Pirate Workshop is a company of craftspeople who manufacture latex masks. Each new model is created by Guylaine Bisaillon or François Lacerte. Pirate offer more than 50 different models of masks with a variety of colours to choose from: caracter mask, Commedia dell’Arte, mask for balll, masquerades or carnivals, mask from the Italian and Japanese traditions and animal mask. Each mask is carefully hand-made.
Since the spring of 2018, the workshop has been bought by Dracolite, company creating medieval products. We are also in the process of integrating an online purchasing system to facilitate the acquisition of our products. You can view and download our catalog or browse our shop.
Our masks are very durable and are suitable to be worn by students in a workshop setting, by professional actors on stage, or by anyone looking to stand out at a masked ball or party. They can also be used as decorative objects in the home and make great gifts and promotional items. We are happy to custom create a completely unique model according to your specifications.
Our masks are made of latex, a material that gives softness and comfort as well as resistance. In fact, as you wear it, your own body temperature increases its flexibility. This properties made them ideal for school theater and larp event. They are enhanced by beautiful colors. Several techniques of acrylic coloration are chosen to give each one of them their own warmth and expression.
Literally means “theater performed by people of the art”. In the sixteenth century, the word “art” was used to describe a trade. The “comedy of art” was thus the comedy played by those whose job is to make the audience laugh, in other words professional comedians.
The commedia dell’arte is a comic popular theater appeared in Italy in the sixteenth century where each character spoke in a different dialect representing the various regions of the country.
To play the many characters of the commedia dell’arte the comedians met in troupe, or theatrical company. They traveled from city to city and mounted the trestles of the open-air theater in the streets or squares and sometimes even left their country. The actors improvised and embroidered their text from a canvas (scenario set in advance) written or not. The comic emphasis of the plays was mainly gestural (antics) and the comedians had to be able to improvise, invent a thousand good punch lines and fantasies while they were on stage. To amuse the audience they became acrobats, mimes, singers and musicians just like the clowns of which they are the distant ancestors. Almost all the actors wore a mask that did not cover the lower part of their face and left their mouths open. The actors could thus make multiple grimaces and were not embarrassed to speak loudly.
As for the types of comic characters, there are four main: the zannis or valets, the old men, the soldiers, and finally the characters without masks: lovers and followers or maids. Some characters were obligatory.
Molière, child, frequently attended commedia dell’arte shows in Paris. He was then often inspired by these antics to write his own comedies. This is how commedia dell’arte gave birth to comedy as we know it today!