The Masks


Every face tells a story, lives a present and is doomed to a fate.

The Teatro Strappato masks are born, as are their shows, in an atelier where they are modelled with clay, wood and leather into the faces of vivid characters.

These unique leather sculptures require a complex and articulate production process. The face of each character must be planned and designed in order to create a mask that harmonises with the actor’s moves and their character.

Our maestro, Donato Sartori, who we learned the techniques of making these magical objects from, often says that the mask is not a portrait or a caricature, but is what lies halfway between one and the other.

Once this delicate design balance has been achieved, the mask is modelled in clay to fit the actor who will be wearing it, and then tests in papier-mâché are carried out. When the character’s final face is obtained, a wooden mould is sculpted which can then be shaped into what will be the actor’s second skin: the leather mask.

Cecilia Scrittore and Vene Vieitez design and produce all the Teatro Strapatto masks in a “mobile atelier” that travels the world with them, suitcases full of hammers, leather, modelling tools, dyes, threads, needles, gouges, knives and folders brimming with drawings and photos of skulls, noses, eyes, ears and mouths that snowball with the faces they encounter along the way.