Theater

Friday, February 2, 2024

Blue Lake Celebrates Joan Schirle Day

Posted By on Fri, Feb 2, 2024 at 4:00 PM

The city of Blue Lake celebrates the late Joan Schirle, award-winning and beloved theater pioneer and founding artistic director of Dell’Arte International, on Sunday, Feb. 4. Events for Joan Schirle Day (as proclaimed by the city in November of 2023) include breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m. at Mad River Grange, Joan Schirle videos from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Dell'Arte, lantern making from noon to 1 p.m. at Dell'Arte, a parade to her gravesite from 1 to 2 p.m., drinks at the
Logger Bar at 2 p.m., and a bonfire at the grange at 6 p.m. On Saturday, Feb. 3, there will be a 1 p.m. remastered video showing of Bird of the Inner Eye, based on the life of local artist Morris Graves, with libretto by Schirle and musical score by Gina Leishman at Arcata Playhouse (free).
Joan Schirle - PHOTO BY LEÓN VILLAGÓMEZ
  • Photo by León Villagómez
  • Joan Schirle
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Sunday, November 19, 2023

Music Tonight: Sunday, Nov. 19

Posted By on Sun, Nov 19, 2023 at 4:00 AM

Another interesting pairing, this time doable as a double bill, as the first performance is a matinee. I am talking about the Arkley Center for the Performing Arts-staged production of the musical The Music Man Jr. The diminutive suffix refers to the youthful cast involved in this iteration of the beloved Broadway hit show. The start time for this last show in the run is 2 p.m. and tickets range from $19-$28, with a special $15 pricing for students. Four hours later at Blondies, you can enjoy, and possibly participate in, its legendary Jazz Jam. Always interesting, always free. Why not?
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Thursday, November 16, 2023

Music Tonight: Thursday, Nov. 16

Posted By on Thu, Nov 16, 2023 at 4:00 AM

Some things, like university names, come and go, while others seem resistant to the forces of change. One of those things in the latter category is the university circus community, formerly HSU, now Cal Poly Humboldt. The Humboldt Circus Gist Hall performance Circus? You Hardly Know Us!  is an addition to a long tradition, so if you’d like to be a part of that continuum, roll through at 7:27 p.m. sharp and drop $10 ($8 for students) into the bucket. If memory serves, it’s a fun time.
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Friday, October 27, 2023

Actor and Teacher Donald Forrest Dies at 73

Posted By on Fri, Oct 27, 2023 at 2:05 PM

Donald Forrest, stalwart of Humboldt County theater, died on Tuesday, Oct. 24, at the age of 73, due to complications related to COVID. According to family members and partner Alison Murray,  Forrest, who was vaccinated, tested positive roughly a week ago and was being treated with the drug Paxlovid. A week prior to testing positive, he’d starred in Michael Fields’ The Logger Lear, a Shakespeare adaptation staged at the Logger Bar. The play saw Forrest’s character grappling with the end of life and even planning his own wake. 
Donald Forest in Radio Man in 2019. - FILE
  • File
  • Donald Forest in Radio Man in 2019.

Originally from the Detroit, Michigan, area, Forrest first came to Humboldt County in the mid 1970s to work with Dell’Arte International founders. His son James says, “He told me he saw the fish in the blue waters in the river and he just wanted to move up here.” Since then, Forrest had been a steady presence on stages around the county while also teaching at DAI.

Murray and Forrest’s ex-wife Nancy Stephenson say a memorial event is being planned to honor him on Dec. 1, along with a wake at the Logger Bar.


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Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Dell'Arte Lays off Staff, Calls for Donations

Posted By on Tue, Oct 10, 2023 at 10:06 AM

On the cusp of its 50th anniversary, Dell'Arte International is apparently in trouble. In a press release the Journal received today, the theater school states it is "unable to overcome critical cash flow issues and must lay off nearly all staff." The annual holiday show is also set to be cut due to budget.

Citing the toll of COVID and the theater closures it forced, as well as the drop in donations and other funding sources, the release makes a call for donations. It quotes outgoing DAI board chair Libby Maynard, saying it will need "$125,000 by the end of the year to keep the lights on and the doors open." Read the full press release below:

Blue Lake, October 6, 2023 – Dell’Arte has been a source of laughter, inspiration, community and commerce in Blue Lake since 1974.  We’d love to celebrate that in our upcoming 50th year, but we may not have a choice. The organization is currently unable to overcome critical cash flow issues and must lay off nearly all staff, while a small group working at greatly reduced hours continues to offer classes and workshops to the local community. The always-popular Holiday Show is also slated for cancellation unless much needed funds are donated to sponsor a production.

Like almost every theatre company in the world, Dell’Arte has suffered terrible financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent loss of support, major national and state-wide changes in philanthropy and funding and significantly reduced audiences. 

Libby Maynard, outgoing Chair of the Board of Directors of Dell’Arte International and co-founder and executive director emerita of The Ink People Center for the Arts, has seeded the Save Dell’Arte campaign with $5000.

“Live theatre is fast becoming an endangered species, and it’s my heartfelt wish to play some part in its recovery,” says Maynard. “My health does not currently permit me to play an active role in that recovery, but I am able to put money towards it. So this is my challenge to the community – help us raise at least $125,000 by the end of the year to keep the lights on and the doors open as the organization builds towards a more sustainable future.”

