater
company in the Midwest.
'Life After Vaudeville' created and directed the show
Golem of Gavah' directed the Equity Stage Readings
the Equity Stage Readings of the play
Golem of Gavah" By: Gil Marks and
Stanley Allan Sherman
These plays are available for productions. If you are interested in producing any of these plays for any kind of production email me or give me a call.
Gavah (from the Hebrew word for vanity) is a mythical town whose very devout inhabitants obsess over rituals, while neglecting their underlying meanings. When the town's latest rabbi arrives, the people immediately take a disliking to the young scholar because he fails to live up to their image of a rabbi. However, since they have already gone through three rabbis in less than three years, they decide to give their new spiritual leader a six-month probationary period. During that time, the increasingly frustrated young scholar discovers a book that reveals how to make a golem. The creature turns out to be handsome and charismatic and immediately captivates the residents of Gavah, who install him as their spiritual leader. Ignoring signs that their new rabbi is not all that they imagined, the golem sets into motion a series of events that culminate in tragedy for Gavah and its residents. Mixing drama, humor and music, The Golem of Gavah explores, among many contemporary issues, the dangers of becoming enamored by superficialities.
Healing cannot be shown without showing the pain. "SHADOWS" shows this pain combining sensuality and horror at the same time. "SHADOWS" is balanced with spirituality and flashes of wit and humor.
Various studies show that four to six out of every ten women are sexually molested as children. Statistics also show from two to four out of every ten men are sexually molested as children.
Humor and drama are used throughout on many different levels. From simple slapstick to running gags about Jews having horns. About 90% of the stories are from the Talmud and can be broken down into many different formats. They can be presented with many different sizes of casts. Directors have chosen to do some of the stories and not all of them to suit their situation.
Jonathan Togo and Stanley Allan Sherman, directed by: Daniel Bollag
The above video with actor Jonathan Togo was shot originally for the film Idenitcal. Film director Daniel Bollag cast me in the above film as the Priest. It is a nice change.
One reason I am an excellent mask maker is because I am a performer, director and actor. I know what it is like performing in the mask, as I have been performing with and without masks since 1972. I have had several solo shows, "Aero Show" was critics choice in the LA Times and received a stack of rave reviews. In the 90's I moved more into acting, performing as a member of the original cast of the Off Broadway's hit "Grandma Sylvia's Funeral" and for some reason I keep on being cast as a Rabbi a lot, appearing in comedy bits on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" 41 times and "David Letterman".
Interested in talking or casting me in your film, television or theatre production. Contact Stanley Allan Sherman - Mask Arts Company 212-255-2882
Photos by Mark Schafer www.markschafer.com
One of the short films I did
"The Nose Job Jew"
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Copyright © 1976-2017 Stanley Allan Sherman. All rights reserved.