Atelier Pirate is a company of craftsmen who have been making latex masks since 1992. All the models were created by Guylaine Bisaillon or François Lacerte. Thus, the workshop offers you more than fifty different models. A choice of colors is offered to meet the needs and tastes of each. Character masks, Commedia Dell’Arte masks, ball and carnival masks, traditional Italian or Japanese masks and animal masks are all forms that you will find there. Each mask is handmade with care.
Our masks are very durable and can be worn by theater students or professional comedians for acting, or by anyone for a masquerade ball or party. They can also be used as decorative items, corporate gifts or promotional items. We can even create for you and according to your specifications a totally unique model.
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!