The Dell'Arte Company has been at the forefront of the ensemble theater movement for more than 30 years. Employing and revitalizing traditional physical theatre forms to explore contemporary concerns, Dell’Arte has created more than 45 award-winning original works and has toured regionally and internationally, performing from rural communities like Forks of Salmon to international festivals in Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Italy, The Netherlands, Denmark, Croatia, Hungary and France.
Always exploring the work of the actor-creator, Dell'Arte has devised highly experimental touring pieces such as PARADISE LOST, adapted and directed by Giulio Cesare Perrone, as well as imaginative family theatre such as LAND OF THE GRASSHOPPER SONG, and large-scale "theatre of place" spectacles at its annual summer Mad River Festival.
In 2004, the company premiered SHADOW OF GIANTS by Matthew Graham Smith, an original drama about tree-sitting in Northern California, and in 2005 toured its contemporary adaptation of Moliere's The Miser, titled THE GOLDEN STATE by Lauren Wilson. In 2006, the Dell’Arte Company and the acclaimed Jomfru Ane Teatret of Denmark embarked on an exciting international collaboration to create a new work inspired by the Henrik Ibsen classic PEER GYNT, directed by Michael Fields. This production played Minneapolis and New York prior to opening the Jomfru Ane '06 season in Aalborg, Denmark. In 2009, the Company premiered INVERTED ALBA, A Fable & Roundelay After Images of Garcia Lorca. It's 2011-12 hit, MARY JANE: THE MUSICAL, explored through song the light and dark sides of California's marijuana 'green rush.'
- 2009 DAI grad Matt Chapman awarded a TCG New Generations Program grant, to be mentored by Founding Artistic Director Joan Schirle and Director of Training Ronlin Foreman
- 2007 Founding Artistic Director Joan Schirle receives TCG/Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowship as a Distinguished Actor, with DAI as host theatre
- 2006 DAI named part of The Leading National Ensemble Theatres Program, a joint initiative of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
- 2005 Prize of Hope – Danish Institute for Popular Theatre
- 2005 Otto Awards – Presented by New York Castillo Theatre
- 2004 Founding Artistic Director Joan Schirle receives a medal at the Cairo Experimental Theatre Festival in Egypt for her leadership in the field
- San Diego Critics Circle – Best Production
- San Francisco Bay Area Critics Circle – Best Ensemble Performance
- San Francisco Bay Area Critics Circle – Best Principal Performance
- Hollywood Dramalogue – Over 20 awards for artistic excellence
“The spirit and originality of this company is, ultimately, irresistible.” - Variety
“Stunning ensemble and individual performances.” - Backstage West
“A soul satisfying and thought-provoking evening.” - New York Times Magazine
“They are expert physical comics…multi-leveled theatrical magic.”- San Francisco Chronicle
“ … the three decades-old Dell’Arte runs the nation's leading physical theater school”
- Robert Hurwitt, San Francisco Chronicle
"... the one true heavyweight high art institution in Humboldt County."
- Hank Sims, Editor, North Coast Journal