Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Virtual Veils: Photos of Saturday's Remote Dance Performance

Posted By on Tue, Oct 20, 2020 at 7:07 PM

My original plan for Saturday evening was to stay home and watch the live-streamed Arcata Playhouse Arts presentation Intersections, Where We Meet. The Playhouse's theater venue has been closed for months and I was intrigued by the potential of seeing more than 40 performers and eight pieces featuring dancers, classical musicians, storytellers, a clown, poets and artists from secret locations all over Arcata, a local beach and Southern California — all from home.
Isadora Sharon spun around while rehearsing "Veil/Re-Veil" on Moonstone Beach before sunset Saturday. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • Isadora Sharon spun around while rehearsing "Veil/Re-Veil" on Moonstone Beach before sunset Saturday.

And then Mother Nature stepped in, offering a warm, wind-free late afternoon that took my wife and I out of the house with cameras in hand to watch the sunset at Moonstone Beach. There we came across our favorite dancer Shoshanna on the beach and she confirmed, yes, this indeed was the secret location for her improvisational dance performance for the Arcata Playhouse's virtual event. (See the slideshow of the sunset rehearsal and performance below.)

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Sunday, October 11, 2020

A Love Story for the Stages

Posted By on Sun, Oct 11, 2020 at 3:42 PM

Evan Needham and Caroline McFarland on the NCRT stage. - PHOTO BY EVAN WISHEROPP
  • Photo by Evan Wisheropp
  • Evan Needham and Caroline McFarland on the NCRT stage.

With stages and shows dark, what are a couple of theater kids to do? For local actors, Evan Needham and Caroline McFarland, creativity burns in them and so doth the fire of love and, COVID be damned, both must be expressed! With their show Hamlet at North Coast Repertory Theatre on hiatus, a shared love of Shakespeare between them, and supportive friends on hand, it seems a marriage proposal of epic proportions was on the bill.

Needham came up with the intricate plan. He would send his unsuspecting love on a scavenger hunt across town to locations meaningful to their relationship, guiding her along with Shakespearean quotes and clues, puzzles, costume changes, a Pirates of Penzance treasure hunt and more that eventually led her to North Coast Repertory Theatre where the idle Hamlet set became the perfect backdrop for his proposal.

On September 22, all of Needham’s hard work and ingeniuty paid off (plus that of a handful of close theater friends who helped). When McFarland arrived at NCRT — the outside marquee read "An Ever-Fixed Mark" — she found Needham waiting for her onstage. He sang to her, got down on one knee, revealed the ring and McFarland said 'yes' under stage lights and a shower of confetti. Photographer to the stars, Evan Wisheropp, was there to capture the magic. Dinner from Larrupin' Cafe and homemade pie from mom waited for them in the lobby.

In lieu of live performance, the two lovebirds made a bit of theater spectacle worthy of the Bard himself.

North Coast Repertory Theatre sent out notice of this lovely happening in its latest newsletter. It made us smile. We wanted to share. Congrats to Evan and Caroline! Until the lights come up...
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Saturday, August 29, 2020

FRT to Reopen Fall of 2021, Satlof Stepping Down

Posted By on Sat, Aug 29, 2020 at 5:42 PM

In a press release Thursday, Ferndale Repertory Theatre, which has been shut down since shelter in place was declared in March, announced it would focus on repairs and hold off reopening until fall of 2021. It also shared that Artistic Producing Director Leira V. Satlof will be stepping down.

Satlof, who's been involved with FRT for three decades, has helmed the theater's productions since 2015. Board Chair Erin Dunn is quoted in the release saying, "Leira has given us the great gift of time in finding the next Artistic Producing Director, and that time allows us to do a thorough search while we simultaneously work on expanding our cultural awareness."

Ferndale Repertory Theatre Artistic Producing Director Leira V. Satlof, who is leaving her post. - PHOTO BY LEÓN VILLAGÓMEZ
  • Photo by León Villagómez
  • Ferndale Repertory Theatre Artistic Producing Director Leira V. Satlof, who is leaving her post.

