Ellen Mueller

Dell’Arte International at Blue Lake CA

by Ellen Mueller on June 22, 2009, no comments

Blue Lake is a beautiful small town (only around 1000 people) situated right next to the Mad River.  There’s not much here other than Dell’Arte International – a cafe, post office, bar, laundromat, a bed & breakfast, and a small industrial park.  However, the surrounding natural beauty makes up for the tininess.  I don’t think I could ever live here, but it makes for a great artistic getaway! 
I’ve already wrapped up the first of two workshops here at Dell’Arte.  The first workshop was entitled, “Grand Guignol: Theatre of Terror and Laughter.” Here’s the description from their website:

Once the most popular entertainment in Europe, Grand Guignol is an exciting theatre form that begat current thriller and horror films. Rarely taught, this “theatre of laughter and terror” explores our fascination with the macabre, playing with the violation of society’s taboos. Grand Guignol is wildly physical, intensely psychological, and filled with gruesome special effects.

We spent mornings focusing on the physical performance style, and afternoons working on original scripts and the special effects.  I don’t have any pics from the gruesomeness yet, but my workshop-mates assured me they’d send some images as soon as they arrived back home (I forgot my camera card reader in Florida!).  I’ll be sure to post any pics as soon as I get them.
On Saturday they had a fun evening where the company presented a lifetime achievement award to Rene Auberjonois, who’s done tons of projects on screen and stage, but most notably in my opinion, he played the voice of the french chef in The Little Mermaid!  He was a very humble and personable man, and it was great fun to dance to a live band with all the hippies after the presentation of the award!  It reminded me of many different events back in Bemidji MN…