Dell’Arte is turning to its community in Humboldt and throughout the diaspora of Dell’Arte alumni around the world. We seek your help to survive and thrive into our 50th year and beyond. A new generation is preparing to meet the audiences of today. Dell’Arte’s Leadership Council (Alyssa Hughlett, Tony Fuemmeler, and Julie Douglas) are eager to bring entertaining and sharp-toothed new theatrical work to our stages and summer festivals, begin a new line of training programs for the actor-creator, and celebrate its artistic legacy and 50th  Anniversary. 

Head of Training Tony Fuemmeler adds “Dell’Arte is not a fixed entity with a timestamp in renaissance Italy (or 1970s California). Dell’Arte has been evolving from the beginning. It is meant to evolve. We must be awake. Over the coming decade, humanity (and Humboldt County) will be navigating unforeseen evolutions in the ways humans strive, encounter conflicts, and ultimately find meaning in our participation in the world. Humans need a story in which to locate themselves in, and tools for finding its expression. The need for Dell’Arte as a dynamic, ongoing destination for research, training and performance through the undeniable lens of the body in space remains as potent and vibrant as ever.” 

Donations can be made online at www.dellarte.com/support-us, or by mail to PO Box 816, Blue Lake, CA  95525. Donations can also be made by calling 707-668-5663, but please note there are limited office hours.


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Thursday, October 5, 2023

Music Tonight: Thursday, Oct. 5

Posted By on Thu, Oct 5, 2023 at 4:00 AM

Kyle Kinane - SUBMITTED
  • submitted
  • Kyle Kinane
Tonight sees the kick-off of not one, but two local culture festivals. First up, it’s the 12th annual Savage Henry Comedy Festival. There will be shows scattered around quite a few local venues, so instead of getting lost in the outfield with the details, let me give you my pick. Kyle Kinane headlines the gig at the Savage Henry Comedy Club with two gigs at 5 p.m. and 11 p.m., featuring a line-up chock full of local chucklers. It’s $15 for the early show, $20 for the night time session and $80 for a bracelet that allows you access to all 13 venues like a traveling ambassador. Meanwhile at 8 p.m. at the North Coast Repertory Theatre, the Festival of Dreams: Outer Fringe presents a performance of CTRL+ALT+DELETE, a mature-audience-only retelling of the Genesis story set during the 1990s. Fifteen bucks gets you into this individual performance, but $80 ($64 for students and seniors) is the price for the entire three-day shebang.
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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Theater Tonight: Wednesday, Sept. 27

Posted By on Wed, Sep 27, 2023 at 4:00 AM

SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Shutterstock
The EXIT Theatre is once again hosting its monthly variety performance, The Something Different Show, hosted by local clown Shea FreeLove. Tonight’s events kick off at 7 p.m., and will feature 2023 Dell’Arte grads Alice Irvin, Grayson Klages and Damla Ari. Eight dollars gets you a seat in the applause section.
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Saturday, September 23, 2023

Bow & Arrow Circus Presents Pink Floyd-inspired Dark Side of the Circus

Posted By on Sat, Sep 23, 2023 at 6:00 AM

Breathe. From Dark Side of the Circus. - PHOTO BY MANUEL ROBALINO
  • Photo by Manuel Robalino
  • Breathe. From Dark Side of the Circus.
Someone once said that you don’t just listen to Pink Floyd’s classic album The Dark Side of the Moon, you experience it. And if you haven’t experienced it yet, or it’s been a while, or you have yet to experience a psychedelic circus show intricately choreographed to it, then you’re in for a treat this weekend in SoHum. Bow & Arrow Circus from San Francisco performs its show Dark Side of the Circus at Redwood Playhouse on Saturday, Sept. 23, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 24, at 2 p.m. ($15-$20). Director Genie Cartier says the performance loosely follows the narrative of the album’s classic companion piece, The Wizard of Oz. In it, Dorothy is transported to a magical circus world of both playful and terrifying experiences. While the show is recommended for ages 12 and up, Cartier says there’s nothing unsuitable for younger children. Tickets are first come, first served at the door, or available in advance online at Eventbrite.
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Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Music Tonight: Wednesday, Aug. 30

Posted By on Wed, Aug 30, 2023 at 4:00 AM

The EXIT Theatre is putting on its monthly variety revue, The Something Different Show. Tonight’s performers are musician/sound-dude Michael “Tofu” Schwartz, Laura Hughes and Jauna Little at 7 p.m. ($8).
Michael “Tofu” Schwartz - SUBMITTED
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  • Michael “Tofu” Schwartz
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Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Cirque Italia Returns to the Bayshore Mall with Family Show

Posted By on Wed, Aug 9, 2023 at 6:06 PM

COURTESY OF CIRQUE ITALIA
  • courtesy of Cirque Italia
Missed the circus at the Bayshore Mall the last time it rolled into town? Here’s your chance to experience the magic under the Big Top again as Cirque Italia presents Water Circus, a family-friendly pirate adventure, happening Aug. 10-14, with showtimes at 1:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. (check website for details) in the mall’s parking lot ($15-$55). Go on an exhilarating expedition in search of buried treasure complete with performances over a stage that holds 35,000 gallons of water! It’s a world of dazzling water effects, dramatic music, daring acrobatics, lights and more. Get tickets at cirqueitalia.com/Water-Circus-Silver.
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Recent Comments

  • Re: Music Tonight: Saturday, July 6

    • Legendary soul-bluesman at the Eagle house for ten bucks and doesn’t get a mention? Smdh

    • on July 6, 2024

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