DAY OFF! So, I can wear jeans and jewelry! Today we explored a neighboring town, Arcata. Every Saturday they have a farmers market in the town square. After an extremely motion sick car ride, we arrived! Here are some pictures from our adventure.
They have a woman who sells her poems. You tell her the subject and pay her what you want. This reminds me of the Showers that we do in acting class. She has to constantly create works, what an awesome writing exercise!...plus she gets some cash, and an occasional rock on the side! My subject was: Living in the Moment. Here is the link to her website: Poem Store
Afterwards we checked out the local thrift stores, vintage stores and yarn stores (I broke down and bought some yarn). The house I am staying in is similar to Arcadia. It has been in the Dell'Arte family for a while and rolls over from one group to the next. It is a lot cleaner, but has random things past groups have left behind. Since we are a group of 10 girls, we figured this would be the best addition.
She is currently looking out of our window at all the local boys who have been ruthlessly flirting/following us around. Maybe she will scare them away!
Tonight I saw Dell'Arte's production of Mary Jane: The Musical. WELCOME TO HUMBOLDT COUNTY! ...or the Emerald City. This is one of the shows in the Mad River Festival Dell'Arte puts on every year. For those of you who don't know, Humboldt County is known for their premium weed.
From the excerpt in the program: Humboldt County's name has long been synonymous with the production of high-quality cannabis. Humboldt's perfect climate lends itself to the healthy growing and harvesting of some of the best cannabis ever cultivated. Humboldt Growers
The production and sale of marijuana is what has kept this county alive. The musical was quite amazing. They commissioned a dozen local songwriters to write the songs. It was staged more like a cabaret. Joan, my professor, was Queen Mary Jane. Throughout the course of the musical, they talked about local issues and alluded to things within the community that I, an outsider, didn't understand. The first act comprised of songs that we all know are about weed and original songs that made us laugh and commented on life in Humboldt County. The second act talked about the reality of the business, like just how much the people here finically rely on the growing and selling of weed, raising children while being a grower and what the children see as a 'normal' lifestyle (To Me this is a Phase, to Them it is Life), the weed living in the houses and the people being homeless, and what would happen if weed became legal.
We sat in their outdoor amphitheater on blankets. As the sun went down it got quite chilly. It was PERFECT though. Mary Jane: the Musical is perfect. It is perfect because it is theatre for the people by the people. The actors were just the vessel to holding up a mirror to the life around them. What was perhaps just as entertaining as the show was the reactions to what was going on on stage. I didn't get a lot of the references, but everyone else sure did; they would laugh or comment or whisper a personal story to their neighbor. At one point they had a helicopter sound effect. The two women behind me exclaimed: I was waiting for that! I'm so glad they put that in there!
Now, I have been here a week and not once have heard a helicopter fly over this town, but there was a genuine response to it, so it has SOME meaning. I loved every minute of the show. It reminded me of why we do theatre and the reason it exists. It was created to inform and instruct. To imitate life. People weren't going to the show because it is a BIG NAME MUSICAL. They were going because they saw themselves in the show. This is amazing! This is what I love about theatre and I am honored to receive training here, so I can go out and serve an audience and community in the same way.