“When we first performed as Mr.Image group, we thought that was a one-time project. We never dreamed that we will celebrate the 1000th performance!”
Mr.Image Theatre was founded by Iva Kostovic-Mandick & Petar Mandick in 1995 in Amsterdam. It started as an experiment when the artists decided to bring their theatre literally among the audience in order to explore the impact of their super-realistic masks in face-to-face/ direct interaction with the audience.
What started as an experiment, evolved over the years into a new form of contemporary interactive mask-theater marked by the masterly use of totally unique lifelike masks, and by its own unique style of humor that appeals to a broad audience.
Over the years, Mr.Image troupe, consisting of professional actors, dancers and performers with most various backgrounds have performed at hundreds of public and corporate events, festivals and charity events and become a widely appreciated act in the field of interactive theatre in the Netherlands and abroad.
The art of interaction
The founding of Mr.Image group marked a new phase of Iva & Petar’s work.
Although they are still using the same visual means (the mask) as in previous works, and they still feature as complete authors of their productions, Mr.Image Theater is much different from everything that Iva and Petar had been pursuing so far:
Spoken word (speech) was introduced.
Movement became more of a ‘realistic’ gesture than a stylized dance movement.
Strict choreography was substituted with improvisation.
Performances are not on the stage anymore, but literally among the audience.
Other performers take part in the performance.
New mask-making techniques, based on techniques from the film industry are also related to this phase. Masks became more and more realistic, to the extent that the viewer was almost deceived by illusion.
A highly recognizable Mr.Image style was emerging, marked by character-based acts/shows that radiate absurdist humor; masterful use of lifelike masks with the actors being completely transformed into the characters they present; a certain authentic style of improvisation – and interaction-based acting – among the audience.
Soon after a particularly successful launch in 1995, Mr.Image became increasingly popular and sought after. People were fascinated by the lifelike characters, popularly called ‘living puppets’. At the time, such a thing did not exist. Realistic masks and appliances were only seen on film and TV, but not in the live-face-to-face performance. Word-of-mouth spread quickly and soon it was impossible to imagine a public or business event in the Netherlands without Mr.Image.
Since then, Mr. Image Theater has participated/performed at hundreds of events such as conferences, galas, congresses, festivals and charity events of national and international organizations and companies; hundreds of thousands of people have interacted with Mr.Image characters.
Mr.Image troupe, which Iva & Petar started with a couple of colleagues-friends actors evolved into a company in which more than 150 actors, dancers and performers have taken part. Each individual performer has added some of his own imagination and sensibility to the characters.
Mr.Image troupe, consisting of professional actors, dancers and performers with most various backgrounds, and with Iva & Petar at the artistic en business rudder – is today best known by their hilarious acts and characters who never cease to fascinate, intrigue and make people laugh wherever they appear. The troupe performs regularly at international festivals, public and corporate events.