Mad River Festival

JUNE 21 – JULY 20, 2019

Welcome to the 2019 Mad River Festival! Five power-packed weeks of theatre, music, cabaret, dance, mashups, and description defying experiments from around the world and down the block. My favorite response to the festival came from an audience member last summer. She came up to me shaking her head, saying, “No where else will you see stuff like this! And it’s in Blue Lake!!! If only the world knew, we’d have more airline flights in here than you could count.”

I am reading a book on Lady Gregory, playwright, actress and one of the founders of the Abby Theatre in Dublin, Ireland. (I may have some Irish roots). And one passage stuck me as very much a convergence with Dell’Arte’s own desire to create a “theatre of place”. She was asked, “If it was so local, would it have widespread interest? Her response: “There was an Irish poet who wrote Irish songs a hundred years ago and people used to say that he was a man who would stand and listen in his own backyard and then speak for and to the four corners of the globe. Really what we are after is human nature and human nature is not very far off.”

And here we are in our backyard, exploring that human nature, and speaking as best we can to the four corners of the world via the music of long time Dell’Arte composer Timmy Gray, through the powerful personal stories of healing after war in RADIOMAN, with edgy laughter in the juxtaposition of clown and dementia in GOING DOWN IN FLAMES, with new encounters in Drag performance, with the pioneering work of Otherland Ensemble, in celebrating the physical virtuosity of humans in poetic motion with UpLift Physical Theatre and finishing with the glorious week of music that is the Humboldt Folklife Festival.

This summer we would like to crack the surfaces, break the barriers, come together and celebrate with all of you who strive in all you do to let the light get in. I think we collectively need it. Thank you all for joining us this summer, for being our community and for all of your generous support. We hope to see you often this summer.

– Michael Fields
Producing Artistic Director

Venues for the Mad River Festival include
Dell’Arte’s Rooney Amphitheatre, the Pierson Big Hammer Circus Tent, and Dell’Arte’s Carlo Theatre all located in the sunny city of Blue Lake, CA.



    Dell’Arte thanks the following 2019 festival sponsors for their generous support:
    Executive Festival Producer: Pierson Building Center
    Lead Sponsor: Wildberries Marketplace, Suddenlink, KEET, and Stephany Joy/REMAX Humboldt Realty