Larval Set

The Larval mask lives in a realm of highly stylized theatre performance, a realm which ignites an audience’s imagination and provides moments of discovery, surprise and delight. For the actor, the masks inspire a child-like glee in the quality of play and provide essential tools for communicating character through the body.

The larval mask originated as a carnival mask from Basel in Switzerland, and was borrowed for use by Jacques Lecoq in actor training. In the Lecoq pedagogy, the Larval mask falls somewhere between the neutral mask and the more psychologically complicated character mask. The Larval mask is a naïve, it is curious and vulnerable. Because the larval lives earnestly and honestly to its nature, he discovers his world in every moment. This kind of play amplifies the theatrical realm and its possibilities for the audience- the mundane becomes magical.

The masks themselves are large, simple, geometric in shape, and they amplify the actor’s gesture and movement forcing her to make clear, efficient physical choices. Like their namesake “larvae”, these are the foundation of beings, but are not fully formed. The essential information for the play of the larval mask can be found in its shape, form lines that cut through the space of the stage and inform character’s rhythm.

Our larval masks are all offered in either neoprene or paper mache, except one. Joey is not available in neoprene. Due to the nature of neoprene in manufacturing, these masks end up 5 to 10 percent smaller than the paper mache versions. Shown in our images are the neoprene and paper mache versions of these masks. ***We strongly recommend purchasing the paper mache versions exclusively for performance and classroom use.*** For more information on this, please contact


Dewey is a thoroughly curious Larval mask. This mask features two small eyes that are placed wide but still usable to the wearer, as well as a mesh area at the mouth for breathing.


Beatty is a very naive larval. In our studio work, we use lots of interesting foam configurations in this one, individual to each person to get the right fit. Simplicity is key in this mask, more than any of our others. The soft point allows us to watch and understand his gaze, while remaining open to a world of distraction. As is often problematic for larvals, it is often a challenge to see in this mask. Some practitioners of this work favor ‘sightlessness’ in the play, and some do not, so it is useful for you to know that in Beatty the wearer can adjust the mask to have some vision or none at all, depending on the positioning on her face.