Neutral Masque
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Level: Graduate
Division: The New School for Drama
Department: Movement
Course Number: TDRM 5109
Course Format: Studio
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Acting
  • Performance Movement
Much of this work is based on the work of teacher and philosopher Francois DelSarte and his System of Expression. He divides the body into three zones: the Mental Zone (includes the forehead and eyes, head, hands and feet), the Moral Zone (includes the nose and cheeks, chest and arms), and the Vital Zone (includes the mouth and chin, abdomen and legs). DelSarte also works with the notion of thermometers. Passion is exhibited through expressive shoulders and hips. Will is expressed through degrees of tension in elbows and knees. Vitality is expressed by using the wrist and the ankles. We will begin with the neutral mask and "appetizers" which include exercises called transformation, explore the room and the four stages of man. The "main course" investigates the elements of a "hinge moment" or moment of change. The elements of the hinge moment are breathing, footfall, fourth wall, focus and knees. Ideas for hinge moments come from fairy tales, mythology, the bible, Shakespeare and paintings.
Course Open to: Majors Only
Course Pre/Co-requisites:
Students who wish to enroll in a graduate theater course at The New School for Drama must be accepted into the graduate theater program as a full-time student.


Open to School of Drama students.


Open to Graduate students.


Open to New York City students.


Open to Acting students.

Open to Directing students.

Open to Playwriting students.