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About Waxing Moon Masks

Mission & Vision
Waxing Moon represents artists and practitioners of mask making, mask performance, and theatre education. Currently we serve theatre companies, individuals, and universities throughout the United States. Our performances invoke theatrical traditions as old as the moon to launch new ideas and engage audiences of all ages; traditions such as Commedia Dell’Arte, vaudeville, clown, and full-faced mask performance. Our mission is to use mask play and physical theatre to bring theatrical size and direct audience interaction back to contemporary stages. 

The traditional theatre form, Commedia Dell’Arte, is a more than 500 year old genre of popular theatre that uses stock characters and physical comedy. However, the form's inherent harms against marginalized identities and fixed ideas of power have gone largely un-scrutinized for  educational and equity-centered purposes, and those harms are often repeated in productions and classrooms without acknowledging that the form itself perpetuates inequity.

Tara Cariaso

tara cariaso smiling up to the camera, she has a short pixie haircut.

Tara Cariaso is a Filipina-American, Baltimore-based educator of physical theatre, archetypes, somatic acting, mask performance.  Born and raised in Baltimore, Tara is co-founder and lead designer for Waxing Moon Masks Education and Fabrication Company, an 11 year old organization that collaborates with institutions of education and production teams to produce original mask performance pedagogy and tools. 

Tara received her MFA from the Dell’Arte Int'l School of Physical Theatre in Blue Lake, California where she developed a passion for physical theatre pedagogy and mask making.

Aaron Elson


Aaron is the mad scientist at Waxing Moon. With his great aptitude for understanding the fundamental interactions of the material world, his work transforms our mask designs into durable, high quality products. Aaron brings both Entrepreneurial as well as Intrapreneurial skills into the team. As an Intrapreneur, his work influences manufacturing and business processes, strategic planning rapid prototyping equipment design and construction. As an Entrepreneur, he generates new ideas for product offerings and new markets to expand into that fit within the overall strategy of the company.  


1. Foundation

Grounded in Theatre Pedagogy & Practice

2. Formation

Sketch & Compose new Visual Concepts

3. Refinement

Develop Comps & Thematic Variations


4. Fabrication

Our Concepts
Come to Life

Our Development Process

Workshops &
Professional Development

We offer reconsidered training tools for theatre classrooms and productions for those interested in honing skills in improvisation, physical theatre, western theatre mask performance, and comic archetypes.

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