“The more I work with students and performers, the more I am convinced that humans are happiest when they are given the opportunity to inhabit several roles. To wear a disguise mask can be a thrilling retreat from one’s own identity (and raise the apprehension of the viewer), but to create a new identity with a character mask, which moves, breathes and expresses itself in an entirely different but truthful way, can be exhilarating.” —Designer/maker, performer and producer, Russell Dean.
“The more I step out into nature, the more poetry reveals itself. Getting outside is a necessity, like breathing, and essential for me to keep going forward with my writing and to be well-balanced. I do not feel that humanity and nature are separate but intrinsically connected, and this belief is reflected in my poems.” Zurich-based poet TAK Erzinger on how poetry has changed her life.
“flowers oblige / extending their opening hours / and still leaves fall like stars / a colouring of comets …” —Zürich based poet T.A.K. Erzinger.
“Whether you’re a hard-partying 20-something, a new (or not so new) parent, a perimenopausal mess, or you’re legitimately old, try the Wrinkle-reducing Sheet Mask. While we cannot guarantee that this product will turn your wrinkle-riddled forehead into a smooth, ageless canvas of expressionlessness—or have any effect at all—never underestimate the power of suggestion.” Writer Lindsey Grant attempts to sell us a mask (or seven).
“What a day for spaghetti straps: The wind pummels her from all directions, the kind of gales that drive horses mad and ravage any trace of a blow-dry. Every gust tangles her hair and cuts through her new coat—all sheen and no substance, probably glued together by kids half her age.” D.B. Miller’s latest installment of Tales from the Pit.
“The spark for this particular book was a simple parental duty from many years ago—giving my young son a shower. Both of us dreaded that activity so much that we spent countless hours discussing ideas for a five-second shower machine. While the Bath-o-Miser, as we had named it, never materialised, this book did.” Zürich based writer Brijesh Luthra on how he got the idea for his latest book.
“If you’ve read The Shining, you will see glimpses of King’s struggles in his protagonist. Jack was once an alcoholic. Jack also flew into violent rages when drunk, once so badly that he cracked his son’s arm in two. The Overlook is supposed to be where Jack will prove that he’s a changed man—a place of redemption. The hotel, however, has other plans.” Tess Mangiardi unmasks a cult classic: Stephen King’s ‘The Shining’.
Barbara Nigg’s graphic take on our theme. The quote that inspired this piece: “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell the truth.” —Oscar Wilde
“Why would a writer want to keep information masked or hidden? Some answers include mystery, tension, pacing, and above all, to make the reader want to keep reading. Choosing the right POV can help us do all these things.” Jim Rushing adds his thoughts on POV to the Writers’ Toolbox.
Russell Dean has been a writer, director, designer/maker, performer, project manager and facilitator on nine productions and hundreds of workshops for Strangeface since 2001. Take a look at a gallery of his works, along with some shots of Russell in action.
A selection of writerly goings on in Zürich and beyond this Summer. Compiled by Jim Rushing.