The 34th Annual Baduwa’t Festival Begins June 21

This is a press release from Dell’Arte International:

This summer Dell’Arte International presents the 34th Baduwa’t Festival (formerly called the Mad River Festival), its annual summer festival of theater, entertainment, music, and performance.  This year also marks the 50th Anniversary of Dell’Arte International’s home in Blue Lake. Dell’Arte has been serving Humboldt County for five decades with fresh, ensemble-created physical “theater of place,” professional training, community engagement programs, and live performance.

The 2024 Festival features the first Dell’Arte Company mainstage show since the pandemic: The Poor of New York, a comic adaptation of a classic  American melodrama. Other events include:  A free Panel Discussion on Dell’Arte through the decades; The Prize of Hope Ceremony, a co-production with the Danish Institute of Popular Theater; the Humboldt FolkLife Festival, a jam-packed week of live music presented by Humboldt Folklife Society; the Citizen Joy Project, a nationwide interactive performance; and an alumni guest performance of Forgive Us, Gustavito by Otherland Theater Ensemble. The Festival closes with the return of String & Shadow Puppet Theater and their new show Or So It Would Seam.  Hope to see you there!

Tickets are sold to individual events, but folks can also take advantage of a Patron Pass, a one-stop buy of tickets to The Poor Of New York, The Prize of Hope Ceremony & Dinner, seats for Forgive Us, Gustavito.  Tickets are available at


June 21–23, 28–30, July 5–7  — The Poor Of New York – Dell’Arte Company Mainstage Show   —  8:00pm

Kick off the summer with both laughter and tears as Michael Fields directs a cast of Dell’Artians in a comic adaptation of a classic American melodrama. A financial crash, a government shutdown, and some people growing rich off others’ misfortune play at the center of the story. Sound familiar? Expect Dell’Arte’s special brand of physical comedy and original music played by the amazing house band, The Left Fields.

July 3 — Panel Discussion: DAI at 50  —  6:30pm

A half century of people and evolution will be commemorated by a panel of representatives from each of the last five decades who have shaped (and been shaped by) Dell’Arte. Come enjoy a conversation about our history and the ups and downs along the way. This is planned to be a hybrid in-person and virtual FREE event in the Carlo Theater.

July 7 — Prize of Hope Award Ceremony  —  4:00pm

Dell’Arte has been offering the Prize of Hope with the Danish Institute of Popular Theater since 2008. This is an event that is truly international and not to be missed! This year’s Prize of Hope is awarded to Brenda Wong Aoki and Mark Izu of San Francisco. Tickets include the Ceremony in the Carlo Theater, consisting of a short performance and the presentation of the Prize, drinks and an outdoor dinner.

July 14 —  Daytime Disco with Trash Mash-Up! —  Parade at 11:00am

Alumni Bird & Jessie McCracken of Trash Mash-Up return with a visual spectacle made of music, movement, and “Maskostumes.” Over one week, participants spanning multiple generations will convert unwanted objects into a joyous costumed dancing event during the Annie & Mary Day Parade.

July 16–20 —  Humboldt Folklife Festival  —  Various times

Dell’Arte hosts the beloved festival that shows off the amazingly talented musicians who make music here in Humboldt. Evening Concerts include Songwriter in the Round (Carlo Theater, 7pm, July 16),  Under the Stars (Amphitheater, 6pm, July 17) and Bluegrass and Beyond (Amphitheater, 6pm, July 18). All Day Free Festival is on two stages from 10:45am–8:00pm on Saturday, July 20. See more details on the Folklife Website.

July 26–28 — Dell’Arte Presents: Forgive Us, Gustavito by Otherland Theater Ensemble  —  7:00pm

The solitary hippo of the National Zoo is dead. Alumni Becca Finney, Tushar Mathew, and Lucius Robinson return to the Carlo to present a story that is equal parts classic noir and outrageous animal madness. Join Detective Emilio Hippo as he investigates: what does it mean to be complicit in a system you cannot identify? This show is funded in part by the Nancy LaFrenz Memorial Fund.

July 27 — Citizen Joy! Project  —  2:00pm

Dell’Arte Alum and Cirque du Soleil star Jeff Raz has orchestrated a day of nationwide interactive performances celebrating democracy. Focused on gratitude, agency, and harmony, Citizen Joy will feature story sharing and wishes for the future to the backdrop of nonverbal physical performances.

August 11 — Dell’Arte Presents:  Or So It Would Seam  by String & Shadow   —  6:30pm

The Olympia-based troupe of multi-disciplinary performance artists returns with a new show with equal parts whimsical fairy tale, outer-space odyssey, and slap-stick clown show. The story follows the cosmic seamstresses of the planet Lupita who, among other things, weave the fabric of space-time. This show will be filled to the brim with giant puppets, colorful stilt-walkers, original storytelling, and live music.
This show is great for all ages.


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