Day 48: A night at the Mystery Masquerade
It fell to the hands of the School of Play to bring the play on Day 48. And I was in good hands!
The night was built around the concept of each creating a mask for ourselves. Crafting is, of course, clearly a playful activity, and it’s easy to enjoy cutting and glueing and especially the scratch-away-mask that I selected to get me going. But Portia Tung, the chief wishmaker at the School had dreamt up a series of activities that would help us to develop masks that truly reflected our playful selves.
First up was a quick game of catch – the catch being (see what I did there?!) that the ball was imaginary. In groups of five we were soon laughing and joking and really thinking about what we meant by play.
During the evening we drew and developed images of our ‘playful selves’ and added to it after each exercise.
Next up: evoking the trenches of World War I, for an imagining of the true opposite of play – the horrors of war – and a brief playful respite. And finally a game in which we contemplated how various figures might bring play to a challenging situation with which we were struggling.
With our playful selves fully illustrated, we were ready to create our masks. As I always find the case when you ask a group to create something with a limited set of materials, the variety of different end results was really impressive.
What did I learn about play from this experience? That it takes real examination to explore what play means to each of us, but that such attention is really worth putting in!
We understand how dangerous a mask can be. We all become what we pretend to be. ― Patrick Rothfuss