Read the full release below:

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Friday, August 14, 2020

OK, Zoomer

Posted By on Fri, Aug 14, 2020 at 1:43 PM

  • Photo by Patrick Rutherford
Been a while since you’ve had a good laugh? Need to take your mind off the daily horror show of 2020? Can’t get to your favorite entertainment venue because said horror show closed it? There’s a Zoom for that. Get ready to laugh your anxiety off at On the Spot Comedy’s Fundraiser, Match Game: Zoom Edition! on Saturday, Aug. 15 at 7 p.m. via Zoom.

You’ve seen these jokers, On the Spot Comedy, at their usual monthly gig in pre-Covid times at the Arcata Theatre Lounge. (No? Well, one day, when this all goes away, “like a miracle,” treat yourself.) It’s good, clean (rated ages 10+) improvisational comedy. As their slogan goes, “You say it, we play it.” And they do a bang-up job of it.

What’s the fundraiser?

The good folks at On the Spot Comedy want to lend a helping hand to their pals at Savage Henry Comedy Club. While the comedians at On the Spot are unaffiliated with Savage Henry, they sympathize with what Humboldt County’s comedy headquarters is going through during the pandemic. The club is doing weekly drive-thru comedy shows where patrons pull around back, tune to a radio station and listen to a live performance from within the club for Venmo donations, but it’s not the same. Times are tight.

“We all want to pitch in to hold the line for the comedy community in Humboldt,” OTS member and event organizer Steve Nystrom said. “We are all friends and fellows of the local comedy scene, and want to help them hold onto the North Coast's only clubhouse for comedy.”

What can Zoom attendees expect?

“The centerpiece of the show is going to be our version of the classic TV game show, The Match Game, bounded by two or three improv games that are tailored to work in a Zoom format,” Nystrom says. “All of the above will include audience participation, including the game show contestants.”

Sounds cool. And that’s not just six months of lockdown talking.

Who’s on the docket? Most of the OTS regulars will be there (plus some veteran faces you haven’t seen in a while). Daniel Amaral, Clint Florka, James Schaeffer, Matt Redbeard, Hadi Adina and Steve Nystrom. The evening’s host is local theater teacher and actor David Hamilton.

How much? A mere $5 (or more if you’re feeling it). Get the Zoom link at

Here are the latest instructions from On The Spot’s Facebook event page:

“The show starts at 7 pm Pacific, sharp! However, because of Zoom security measures, we have to admit everyone manually once you click the link, and this can take some time. Please be patient and don't exit the link prior to being admitted.
We will begin admitting people at 6:15 pm Pacific. Please click the link as soon after this as possible to avoid logjams and lengthy wait times. Once you're in you can just leave it up on your screen and go do something else until showtime.”
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Monday, July 20, 2020

KMUD Accepting Submissions for Virtual Talent Show

Posted By on Mon, Jul 20, 2020 at 10:20 AM

DJ Lisa Luv of KMUD Redwood Community Radio. - PHOTO BY ERICA BOTKIN
  • Photo by Erica Botkin
  • DJ Lisa Luv of KMUD Redwood Community Radio.
KMUD Redwood Community Radio is now accepting submissions for its first ever Virtual Talent Show.

Children and adults who reside in Humboldt, Trinity, Del Norte and Mendocino counties who want to share their talent (and perhaps win a prize) are encouraged to enter. Submissions will be accepted between July 20 and Aug. 2.

KMUD will post the Virtual Talent Show for viewing and voting on Aug. 10. Go to, KMUD’s Instagram @kmudradio, KMUD’s Twitter @kmud or KMUD’s Facebook page to enter.

For more information, email
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Thursday, June 11, 2020

Dell’Arte to Operate at Reduced Capacity Over the Summer

Posted By on Thu, Jun 11, 2020 at 4:04 PM

Dell’Arte International announced Wednesday that due to the impact of COVID-19 and the cancelations of the school's Mad River Festival, Summer Intensive and other events, it will be operating at a reduced capacity over the summer in an effort to remain financially viable.

