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MaMas is a weekly laboratory offered by Helikos, focused on the study, design and construction of masks, directed by Matteo Destro

Coming from the perspective of theatrical mask work, the course examines the concept of mask in general, and how a mask, as a structure, evokes feeling (sentimento).

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Open to Helikos students enrolled in the One-Year Professional Training as well as the public.


The Journey of MaMaS

​MaMaS is a journey which begins in the silence of material; from there, we gradually encounter form, and then arrive at the end in the dramatic space. Engaging in research into forms/ shapes will allow a better understanding of the material itself: its qualities, its timing, where it is available and where it resists – in other words, its character.

When we act on and provoke the material, the material responds, and in turn provokes and guides us. In partnership with the material, we will look for mask structures that are able to evoke feeling, manifest mystery, render visible the invisible.

The purpose of MaMaS is not just the creation of the mask as an object; it is fundamentally the creative process that leads to the creation of the mask as a phenomenon in space. For those who work in theatre, masks can be scenery, costumes, characters, dramaturgy; but masks can also be objects from daily life, such as shoes, chairs, or cars.

This training is designed not only for students enrolled at Helikos, but also for people who work in the field of theatre, for artists of all disciplines, for architects, for designers, and for whomever is interested in developing his/her sensitivity and creative capacity through the study of an ancient craft as old as humanity.

The Program: The Creative Process That Leads to the Creation of the Mask as a Phenomenon


- Study and analysis of the structure, material, and color of everyday objects.
- Choral transposition of the design of objects.
- The journey of forms from larval to expressive.
- Evolution of forms in clay sculpture.
- Working from a state of calm to a state of tension within a form.
- Study and analysis of the traits and volumes of the human face.
- Creation of an expressive full-face mask in papier mâché.
- Creation of a half mask in papier mâché.
- Creation of a larval mask in papier mâché.
- The dynamic of colors.
- The process of painting a mask.
- Structure and time in the dramatic spaces and theatrical genres, such as tragedy, grotesque, melodrama, comic, absurd, and clown.

- A weekly three-hour class, plus three weekend intensives spread out over the course of the year.

- The course will begin the last week of October and end the third week of April.

- For students enrolled in the One Year Training, MaMaS classes are optional, beyond the currriculum of the school. They take place at Helikos, in evening sessions and intensive seminars, and they involve the payment of an extra tuition fee.


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