Mask Version

2. Lovers in masks

Lysander and Hermia discuss their dating problem. Like all the actors in this production, Hermia wears a half-mask. This means that the actor cannot act with her face, which is especially noticeable in floridly emotional or "poetic" passages such as the one that Lysander's line leads into. The half-mask's neutrality displaces expression out into the minutest utterances of the whole body. The possibilities of stylized acting are as expressively rich as they are different from realistic acting. The line "Why is your cheek so pale?" gains new prominence in this masked context. Lysander's suit seems lifted slightly from the everyday by the cut of the jacket (a matador perhaps or a hotel waiter). Note the harsh lighting, the complete absence of "mood" effects.

See also:

> School 4. Lysander & Hermia

> Bar 3. Lysander & Hermia, close

A Midsummer Night's Dream