What is the Neutral Mask? Where did it come from and what can the actor-in-training gain through using it? This book begins to answer these questions by examining the rediscovery and rehabilitation of masks as tools of performance in Western theatre over the past century, considering the work of various theorists, directors, teachers and performers in whose work the mask occupies a significant position. Discussion then focuses on the development of the Neutral Mask as an object and as a paradigm of pedagogy for the actor over the past eighty years. With reference to the theories and teachings of Jacques Copeau, Etienne Decroux, Jacques Lecoq and Eugenio Barba, the author considers the possible parallels between Barba's 'pre-expressive' state and the state of neutrality which the Neutral Mask helps to develop in the actor. Also detailed within this book is a 'practice-as-research' series of developmental workshops for actors which investigated and documented the various uses of the Neutral Mask and its applications to the creative processes of the actor.