In a press release from the school, Managing Director Alyssa Hughlett says, “We hope that by dimming our lights these next few months we’ll be in a stronger position to welcome our students and community back to our studios, stages and all the spaces that have come to signify Dell’Arte.” The release states the school is not ceasing operations entirely and will be offering summer workshops over digital platforms.
Performers at the Turning Gray Skies Blue show last June. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • Performers at the Turning Gray Skies Blue show last June.

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Sunday, May 17, 2020

Dell'Arte-Wiyot Rural Residency in Place

Posted By on Sun, May 17, 2020 at 5:34 PM

Dell'Arte International's rural residency program has adapted itself for the times. The 10-day program normally sees Dell’Arte students living and camping in a rural community, engaging in a cultural and artistic exchange with residents. However, in light of COVID-19 and the need for physical distancing, this year's program will take to social media to carry out its mission.
From the 2019 Rural Residency. - WINGSPAN MEDIA, SUBMITTED
  • Wingspan Media, submitted
  • From the 2019 Rural Residency.
According to a press release from Dell'Arte International, this year, instead of camping on the Wiyot Tribe’s Table Bluff reservation as participants have the last two years, Dell’Arte’s Professional Training Program students will engage with members of the tribe remotely, with a focus on learning Soulatluk, the Wiyot language. Additionally, some of the program's online offerings will include digital workshops for kids on clowning, juggling and physical comedy, as well as a food recipe exchange via video.

Read the full press release below:

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Saturday, April 18, 2020

Front Window: Janessa Johnsrude's Sheltering in Places portraits

Posted By on Sat, Apr 18, 2020 at 7:06 PM

In one of Janessa Johnsrude's photos, a mother and daughter sit perched in an open window, smiling at one another, a big, milky-eyed dog between them. Their tableau, framed by the window of the house, is overlaid with the branches of an apple tree bright with pink blossoms and a set of copper wind chimes shine at their right. It's an idyllic scene full of affection. So much so that you could forget they are sheltering in place during a pandemic.
  • Photo by Janessa Johnsrude
  • LinZi, Bender, Laurel.
The portrait of LinZi, her mother Laurel and their dog Bender is one of a Sheltering in Places series Johnsrude is working on, capturing images of her friends, neighbors and friendly strangers in her Blue Lake neighborhood — all from a distance as they hunker down in their homes. (See a handful of the photos with Johnsrude's comments in the slideshow below.)

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Thursday, April 16, 2020

The Show Must Go Online: Dell'Arte's Virtual Season

Posted By on Thu, Apr 16, 2020 at 6:46 PM

Despite the Mad River Festival being pushed back to September and a handful of scheduled performances canceled due to shelter-in-place orders, Dell'Arte International is not sitting idle. In a press release, Artistic Director Michael Fields says, "Uncharted times call for innovative creativity and collaboration." Sounds like a job for Dell'Arte. The theater folk in Blue Lake are putting together a schedule of Zoom-based artist talks with key Dell'Arte players, as well as releasing past performances on the organization's Vimeo and YouTube channels.
Donald Forrest in a scene from Radioman. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • Donald Forrest in a scene from Radioman.
You'll be able to watch Radioman, Mad Love, Punctual Folly and Mary Jane: A Musical Potumentary from the comfort of your home. "In lieu of ticket sales for the online shows," the release states, "Dell’Arte is instead requesting donations to fund scholarships and the ability to keep the people at the heart of the organization." For details and the full schedule, see the press release below.

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Thursday, March 12, 2020

Culture Cancel: COVID-19 Nixes Local Events

Posted By on Thu, Mar 12, 2020 at 5:42 PM

The old theater adage is that the show must go on. But this time it may have to go on a bit later. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and California Department of Public Health recommendations on social distancing to slow and reduce the spread of the virus, events are canceling left and right.
  • Shutterstock
North Coast Repertory Theatre has postponed this weekend's Hamlet opening along with the rest of its season and Redwood Curtain Theatre has canceled the final three shows of Bloomsday Thursday through Saturday. The Eureka Theater, Morris Graves Museum of Art, Humboldt State University Center Activities, Humboldt Brews and Arts! Arcata have all canceled events through the end of March.

The Journal will be updating its online event calendar as information comes in. If you're an event organizer, email to let us know about any changes in plans.
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