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Trestle Theatre Company Celebrate 40th Anniversary With Exhibition

Behind the Mask will be the first in-person exhibition to reopen St Albans Museum post-lockdown.

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of Trestle, a new exhibition will showcase highlights of the physical theatre company's rich history of work. Offering a rare glimpse behind the scenes into Trestle's much-loved archive of work comprising experimental mask performances and workshops, Behind the Mask will be the first in-person exhibition to reopen St Albans Museum post-lockdown. St Albans Museum + Gallery is located in the heart of one of Britain's most historic cities, hosting a vibrant programme of events, exhibitions and installations.

Alongside the exhibition Trestle are asking the public to share their stories of the company to create a time capsule record that will be included in the online celebrations later in the year. Through short videos or written messages, people can share their personal memories of Trestle, whether from watching a performance to taking part in a workshop. On Thursday 20th May, Masked Emotion will bring together three arts professionals whose work this year has led them to explore the relationship between arts and wellbeing for an online panel discussion to consider how lockdown, social distancing and masks have impacted creativity and identity.

Creative Director Helen Barnett said, "We are thrilled to be working in partnership with the St Albans Museum + Gallery to celebrate Trestle's 40th Birthday, funded by Arts Council England. Behind the Mask will take the public on a whistle stop tour of the last 40 years, offering insights and a rare look into Trestle's archive. As Creative Director it has been a privilege to curate the exhibition, we have unearthed so many hidden treasures within Trestle Arts Base and it has been a joy to interview many of the wonderful people who have played a part in the company's rich history. We can't wait to share the stories and memories we've captured and I hope that they will inspire and delight our audiences as much as they have us".

Trestle is a mask and physical theatre company: our mission is to inspire creativity through participation and dialogue and we do this by approaching opportunities with an open mind, playful approach and our every surprising and engaging masks. Trestle has been making innovative physical theatre since 1981 and in recent years has focused its work on school workshops, performances and teacher training; we work in partnership with schools, FE colleges, PRUs and universities to deliver the skills and resources needed to encourage high quality learning through the arts.

Based in St Albans, Trestle Arts Base is a 100-year-old chapel beautifully converted into a unique performing arts centre. It is also home to Trestle, one of the country's longest-standing and most innovative theatre companies.

St Albans Museum + Gallery is the newest addition to the collection of cultural heritage sites managed by St Albans Museums. It joins Verulamium Museum, the Hypocaust, the medieval Clock Tower, Sopwell Ruins and the thousands of objects in the City's collection in being cared for and shared with the world. A dynamic community hub and a centre for arts and culture at the heart of one of Britain's most historic cities, St Albans Museum + Gallery is free to all visitors. It showcases over 2,000 years of priceless heritage and hosts cutting-edge art exhibitions, sharing local, national and world treasures with all.

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