Behind the Mask

Master mask-maker and performer Eric Bornstein, owner and founder of Behind The Mask, is much sought after by arts groups throughout Massachusetts for his craftsmanship and creativity and by schools for his vibrant performances for school assemblies and inspiring mask-making workshops.



CatMtCroppedBrochureCat Mountain
A Japanese folk tale comes to life in this theater performance with original music, masks, and traditional Japanese songs. Listen and experience the story of Sho, a servant girl who journeys to Cat Mountain where she hopes to find her cat and her own freedom.

Target Grades: 1-12
Duration: 45 Minutes
Audience Limit: 200


The Woman Who Outshone The Sun
all-programs-visual-arts_250A beautiful and mysterious woman, connected deeply to the magic of nature, is exiled from a mountain village and takes its water source, the river with her. Through their suffering for what they have lost, the villagers learn important lessons of tolerance, forgiveness, and their impact on the ecosystem. The layers of teachings hidden in this beautiful folktale attune the audience to the cycles of nature, the messages of water, and the magical life that unfolds with living from the heart. Based on a poem inspired by a Zapotec folktale.

Target Grades: 1-12
Duration: 45-60 minutes
Audience Limit: 200

Post-Performance Workshop – Performing the Mask

Bring your mask to life through movement! Discover the postures, movements, sounds, and personality of any mask. Course includes special mask-theater exercises, guided play, and a chance to perform to the group. Masks will be provided.


Quick Mask-Making

MayanMaskThis workshop is a chance to dive right in and get creative with one of the most basic mask forms. Working closely with Master mask- maker Eric  Bornstein and one or more co-facilitator, students select papier-mâché mask blanks with elastic straps and then choose from an array of  tantalizing decorative materials including: chenille stems, pony beads, faux jewels, feathers, fur and fabric. After gluing, masks are augmented  with painted patterns and textures and then padded to ensure comfortable fit. Behind the Mask artists display samples, discuss techniques and  supervise creation.

Shadow Puppetry

Behind the Mask provides history and background on the uses and variety of shadow puppetry and demonstrate examples, including a traditional Indonesian wayang kulit shadow puppet. Then it’s time for participants to get creative! With Behind the Mask’s help, students design and construct their own shadow puppets and bring them to life for their peers on a shadow screen.

Winsor Mural 4.08_2Giant Collage Mural Residency (NEW)

Giant collage brings group efforts into monumental results! Using paint and a variety of torn paper and fabric materials, Artist Eric Bornstein will  guide students in designing, laying out and piecing together collaged materials. Subjects can be chosen to reflect school values, the s surrounding school community or special learning units. The result can be a permanent gift to your school!

All Mask-Making Workshops:
Target Grades: 1-12
Participants: 25 students
Workshop Length: 45-60 minutes


MFA ArtCamp 8.07 050Design Your Own Workshop or Demo

Bring in Behind the Mask artists to help your students: create party-ready masks for Halloween, Purim or the festive event of your choice; teach them to go further with advanced mask-making techniques or learn about the history, variety and uses of masks in African culture—or in festival around the world. Behind the Mask Studio Artists have broad range of knowledge and skills to share and will work with you to make the workshop or demonstration you want happen!

Design Your Own Residency

Bring multiple workshops to your school over multiple visits. This is a chance to bring mask-making and performance opportunities to more of your students or to dig deeper into a specific content area. Students can create advanced masks, put together their own mask theater or shadow puppet plays, or learn more about how masks are created and used around the world.

Cat Mountain
Single: $438  Double: $701 Triple: $919 Quad: $1,095

The Woman Who Outshone the Sun
Single: $912 Double: $1,460 Triple: $1,916 Quad: $2,281

Post-Performance Theater Workshops
$170/workshops (includes two artists)

Mask-Making Workshops
$535 for 4 workshops/day

Workshop Material Fees
$5-$10/student (if not provided by school)

Planning Session (mandatory for residencies)

Daily Travel Fee
Based upon mileage (use map below)

Note: pricing may vary for weekend/out-of-school time

Cat Mountain Performance Requirements
Woman Who Outshone The Sun Performance Requirements

Cat Mountain Educational Materials
Woman Who Outshone the Sun Educational Materials

Company Founder Eric Bornstein has studied with masters Agung Suardana in Bali, and Donato Sartori in Italy. He received his MLA in Fine Arts along with the Thomas Small prize from Harvard University.
His masks have appeared most recently in the 31st Cambridge River Festival, Contemporary Theater of Boston’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Performance Lab’s Le Cabaret Grimm, Underground Railway Theater’s Life of Galileo, and the Harvard Yiddish Players’ Shulamis.Over the last 30 years Eric’s masked characters have appeared in a variety of venues. They were a highlight of Boston’s First Night celebration for 15 years. His masks have also appeared at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum, the Fuller Craft Museum, the Kennedy Library/Museum, the Boston Lyric Opera, the Boston Ballet, the Society of Arts & Crafts (Newbury Street), The Peabody/Essex Museum, King Richard’s Faire, and Revels. He currently teaches classes in making and performing masks, and offers performances and residencies to schools throughout the state through Young Audiences of Massachusetts.


“The Man Behind the Masks: Eric Bornstein makes magic with paint, papier-mâché, and endless imagination” by Peter Demarco,, June 5, 2010

Mask Expert Eric Bornstein

Mileage Rates