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Basic Theatrical Makeup for Stage

Updated on July 16, 2013

The world of theatre thrives on makeup. Theatre is the stage that has space for every conceivable character you can imagine. The theatre characters connect to the audience in special ways. They transport the audience a special world of theirs not because the acors act well or because they can evoke appropriate emotion among the audience but also and perhaps more importantly because the theatrical makeup imparts a great deal of reality as the characters they portray in a play - whether fool, charlatan, villain or king, beggar, queen, prince or any other character. They look every inch the character they act thanks to theatrical makeup.

It is the makeup artist who really has to work hard for hours to create that live character. One must acknowledge the real credit for the success of actos couldn't have been possible without the tireless efforts of the makeup artists. Only they know what kind of appearance would suit an actor and how to skillfully make them look the character they act.

Theatrical makeup must be considered beyond the superficial use of mascara, eyeliner or lipstick to include colors, dyes, lot of props, dentures, wigs, artificial moles combined with a wide variety of costumes and tatoos. It is difficult to say when the makeup has reached perfection for theatrical makeup incude a number of things such as not just the basic makeup painting, and corrective makeup, but also aging, and character makeup, apart from creating facial hair and wigs, face painting makeup, color and glitter hairsprays and gels. This is not all the makeup artist has access to complete set of kits for stage performers, dancers, clowns and the other performers.

The makeup artist must possess real creative talent for them to do a good job of theatre makeup. A vile character, for instance, can be made to look more real with additions of minor details like fake warts and moles. The audience must forget that they are watching an actor acting but must feel that they are in the real world for instance, when they see a severely hurt actor with blood gushing out and staining his clothes. The makeup artist can bring the reality to the show with their talent.

Thetrical makeup includes not just the make up of the characters but also of the stage, settings and props. They have to be very careful with stage makeup and lighting so that audience can watch everything clearly from anywhere in the hall.

Hobby clubs, theater companies, theater societies in schools and collegtes are generally the large segment of clientele on which the makeup accessory companies depend on for their business. Besides, one also need to make purchases on private occasions like fancy dress competitions, birthdays and parties.

You can get a wide choice at online stores when shopping for theatrical makeup with the advantage selection from a wide choice, review and options available to you from the comfort of your home.


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    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Wow A_K those pictures are a great addition to your alraedy well written hub. I really enjoyed reading this hub. You did a great job.

    • glassvisage profile image


      8 years ago from Northern California

      Wow! I always wonder what kind of credentials you might need to do stage/theatrical make-up. It can be so complex and can really set the stage for a good performance. I can hardly do my own makeup... I couldn't imagine trying to make someone look like something else! :)

    • A_K profile imageAUTHOR

      Ajit Kumar Jha 

      9 years ago from Delhi

      Thank you Pete. I read your hub on dangerous jobs. It is excellent and well presented. It is the festival of lights (diwali) in India today. This festival is believed to bring in wealth and prosperity. I wish you a happy diwali and may the goddess of wealth shower fortune upon you.

    • thor6 profile image


      9 years ago from

      Excellent hub I wish mine were as good as yours. Keep up the good work. Take a look a t mine and tell me what you think

      Take care and have a happy life.



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