Diasporas Festival, Berkeley
May 9, 2014

The Dell'Arte Company brings an excerpt of its newest work, "Elisabeth's Book" to the Diasporas Festival of Contemporary Performance in Berkeley, California, on May 9 & 10. Inferno Theatre

THREE TREES to Western Washington
April 18, 2014

The Dell'Arte Company in "Three Trees" heads to Western Washington University for two shows, April 18 & 19th at 7:30 PM
A mixture of rollicking clown routines and poetic, theatrical

Humboldt Sponsors support
April 6, 2014

THANKS to Humboldt Sponsors for a $500 award to the 8th Grade Show for " costumes, props, and technical production." Congratulations to director Lydia Foreman and her cast from Blue Lake

World Commedia Day Feb. 25
February 21, 2014

World Commedia dell'Arte Day is celebrated every year on February 25, and is proclaimed by the Italian cultural association SAT as an action of the incommedia.it project in support of SAT's

TCG grant awarded to DAI
February 1, 2014

Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for theatre, announced recipients for the third round of its Global Connections program. Dell’Arte was awarded one of three


The Dell'Arte Company
Upcoming Shows
2013-2014 Season
Available for booking 2013
Residency Info
Production History
Company Members

The Dell'Arte Company
Home >Company >The Dell'Arte Company
Home >Company

The Dell'Arte Company has been at the forefront of the ensemble theater movement for more than 35 years. Employing and revitalizing traditional physical theatre forms to explore contemporary concerns, Dell’Arte has created more than 45 award-winning original works and has toured regionally and internationally, performing from rural communities like Forks of Salmon to international festivals in Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Italy, The Netherlands, Denmark, Croatia, Hungary and France.

Always exploring the work of the actor-creator, Dell'Arte has devised highly experimental touring pieces such as "Paradise Lost," adapted and directed by Giulio Cesare Perrone,  as well as imaginative family theatre such as "The Fish In My Head", and large-scale "theatre of place" spectacles at its annual summer Mad River Festival.  The 2012 summer hit, "Mary Jane: The Musical," explored through song the light and dark sides of California's 'green rush.'

The Dell'Arte Company is known internationally for its dazzling level of performing artistry and unique sense of theatricality.  Dell'Arte is also acclaimed for its teaching residencies in physical performance styles, having developed a unique contemporary acting approach in which body, voice, and point of view celebrate the work of the actor/creator.

Many of the Company's original works, such as "The Fish In My Head," are ensemble-devised. But DAC has also worked with playwrights such as Lauren Wilson and M. Graham Smith, and adapted classics such as "Peer Gynt," directed by Michael Fields in collaboration with the Jomfru-Ane company of Denmark. This production played Minneapolis and New York prior to opening  the Jomfru Ane '06 season in Aalborg, Denmark. In 2009 the Company premiered INVERTED ALBA, A Fable & Roundelay After Images of Garcia Lorca, directed by Ronlin Foreman.

The Dell'Arte Company is part of Dell'Arte International (DAI), which includes the Mad River Festival and the Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theatre.  The School offers a 3-year MFA in Ensemble Based Physical Theatre, a one-year certificate Professsional Training Program, summer workshops and an annual Bali study program open to anyone. The School was founded in 1975 by Carlo Mazzone-Clementi and Jane Hill.

The Company is based in Blue Lake, California, a town of 1200 located in Humboldt County.  With its combination of programs, DAI is a destination unique on the American theatre map.  It has become the North American center for the performance, research and training of the actor-creator.  DAI remains artist-managed, and it committed to ensemble practice; it was a founding member of the National Network of Ensemble Theatres.

Dell’Arte founded in 1971 in Berkeley by Carlo Mazzone-­-Clementi and Jane Hill.
Blue Lake Oddfellow Hall bought, 1974
School of Physical Theatre opens 1975 (originally called The School of Mime & Comedy)
Dell'Arte Company founded 1976 by Carlo Mazzone-Clementi, Joan Schirle and Jon'Paul Cook.
First Tour: 1977 "The Loon's Rage," directed by Jael Weisman.
First International Tour 1980, to the Venice Biennale.
Mad River Festival becomes an annual festival in 1992
MFA program accredited in 2003.


  • 2013  ArtPlace America awards Dell'Arte a $350,000 grant for development of the Mad River Industrial Art Park.
  • 2009      DAI grad Matt Chapman awarded a TCG New Generations Program grant, to be mentored by Founding Artistic Director Joan Schirle and Director of Training Ronlin Foreman
  • 2007-09       Michael Fields awarded $75,000 Irvine Foundation Leadership Advancement Grant  to enhance leadership capacities and evolve the organizational structure in response to Dell'Arte's recent growth and evolution
  • 2007      Founding Artistic Director Joan Schirle receives TCG/Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowship as a Distinguished Actor, with DAI as host theatre
  • 2006      DAI named part of The Leading National Ensemble Theatres Program, a joint initiative of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
  • 2005  Outstanding Theatre Award from the National Theatre Conference
  • 2005      Prize of Hope – Danish Institute for Popular Theatre
  • 2005      Otto Award – Presented by New York Castillo Theatre
  • 2004      Founding Artistic Director Joan Schirle receives a medal at the Cairo Experimental Theatre Festival in Egypt for her leadership in the field
  • San Diego Critics Circle – Best Production
  • San Francisco Bay Area Critics Circle – Best Ensemble Performance
  • San Francisco Bay Area Critics Circle – Best Principal Performance
  • Hollywood Dramalogue – Over 20 awards for artistic excellence

Critical Highlights

The spirit and originality of this company is, ultimately, irresistible.” - Variety

Stunning ensemble and individual performances.” - Backstage West

A soul satisfying and thought-provoking evening.” - New York Times Magazine

They are expert physical comics…multi-leveled theatrical magic.”- San Francisco Chronicle

“ … the three decades-old Dell’Arte runs the nation's leading physical theater school”  
- Robert Hurwitt, San Francisco Chronicle

"... the one true heavyweight high art institution in Humboldt County." 
- Hank Sims, Editor, North Coast Journal




Home Home