It's hard to describe Dell'Arte to people who aren't from around these parts. There are clowns and theater and giant, costumed people on stilts, but none of those encapsulate the essence of Dell'Arte. It's the sort of thing you just have to see to understand. The Mad River Festival is the perfect way to introduce new people to the talent and oddity of Dell'Arte. The festival runs from June 19 to August 3 with an eclectic mix of performances.
Start with some classic circus skills at Taken Away ($12, $10 students, $8 kids) at the Carlo Theatre. The showcase of acrobatic talents plays Wednesday, June 25 at 8 p.m., Thursday, June 26 at 10:30 p.m. and Friday, June 27 at 10:30 p.m.
If you're looking for something more interactive, head to Dell'Arte's Big Top Tent on Sunday, June 29. The Center of the Universe Party (free) starts at 3:30 p.m. Patronus will provide live music while you interact with clowns, acrobats and more. This is definitely somewhere you need to take your non-coulrophobic (clown-fearing) kids. They might also enjoy Clowns Without Borders at 2p.m. in the Big Top ($10, $5 kids).
There's more festival clownery and tomfoolery coming in July, so check back in at northcoastjournal.com for more information.