Dell’Arte embraces ensemble and improvisation in new school year

Dell’Arte International

BLUE LAKE – Dell’Arte International is embracing its pedagogy of ensemble and improvisation as it adapts to the times and a school year unlike any other in its nearly 50-year history. 

“Like other institutions of higher learning, we’ve been tasked with striking a balance between the inherent in-person interactions of a physical theatre school and adjusting to the current climate,” said Managing Director Alyssa Hughlett. “While we’re operating at a reduced capacity, our students and faculty artists have found creative solutions to work in ensembles and offer live performances. The spirit of Dell’Arte continues to be a shining light in these challenging times.” 

 Dell’Arte has made the following adjustments to its school programming: 

• Continue instruction for third-year MFA students, following strict protocols to ensure best health and safety protocols throughout the year

• Postpone the flagship, one-year Professional Training Program until Fall 2021

• Postpone traditional indoor, live performances until the state provides guidelines for live performances

• Offer live performances through online platforms and alternative venues. 

 In a move that allows students to continue the in-person work of ensemble-based physical theatre, the third-year MFA students have chosen to live together in Blue Lake as a cohort. 

The group is also planning to offer the annual Holiday Show to North Coast communities differently than in years past.

 “They’re all living together so they can work together, and what better way to approach this year that’s already so radical,” said Dell’Arte faculty member Elizabeth Colón Nelson. “They’ve embraced the true sense of famiglia, of family, that’s at the heart of this institution.”  

 The Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre offers the only accredited MFA in Ensemble-Based Physical Theatre in the world. 


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