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Dell'Arte International
8 Aug 2012
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From "Dell'Arte International":

 

This is an artform from five-hundred years ago in Italy. How is that relevant now? It's relevant because we can create on stage, without the permission of television networks or movie studios. We can create stories that reflect the concerns, the desires and the pain of our audiences. We can reach out, without permission to tell stories we would not be able to tell in the major media. The theater is absolutely vital to the survival of free expression in America.
– Tim Robbins, accepting Dell'Arte's 2009 Prize of Hope

The small town of Blue Lake, California is the homebase of the Dell'Arte International – a theatre company with a vision all to itself. Approaching its fortieth anniversay, Dell'Arte are "a committed community of artists who model and share in a sustained ensemble artistic practice," with a mission that is "international in scope, grounded in the natural living world [and] inspired by [their] non-urban setting." From that imperative, they both honor the commedia dell'arte tradition and renovate it for contemporary use, presenting a touring company, acting workshops and youth programs, as well as an impressive series of outreach projects in the surrounding community.

Though they offer a regular schedule of performances, their principles converge in dramatic fashion every summer during the Mad River Festival. Each year the local community is joined by theatre fans from around the globe, as Dell'Arte performs their work alongside troupes from a number of other countries. Though there hasn't been much video or photo stills released yet in conjunction with this project, Tim Gray, the opera's musical director, has made available streaming demos of the songs as well as pdfs of the sheet music, so you can learn the music before attending the show.

 

Tags
Art Community Culture Innovation Rural/Regional Attend California Song/Dance Theatre West Workshops
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