Diasporas Festival, Berkeley
May 9, 2014

The Dell'Arte Company brings an excerpt of its newest work, "Elisabeth's Book" to the Diasporas Festival of Contemporary Performance in Berkeley, California, on May 9 & 10. Inferno Theatre

THREE TREES to Western Washington
April 18, 2014

The Dell'Arte Company in "Three Trees" heads to Western Washington University for two shows, April 18 & 19th at 7:30 PM
A mixture of rollicking clown routines and poetic, theatrical

Humboldt Sponsors support
April 6, 2014

THANKS to Humboldt Sponsors for a $500 award to the 8th Grade Show for " costumes, props, and technical production." Congratulations to director Lydia Foreman and her cast from Blue Lake

World Commedia Day Feb. 25
February 21, 2014

World Commedia dell'Arte Day is celebrated every year on February 25, and is proclaimed by the Italian cultural association SAT as an action of the incommedia.it project in support of SAT's

TCG grant awarded to DAI
February 1, 2014

Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for theatre, announced recipients for the third round of its Global Connections program. Dell’Arte was awarded one of three


A 30-year reflection
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 A 30-year reflection
Home >About Dell'Arte >History >A 30-year reflection

January 1, 2004

Dear Friends:

I think the question we are most often asked is, "How did you all end up in Blue Lake?" And over the years we have come up with all kinds of answers -- some true, some more than true. Most of these answers revealed our slightly bent need to embellish the story. I remember one interviewer being told that we had all received a letter postmarked in Roswell, New Mexico, telling us to be in this town called Blue Lake on a particular date when all would be revealed. And when we showed up, all of our cars mysteriously stalled right there on the corner of 1st and H Street. I think that story might even have ended up in the San Francisco Chronicle (there is value in creating these rural legends). But the simple answer is that Carlo Mazzone-Clementi and Jane Hill, the founders of Dell'Arte, had a compelling idea. It was to create a unique international training center and a high-caliber professional theatre ensemble and to locate them in the amazing nat ural environment of the rurally diverse community of Northern California.

It was their sense that the school, the performing company and the place would profoundly impact each other and that something very special and new could be born. They were right. In 1974 Carlo and Jane purchased the Odd Fellows Hall in Blue Lake, California. And for 30 years now it has been home to Dell'Arte. We will begin our 30 year celebration at this summer's Mad River Festival. 30 years of creation. 30 years of performances. 30 years of students. 30 years of tours from Somes Bar to Copenhagen to Columbia to Croatia to Arcata. 30 years of engaging community via nationally recognized programs in our local schools. 30 years of helping out at Grange breakfasts. 30 years of internationally known innovation - in the art, in the way the art is created, and in the way it comes together with community. 30 years in Blue Lake, growing and evolving the possibility of the original vision. 30 years of dreams and finding the way, through the art, to provoke us all to dream.

The author, Isabel Allende wrote, "Art is to human kind what dreams are to individuals. Dreams unclog the mind and the spirit of the fog and noise of the world and if we pay attention they teach us about ourselves and our world. If we are not allowed to dream we p

"In my 25 years of doing this and living here on these rivers I have been profoundly changed. I have watched the community change. I have seen our work and organization change and evolve. And I have never believed more strongly in the profound possibility and value of this work -- this dream -- and what we can do together. It is due to your support that Dell'Arte is even possible."

erish, suffocated by unthought thoughts, unspoken words and unexorcized demons. Theatre plays an essential role by giving us a sense of possibility, a dream, in a time when things are so darkly uncertain. We live in a time where the main goal is often not to search for wisdom or happiness or peace, but to achieve prosperity and preserve the status quo. Theatre has never had a more important role than in this time. The mission of the theatre is to help us invent the future and to dream the collective dreams so necessary to that future." We continue to dream.

This year we began the only accredited Masters of Fine Arts in Ensemble Based Physical Theater in the world. It is a unique opportunity to explore, evolve, transmit and lead the practice of this work and training on a world stage. Our Dell'Arte Youth Academy has began an innovative after school initiative, in addition to serving over 4000 schoolchildren in the classrooms of our regional schools. Our company tours have broadened nationally and three new works are slated for creation next year. Our Mad River Festival will feature two new world premieres as well as a "Blue Lake Only" production that will look at 30 years of Dell'Arte performance creations. This year many of our alumni, who have been making a huge impact on theatres throughout the world, will be bringing their work back to Blue Lake as a part of the EdgeFest.

In 2005 we will begin a new initiative in collaboration with United Indian Health Services and Tu Casa to bring new cultural voices into the Mad River Festival and to promote this work throughout the region. We have purchased the lot next door to Dell'Arte and are in the planning stage for a new building that would provide housing for an expanding student body, new studios, and youth and community program spaces. We have simply outgrown our current facilities. And there is so much more.

As I write this, LAND OF THE GRASSHOPPER SONG is out on tour playing to over 10,000 people throughout the Northwest and in our home community, many of whom, through the generosity of local sponsors like Wildberries Marketplace, Coast Central Credit Union, Stephanie Caughey of ReMax Realty and you, are able to see theater for free during the holidays. There is a lyric from the final song of GRASSHOPPER that goes, "When two rivers meet, they meet in a hurry, never to be the same. And over time the small river works inside the big one and the course of both is once again changed."

In my 25 years of doing this and living here on these rivers I have been profoundly changed. I have watched the community change. I have seen our work and organization change and evolve. And I have never believed more strongly in the profound possibility and value of this work -- this dream -- and what we can do together. It is due to your support that Dell'Arte is even possible.

As you have no doubt heard, the economic toll on arts everywhere in this country has been horrific this year. We've taken our severe hits too. Perhaps the most drastic is that the California Arts Council has been gutted by the legislature. Nearly all of the funding we received from the state went to support our arts in schools programs. That is now gone. More than ever, your financial support will make a profound difference in what will be possible for the future of our organization, the community, and in many ways our children's future. I thank you for all of your generous support of Dell'Arte. We hope to see you out there on the road, in the studio, at the schools, or in the audience.

Michael Fields
Producing Artistic Director



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