Dell'Arte- Mad River Festival

6/15/2017 - 7/15/2017

The 2017 Mad River Festival

June 15 – July 15

Pierson Building Center Presents
Dell’Arte has brought original entertainment to local, national, and international audiences for over four decades. As one of a handful of rural, professional ensemble theatres in the United States, Dell’Arte is internationally recognized for its unique contribution to American theatre and is proud to call Humboldt home! Each year, Dell’Arte produces the annual summer Mad River Festival, lighting up it’s Blue Lake stages with performances from local and international artists for five weeks of non-stop entertainment. Now in it’s 27th year, the festival promises something for everyone and continues to carry the tradition of stellar summer performance on the North Coast!
State of Jefferson Picnic:
This land is your land but mostly my land
June 15 – July 2, 2017
The Dell’Arte Company will premiere their latest comedy, The State of Jefferson Picnic: This land is your land but mostly my land as the centerpiece of the 2017 MRF. This irreverent and musical political farce, set in the wilds of a KOALA Campground, features good ol’ boy Mac MacBurn (Donald Forrest) and the MacBurn family who’ve come together to celebrate the 4th of July. Other campers soon arrive, and in this micro-melting pot of disillusioned America, all hell breaks loose. Epic live food fights, live births and live grilling await! Be the first in line to see our international cast hailing from Zimbabwe, Greece, and India.
June 18 @2pm
Dubbed “America’s Funniest Cowgirl”, Karen Quest has been blazing a trail since 1998 with her one-woman award-winning original comedy act, Cowgirl Tricks. Skillful trick roping, impressive whip cracking, magic, music, outstanding audience rapport and improvisational kooky cowgirl shenanigans have proven wildly popular at domestic and international venues for audiences of all ages.
Win the War or Tell Me a Story & Wolves in the Shadows
June 21 @8pm
Win The War or Tell Me A Story
Sayda Trujillo
The piece is about war/occupation and the power of story. It explores both the effects of war on a people; and it looks at the body as a carrier of stories, asking where do vast stories live in the body? What does it take to hold such stories?  What does it means to win war? Do we ever win war?
Wolves in the Shadows
Alyssa Hughlett
Jail time was rough for Gloria Winthrop, yet she succeeded in getting back home again. Nothing
will stop her from regaining her place in society, not snow, wolves, or a locked door…but can she
mend her broken marriage?
THE BIG TOP FAMILY SERIES:The Mysterious Magical Brandishers of Magic
June 25 @2pm
A Dangerously funny magic show by a hysterically mystical clown trio. The Mysterious Magical Brandishers of Magic! is a 45 minute show packed with mysterious and hilarious physical comedy that uses the ancient art of sorcery as means to tickle your funny bones! A magical world in which both success and failure has only one purpose – Laughter and Entertainment of the audience! The show involves amusingly bemusing mass hypnosis and precariously hilarious audience participation in acts such as Disappearing Digits, The Board of Doom & the Bed of Nail.
When I Die, Leave the Balcony Open & EMBEDDED
June 28 @8pm
When I Die, Leave the Balcony Open
Laura Muñoz
The color of everything is rubble, and plaster and dust. The body remembers the animal, who remembers her humanity. A lone woman walking the open road. She is not her, but that one that walks with her, that she visits at times, and that at times she forgets. Will she find herself, or the other?
Pratik Motwani
A peek into the broadcasting room of a youtube cyber celebrity – A personification of a digital account/identity trapped in technology and floating in the interwebs of cyber space and time. This is both a world from which it is impossible to disconnect and a world in which all connection/communication happens only via a Wall. This piece questions notions of identity and image, reality and perception and explores our need for real connection coupled with our inability to disconnect from the virtual world.
June 30, July 1 @10:30pm
$20 in advance / $25 at the door. 18+ only please.
The Mad River Festival’s tantalizing late night adults only cabaret.
July 6,7,8 @ 8pm – July 9 @ 4pm
$10 – $12
Tea Time- Republic of Georgia (Eastern Europe) & Puerto Rico
Buba Basishvili & Yan Christian Collazo
Under the watch of an omnipotent, unseen authority, two men are imprisoned for eternity. Their dreams and imaginings are the closest they can come to liberation; their confinement becomes the most powerful companion in their resistance as they escape into a world of their own creation. Dancing for freedom and dancing for life, these two idealists find a way to subvert their oppressors despite their intransigent circumstance. A sublime comedy that explores power, submission, and the folly of hope; created by Buba Basishvili (Republic of Georgia) and Yan Christian Collazo (Puerto Rico). As one prisoner said to the other, “It is prohibited to forget!” And the second replied, “let’s have some tea first.”
Broken! – Zimbabwe
Co- Created by Everson Ndlovu and Tafadzwa Bob Mutumbi.
What does justice, redemption and absolution mean for the victims and perpetrators of heinous crimes? What does it take to make the lacerations of trauma disappear from their hearts, minds and souls? Broken! is a meeting point between the Broken past and the Broken future. It is a Journey into the world of Zimbabwean ritual tradition and Greek tragedy. Special thanks to Natalie Williams and Fire Arts Arcata:
Humboldt Folklife Festival
July 8-15
For Info:
Venues 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.

To reserve tickets, call 707-668-5663 or visit

•The Box Office opens 1 hour before curtain • The House opens 20 minutes before curtain •
• Any late seating will be at the discretion of the House Manager •


Map This

1st Avenue & H Streets
Dell'Arte Carlo Theater
Blue Lake

print this page
send to a friend


  • Since 1991, the Dell'Arte Mad River Festival has brought together performers and audience members from "around the world and down the block" for performances of theatre, music, comedy, storytelling, clown, puppetry and more.