Unmasked: Celebrated Artist and Musician Aaron Cromie Visited Canterbury Middle School
Unmasked: Celebrated Artist and Musician Aaron Cromie Visited Canterbury Middle School
Ranae Butler, Fine Arts Department Chair

While masks are often used to conceal identity, Canterbury Middle School theatre students recently employed masks for a much different purpose. Last week, celebrated Philadelphia-based artist and musician Aaron Cromie collaborated with students on mask work in performance, using masks to reveal important elements of themselves, including their thoughts and feelings.

Mr. Cromie created neutral theatre masks specifically for our students and led them through multiple sessions of mask work, focusing on creativity and freedom of expression. Grade 5 students created mini-performances based on five frames and physical poses representing a conflict between two people. These "frames" were shared with the entire middle school on Friday afternoon in a lecture and demonstration.

These special masks are being used again by our Grade 8 students, while they return to the witch scenes in Macbeth.

Canterbury School's next visiting artist is Sphinx Virtuosi, one of the nation's most dynamic professional chamber orchestras. On Thursday, Oct. 25, they will host a strings workshop and special performance for Lower and Middle School students. Later that evening, they will share a public performance of "Music Without Borders" at Canterbury High School, Summers Auditorium, at 7 p.m. Tickets are available online at www.canterburyschool.org/sphinx.

These artist visits are made possible through the generous donations of Canterbury families at the 2018 Laughing Cavalier event. Donations to the 2018 Laughing Cavalier Special Focus fund are supporting various Fine Arts initiatives and events, which would not have been possible otherwise.

About Aaron Cromie

Aaron Cromie trained at the Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theatre and at the Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris. He has directed productions at the University of the Arts and the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre. He also has collaborated with the Walnut Street Theatre, Arden Theatre, Lantern Theater, Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Folger Shakespeare, Shakespeare Theatre Company, and many others.

Mr. Cromie has also taught and designed for several art centers, colleges, and university programs and has received support from The Jim Henson Foundation, Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, and The Independence Foundation. He studied with Maestro Antonio Fava and at Ecole Jaques Lecoq. Mr. Cromie is a graduate of the Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theatre.